The first-quarter Metrostudy data for the Cape Coral-Fort Myers housing market shows strength in new-home sales. Existing home sales in the market fell slightly year-over-year from 6,891 to 6,747, but quarter-over-quarter increased from 6,187 in 4Q13. The market peak for existing home sales was the second-quarter with 8,444 existing home sales, 22.5 percent higher than any other quarter of last year. New-home sales were up year-over-year in the first-quarter with 518 closings from 387 in 1Q13, a 33.9 percent increase. Quarter-over-quarter new-home sales decreased from 652 to 518.

Home prices in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers market have maintained affordability for existing homes and have been relatively consistent compared to other markets in Florida experiencing dramatic price appreciation. Median closing price for existing homes has held below $150,000 over the last five quarters, with a median $145,300 in the first-quarter of 2014. This is a year-over-year increase of 18.1 percent from $133,500 in 1Q13. Median price for new homes, while creeping up on the 300k mark, had a median closing price of $283,800 in the first-quarter. This is up only $300 quarter-over-quarter. Year-over-year, new homes increased from $256,100 in 3Q13, a 10.8 percent increase. In the first-quarter the median price per square foot hit $104 for existing homes, the first time in the last year, and $153 for new homes.

Future inventory in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers market went up to 58,585 at the end of the first-quarter. Vacant Developed Lot inventory (VDL) also increased both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to 7,949. Quarterly housing starts for both attached and detached hit 584 in the first-quarter, up from 504 in 4Q13 but down slightly from 660 starts in 1Q13. Annual starts, however, went up in the first-quarter to the highest in the last year at 2,334. Months supply of both Vacant Developed Lots and housing were down in the first-quarter, marking an increase in demand. VDL supply finished the quarter at 40.9 months, down from 1Q13 at 47.9 and 7.1 months for overall housing down year-over-year from 9.2

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Cape Coral, FL.