Posted by: swfloridarealestate | October 17, 2008

Denny Grimes: September pending sales set record – a light at end of tunnel

An age-old philosophical question asks, “If a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?” A more recent philosophical question might be, “If there is good news in the real estate market, and everyone is focused on the Wall Street carnage, is it still good news?”

It would take an entire forest of fallen trees to produce the paper necessary to print all the negative happenings that our residential real estate market has seen over the past couple of years. In spite of the negatives, Lee County’s existing home market has steadily improved each quarter this year, and the third quarter is no exception.

Our third-quarter pending sales were 41 percent higher than they were in 2006 and 140 percent higher than last year. I should point out that pending home sales are not closed sales, but using a normal attrition rate, our market is consistently gaining momentum. If this year finishes as projected, it will become the third best year on record for the number of homes sold. That’s worth shouting about, even if no one is listening.

A stellar third quarter is good news, but the most amazing statistic is how strong last month was. Historically, September is the slowest month of the year. In fact you can always count on two things during this month. The first is a decrease in sales and sales traffic, and the second is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blowing their chance at a 16-0 season.

The Bucs lost their first game, so they didn’t break tradition, but the sales numbers did. Last month’s pending sales were almost 200 percent above 2007 and 13 percent above the record setting year of 2005. After accounting for the pending sales that will fail to close, it’s still safe to say that last month’s sales were equal to those of 2005. Continued….

By Denny Grimes

Please go to to see the entire article.


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