Bonita Bay Real Estate News | February 2023

Bonita Bay Real Estate News | February 2023

As of  February 1, 2023, there are 43 active listings in our area multiple listing service (MLS) in Bonita Bay; 9 more than last month.
For comparison, last year on February 1, there were 20 listings in Bonita Bay.
There are 11 single-family homes on the market from $825,000 to $3,795,000. The average list price is $2,191,035 and the average days on the market is 70. The combined days on the market is 103.
There are 8 listings in the carriage, mid-rise, townhouse, and attached villa market with prices ranging from $469,900 to $849,888. The average list price is $621,599 and the average days on the market is 37. The combined days on the market is 37.
In the high-rise market, there are 24 active listings in Bonita Bay ranging in price from $1,399,000 to $5,750,000. The average list price is $2,680,658 and the average days on the market is 83. The combined days on the market is 91.
A reminder, you have access to the most comprehensive website devoted to Bonita Bay, I’ve included maps, floor plans, photos, and descriptions of each neighborhood within this desirable community.
Please contact me for all your real estate needs in Bonita Bay. With over 35 years of helping buyers and sellers in SWFL, my experience will be invaluable in this fast-moving, low-inventory market.

Your Bonita Bay REALTOR®,

Ed Gongola


If you are considering selling your Bonita Bay home, here are some statistics that may help you decide to place your home on the market:

  • Within the last 12 months, there were 70 sales with an average sales price of $649,682; these condos were on the market an average of 13 days; combined days on the market is 57.
  • During the 12 months previous, there were 93 sales with an average sales price of condominiums was $458,320; these homes were on the market for 29 days; combined days on the market is 84.
  • During the last 12 months, there were 63 sales with an average sales price of $2,426,841; these homes were on the market an average of 56; combined days on the market is 221.
  • During the 12 months previous, there were 101 sales with an average sales price of $1,572,006; these homes were on the market for an average of 95 days; combined days on the market is 153.
  • During the last 12 months, there were 39 sales with an average sales price of $2,260,660; these homes were on the market an average of 34 days; combined days on the market is 101.
  • During the 12 months previous, there were 88 sales with an average sales price of $1,764,817; these homes were on the market for an average of 53 days; combined days on the market is 131.
For a list of BONITA BAY homes sold in the last 12 months, click here.
For a list of BONITA BAY homes that are pending at the moment, click here.
Meet Ed Gongola and discover how he can help you with his concierge style of service when buying or selling your home.

February 2023 Market Update

“For the second year in a row, Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. reported a yearly closed sales volume exceeding two billion dollars,” said Mike Hughes, V. P. and Gen. Mgr. of Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. “The closed sales volume for 2022 of $2,077,188,068 was down from the 2021 closed sales volume of $2,400,839,269. The shortage of listings in the area coupled with the rising interest rates held down the closed transactional sides in 2022. In 2021, Downing-Frye had 3,750 closed transactional side for the year. In 2022, Downing-Frye agents had 2,436 closed transactional sides. The average closed sales price in 2022 was up significantly. The Downing-Frye average closed sales price for 2022 was $852,704. In 2021, the average Downing-Frye closed sales price was $640,224. This represented a 34% increase in the Downing-Frye average closed sales price for 2022! Downing-Frye agents are excited about 2023. We continue to raise the bar and set lofty goals. We want to make 2023 our best year ever. Bring it on!”
For 2023, the Bonita Springs and Estero local realtors seem to agree that the current market will hold steady for the upcoming year with a gradual increase in inventory and a relatively strong sellers market. In November 2022, the medium sales price was $515,000, a 15.3% increase compared to November 2021, and the time on market averaged 31 days instead of 17 days. Currently benefitting the buyer is the increase in inventory, which sat at 528 active listings in November – a 89.9% increase from November 2021. Although this increase may seem drastic, it’s still only a third or so of what was listed pre-pandemic and still remains at historically low levels. Notably, there were 10% more cash buyers in November 2022 than the previous year, with cash sales amounting to 71.1% of all November sales.
Housing inventory in Naples is on the rise but remains low at just 2.8 months of inventory reported in November (a balanced market has a six-month supply). Cash sales in November accounted for 62.3% of sales, indicating that Naples remains a solid investment. Overall inventory in November rose 96.8% to 2,478 properties from 1,259 properties in November 2021. Comparatively, in November 2019 there were 5,563 properties listed with half being single-family homes. Today, the inventory is 63% single-family homes. November’s overall median closed price increased 20.4% to $600,000 from $498,500 in November 2021. November’s report also showed sellers are more willing to negotiate again as the overall percent of list price received decreased 3.3% compared to last November.
The Marco Island Area Assoc. of Realtors® reported that in November 2022, 14 homes were sold for the median selling price of $1.9M (up 48% from November 2021) averaging 72 days on the market. The total inventory for November 2022 was 243 properties (up 5% from November 2021) with 41 total closed units for a total volume sold of $55M. Cash buyers accounted for 76% of sales.
Closed sales in November 2022 of single-family homes totaled 17,009, down 38.2% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 7,084, down 38.9%. In the wake of higher interest rates, the rate of price growth for Florida’s home sales continued to slow but remained above the long-term trend. In November, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $400,000, up 9.6% from the previous year; for condo-townhouse units, it was $307,000, up 12.3%. Statewide inventory was also higher for both existing single-family homes, up 105.2%, and for condo-townhouse units, up 47.4%. The supply of single-family existing homes increased to a 2.8-months’ supply while existing condo-townhouse properties were at a 2.7-months’ supply. 
Pending home sales decreased for the sixth consecutive month, down 4.0% from October. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “There are approximately two months of lag time between mortgage rates and home sales. With mortgage rates falling throughout December, home-buying activity should inevitably rebound in the coming months and help economic growth.” 
Sources: The Bonita Springs-Estero REALTORS®/SWFLMLS, Naples Area Board of REALTORS®, National Assoc. of REALTORS®, Florida REALTORS® and Marco Island Area Assoc. of REALTORS®

