When the entire economy essentially shut down around mid-March 2020, it appeared to be absolute destruction for the real estate industry. However, designation as an “essential industry” quickly changed that. Then, over time, “working remotely” kicked into gear and employees in a multitude of industries realized that they could satisfy their job requirements and responsibilities from more satisfying locales. Additionally, concerns about personal and family safety in high-population areas; unacceptable local and state taxes; disagreement with the decisions and direction of local politicians; and, universal dislike of cold weather, prompted millions of folks to pull up stakes and head to more acceptable areas. Florida, more than ever, became a prime target of these migrants.
At the same time, people were finding out that golf was one of the few sports that could be played safely during the pandemic, and it went through a massive rejuvenation. People coming from northern and midwestern states sought out residency in golf communities more than ever…and nowhere in Florida could they satisfy their golf “appetite” more than in Southwest Florida, the home of over a hundred golf communities and over 150 golf courses.
Southwest Florida golf community real estate sales skyrocketed…2020 sales, beginning in May—when people started traveling—were phenomenal. 2021 real estate sales in these golf communities accelerated to record-setting levels. Buyers were happy, sellers were excited, and real estate brokers and agents were experiencing sales volume that hadn’t been seen since the doomed “funny money” years of 2004-2006. And, the really good news was that this sales boom was on a significantly more sound financial basis than that previous period.
Then the unexpected happened. Because of the continuing sales explosion, and because fewer homes than normal went onto the market in late-2020/early-2021 due to decreased number of owners (especially from Canada) coming to Southwest Florida due to Covid concerns and restrictions, inventory dried up. Large golf communities of 3000-6000 condos and houses that normally had hundreds of homes for sale at any point-in-time, dried up to 10-20 active daily listings, offering inadequate selection. Popular medium-sized golf communities of 800-1500 homes quite often had zero homes available for sale. Ironically, the tragic pandemic had exacerbated Southwest Florida real estate sales to record levels, but the over-whelming sales results had, in turn, left us with minimal inventory to sell.
Buyer demand is continuing to be extremely strong, but buyers are now operating in a “seller’s market” and prices are going up at an unrealistic pace. New listings are tied up with a full schedule of showings their first few days on the market (if they last that long), getting multiple offers, and selling for generous premiums over asking price.
Here are some suggestions that might help you win the bidding war on your “dream” golf home…
Because of wariness about the current market, many prospective buyers are considering rental instead. However, available supply for rentals is also extremely limited…and expensive. Buying is still probably your best option…you just need to be alert, 100% committed, and willing to respond quickly per my above suggestions.