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Home sales rebounding; market may tighten due to Irma repair backlog, analysts say

Lee Herald Favicon 16The real estate market is rebounding after a slowdown from Hurricane Irma, according to new data released Friday by the Naples Area Board of Realtors.

According to the report, October’s closed sales matched those in 2016, recovering after September showed a 30 percent drop compared to the prior year.

Inventory also declined in October, down 8 percent compared to the same time last year.

NABOR president Dominic Pallini attributes the inventory drop in part to the high demand for construction and trades work which can delay listings of home which need repairs and expects the trend of continue.

“Tradesmen and construction supplies are in high demand right now,” Pallini said. “Reports of roofing companies and carpenters being booked several months out with hurricane repair jobs puts things in perspective when you look at our inventory. Homebuyers want move-in ready homes, and these delayed listings of homes needing repairs will create a higher demand for inventory moving into season.”

The situation is similar in Lee County, where active inventory dropped by 4.3 percent at the end of October according to data from the Bonita Springs-Estero Association of Realtors. The drop was especially visible in south Lee County, including Bonita Springs(down 13 percent) and San Carlos Park(11.5 percent).

In October, analysts at a NABOR conference predicted that an effective dead month of September would see demand pick up in the following months. Premier Sotheby’s International Realty president Budge Huskey estimated that Irma cost the Naples area alone approximately 400 home sales.

Pending sales are down 11 percent, which are also being attributed by analysts to the backlog of repaired homes.

“October could have been better, but it did pretty well given the fact that we had no historic perspective of how the market would behave after a hurricane,” said Bill Coffey, Broker Manager of Amerivest Realty Naples. “The drop in pending sales is most likely because many homes damaged by the hurricane are in need of repair before they can go back on the market.”

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