Are Floridians More Optimistic than Rest of U.S.?

By Kerry Smith
While Americans’ attitudes declined a bit in Jan., a monthly UF study of Floridians found a 1.4-point increase overall with an uptick in expectations for the future.
In January, consumer sentiment among Floridians increased 1.4 points to 65.4 from December’s revised figure of 64. At a national level, sentiment increased over five points. Yesterday, the Conference Board noted a slight dip in overall Americans’ optimism.
“The increase in consumer sentiment in January stems from improvements in Floridians’ expectations about the future, particularly their expectations of a year from now,” says Hector Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
Sandoval calls those views “consistent with a falling inflation outlook. After peaking at 9.1% in June, inflation has steadily declined to 6.5% in December. It is expected that price pressures will continue to ease over the next few months, preventing households from experiencing further hardships.
Among the five components that make up the index, four increased and one decreased.
Current conditions: Floridians’ opinions about current economic conditions in January were mixed. Views of personal financial situations now compared with a year ago increased 1.1 point from 54.6 to 55.7. On the other hand, opinions as to whether it’s a good time to buy a major household item like an appliance decreased three-tenths of a point from 55.2 to 54.9.
Future conditions: Outlooks about expected future economic conditions were positive.
Prospects for individual’s personal finances a year from now increased 3.3 points from 76.5 to 79.8. Similarly, expectations about U.S. economic conditions over the next year increased 1.6 points from 62.9 to 64.5.
This long-range optimism even extended five years into the future. Views of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years increased 1.1 points from 70.9 to 72.
Meanwhile, the Florida labor market continued to strengthen in December, with more jobs being added. According to the latest Florida jobs report, the unemployment rate ticked down by 0.1 percentage point in December, reaching 2.5% – only one-tenth of a percentage point above the lowest rate on record.
In line with this, the number of Florida workers seeking unemployment benefits is hovering around pre-pandemic levels, indicating a tightening labor market.
“Prices have been declining over the second half of 2022 as the Fed swiftly increased interest rates,” says Sandoval. “Despite this, the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.9% in the last quarter of 2022.”
Inflation, however, remains well above the Federal Reserve target of 2%.” While the Fed will likely raise rates this week, it’s not expected to be a large increase similar to last year.
Still, “continued increases in interest rates will ultimately slow down the economy and trigger a recession,” adds Sandoval.
Sandoval remains positive, though, “Looking ahead, with the assumption the labor market remains robust, we expect consumer sentiment to improve slowly as inflation pressures continue to ease.”
The index used by UF researchers is benchmarked to 1966, which means a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year. The lowest index possible is a 2, the highest is 150.
© 2023 Florida Realtors®

