SARAH ASHTON: The Big Slowdown

provided by Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Ashton Kirchner Group, Keller Williams Realty

The Real Estate activity for the first quarter of 2023 was a surprise to many of us. After Hurricane Ian went through, it was unclear what the appetite for properties on Sanibel Island was going to be. It certainly felt very active and the numbers have proven to support that feeling.

Taking a look back over the past 4 years we can see what has actually happened and what the start of the second quarter may bring.

Mid-March 2020 marked the start of the pandemic shutdown. The lower number of closed sales was mainly due to the uncertainty in the overall global environment. In 2021 we saw a surge in the demand for properties on Sanibel resulting in the lowest inventory of houses and condos we have ever seen. By the beginning of 2022 there was a low of only 26 single family homes and 12 condos for sale. This low inventory resulted in a lower overall number of closed sales although demand was still high.

Then came September 2023 and Hurricane Ian. We saw an increase in the number of single family homes sales grow to close to our 2021 level. While there was work to be done, and the timeframe for the work somewhat uncertain, the demand for houses was there The condo sales were down, primarily due to the complexities and confusion associated with the recovery of condo properties – the buyers are too uncertain of the path forward.

Looking forward to the second quarter, the number of houses and condos under contract is down. Additionally, the number of requests for showings of listed properties has dropped significantly. This would indicate that our number of closed transactions in 2023 will be reduced from previous years. Only time will tell, but we may be in for a slowdown in the upcoming months.


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