Naples Housing Market

In the first year after a two-year interruption in normal activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Naples real estate market is stable in terms of value, but there are not as many homes to choose from, and prices have elevated. As pandemic restrictions loosened in 2022, sellers and buyers pivoted their attention from the housing market to the travel market. As a result, and according to the December 2022 and 2022 Annual Market Report by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), overall closed sales in 2022 decreased 34.8 percent to 10,156 properties from 15,570 properties in 2021. And while inventory is beginning to rebound, increasing 106.3 percent to 2,465 properties in December 2022 from 1,195 properties in December 2021, broker analysts reviewing the report are uncertain where and when an influx of inventory will arrive to meet our pre-pandemic levels.
The report showed only 105 homes for sale below $300,000 in December compared to 1,816 in December 2019. Reviewing the report, Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., remarked that “aside from the below $300,000 price category, inventory nearly doubled in every other price category by the end of 2022 compared to 2021.”
Demand for the Naples lifestyle remained constant in 2022, and low inventory pressed median closed prices upward. The overall median closed price in December 2022 increased 13.9 percent to $575,000 from $505,000 in December 2021. Looking back at December 2019, the median closed price was $344,255; and inventory was double what it is today.
“We can expect values to stabilize despite our tight market,” said Cindy Carroll, SRA, of Carroll & Carroll Appraisers & Consultants, LLC. Carroll believes the challenge moving forward will be convincing sellers and buyers that factors in place during the pandemic, when prices soared due to elevated demand, are completely different than they are today. “It’s going to take a while for us to readjust to our new market conditions.”
Economic factors affecting our market include a possible recession, and rising mortgage rates, which are still over six percent, on average. “Many people who bought a home in the past ten years enjoyed a very low fixed rate,” said Jillian Young, President, Premiere Plus Realty. Carroll added that, “when you factor in rising rates, insurance, assessments, and taxes, the cost of buying a home today in Naples is a lifestyle that many people can’t afford.”
These same factors are affecting new listing inventory as well. Demand for homes in 2022 kept REALTORS® busy looking for new listings, which dropped 8.4 percent to 13,577 compared to 14,819 in 2021. Many homeowners, especially those who purchased homes below $300,000 or at low interest rates, are now unable to afford a change in local address due to the increase in mortgage rates.
Then, in the wake of Hurricane Ian, the Naples real estate market pivoted again in the fourth quarter of 2022. Homes that suffered damage fell into two categories depending on their age and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 50 percent rule. (The FEMA 50 percent rule, as part of the National Flood Insurance Program, mandates that if a home incurs substantial damage — determined when repair costs total or exceed 50 percent of the property’s market value — it must be brought up to current building codes and floodplain regulations.) “Older homes in affected areas like the Moorings, Park Shore and Naples Park are facing this situation now, which might produce some new inventory, as the owners may not want to bear the cost of renovation,” said Adam Vellano, a Naples Sales Manager at Compass Florida.
The NABOR® December 2022 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. NABOR® sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings for 2022: 
View the December 2022 Market Statistics
If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Naples, contact a Naples REALTOR® who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison or negotiate a sale. A REALTOR® can ensure your next purchase or sale in the Naples area is a success. Search for your dream home and find a Naples REALTOR® on The Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) is an established organization (Chartered in 1949) whose members have a positive and progressive impact on the Naples Community. NABOR® is a local board of REALTORS® and real estate professionals with a legacy of nearly 60 years serving 6,000 plus members. NABOR® is a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of REALTORS®, which is the largest association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local board of REALTORS® nationwide. NABOR® is structured to provide programs and services to its membership through various committees and the NABOR® Board of Directors, all of whose members are non-paid volunteers.  The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and who subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

The Rent Problem: Where Fla. Stands Now

TaxWatch: Fla. is almost a victim of its own success. New renters poured into the state, notably during the pandemic, but found too few homes to accommodate them.

Florida aims to be the best state in the nation to live, work, and play, and its tremendous growth suggests such efforts have not been in vain. Florida welcomes about 808 new residents per day, and for the first time since 1957, the state has the fastest-growing population within the United States. While tough to manage at times, a growing population is good for the state, fueling Florida’s economy with new talents and dollars. But as the state continues to attract new residents, the state must ensure that the development of housing keeps pace.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida experienced a housing boom. As discussed in the October 2021 Florida TaxWatch commentary “Beyond the Pandemic: Long-term Changes and Challenges for Housing in Florida,” a collision of demographic trends, government policies, and basic supply and demand resulted in soaring house prices. By November 2022, the median price of single-family homes in Florida was nearly 10% higher than the year before.
The high prices of houses make homeownership seem out of reach to would-be homebuyers, which can lead to these households choosing to be renters. This places an extra strain upon the rental market, causing price spikes. The increase of rental prices burdens the budgets of Floridians – whose budgets are already burdened by inflated prices on goods – and results in long-lasting implications for Florida’s workforce.
Nationwide, the prices of rent have drastically grown since the days before the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida incurred a 36% increase in rental prices from the first month of 2020 to the last month of 2022. Florida’s rental prices grew especially fast in 2021. At the start of the year, the median price of rent was $1,266. By the year’s end, renters were paying $1,635, a 29% increase.
The speed of growth slowed after 2021, and prices even experienced decreases during the last four months of 2022. Although slight declines in rental prices are common during the end of the year, the national rate of decline coupled with increased vacancy rates may be promising.
Preliminary forecasts suggest that relaxing rental demand and increased supply should continue easing price growth in coming months; however, since the price is not expected to decline, renters will continue to grapple with the legacy of the 2021 price hike. Rent in metropolitan areas like Miami, Tampa and Fort Myers has drastically increased since 2020.
Metropolitan areas are popular for renters looking for job opportunities, and amid the rise of remote work, many of these cities have also become popular with employed persons looking for an enjoyable place to live. Households in Miami pay a median of $1,634 for a one-bedroom apartment and a median of $2,079 for a two-bedroom apartment, both of which cost about 36% more than the median prices of January 2020.
Rental prices have grown so much that they surpassed the prices predicted by historical trends. According to the Waller, Weeks and Johnson Rental Index, a rental market is considered “overvalued” when it exceeds projections. Of the 25 most overvalued rental markets nationwide, with costs ranging from 7.06% to 18.05% higher than predictions, Florida is home to nine: Cape Coral (ranked #1), Miami (#2), North Port (#3), Tampa (#7), Orlando (#12), Deltona (#14), Palm Bay (#16), Jacksonville (#18), and Lakeland (#21).
High rent is a risk to Florida’s workforce. While Florida’s highest earners may be able to afford committing greater funds to their housing needs, Floridians with a smaller net income may be required to compromise other needs, such as health care or insurance, to make ends meet. Some may choose to live farther from their workplace to seek affordable housing, committing to longer commute times and greater gas prices. Others may leave local communities, or even the state altogether, taking their potential earnings and talents elsewhere.
Losing residents to other states could limit the strength of Florida’s economy. Currently, the labor market is competitive, characterized by record high quit rates and changing workplace values (i.e., remote work). If Floridians leave their jobs and move to other states, it will further restrain an already tight talent pool.
Although other states are enduring high rental growth as well, there are enticing options that could draw away Floridians. Median rent in nearby Georgia ($1,390 per month) is about $300 less than Florida’s median rent ($1,698). In Texas – a state whose size, economy, and policies are similar to Florida – median rent is $400 less ($1,298).
To attract and retain the talent Florida’s economy depends upon, Florida needs sufficient housing options.
Rent is often considered affordable when it costs 30% or less of a household’s income. If gross rent costs more than 30% of a household’s income, the household is considered cost burdened, and if the household pays more than 50% of their income for rent, it is considered severely cost burdened. Lower earning Floridians are especially susceptible to becoming cost burdened. Average median income (AMI) for Florida households is about $61,777.13 Most households earning the AMI or less are cost burdened, paying 40% or more of their household income on rent.
The varied use of housing units is heavily intertwined with Florida’s success. Both as homes to the workforce and as passive sources of income, such as vacation homes or rentals, the state’s economy depends upon a reliable housing supply. With the prevalence of remote work, the state will also need enough housing units to welcome new residents who choose to bring their earnings from across the nation into Florida.
Entering the 2023 session, the Florida Legislature will tackle the challenge of determining how to best assist home and rental seekers, whether with support for making attainable housing affordable or accelerating and incentivizing construction to ensure the state can continue accommodating for the growing demand upon its housing units.
Florida TaxWatch is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute & government watchdog. Florida TaxWatch works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on residents and businesses.
© Copyright 2023 Citrus County Chronicle, Landmark Community Newspapers LLC (LCNI). All rights reserved.


Why Chose Me as Your REALTOR®?

To learn more about me and my real estate business and Bonita Bay real estate specifically, I encourage you read the About Ed  section as well as the Testimonial section of the site. Over the years, my clients have expressed their satisfaction in my services and I’ve showcased their kind words so you can determine if I am the right REALTOR® to represent you.

 If you are curious as to my sales success, visit my Sold Homes page. This gives a clear picture of exactly what I’ve accomplished and, more importantly, what I can accomplish for you.

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