Naples buyers are moving into the higher priced real estate categories.

Our Downing-Frye broker, Mike Hughes, has released the most recent newsletter and has an optimistic outlook for the real estate market moving forward. He refers to a report that shows inventory has declined 14 percent which is a really positive indicator.

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

January 2010 – Buyers are purchasing higher priced property in the Naples area as consumer confidence continues, according to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island).

Overall pending sales for properties in the $300,000 to $500,000 category increased 230 percent with 155 contracts in November 2009 compared to 47 contracts in November 2008. A pending sales increase in the $300,000 to $500,000 price segment was seen in both the single-family home market, which was up 200 percent, and the condo market, where pending sales increased 282 percent in November 2009 compared to November 2008.

The report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following analysis:

Overall pending sales increased 118 percent with 880 contracts in November 2009 compared to 403 contracts in November 2008. Overall pending sales under $300,000 increased 108 percent with 593 contracts in November 2009 compared to 285 contracts in November 2008.

Single-family home pending sales increased 83 percent with 449 contracts in November 2009 compared to 245 contracts in November 2008.

Overall closed condo sales increased 136 percent with 248 sales in November 2009 compared to 105 in November 2008.

The overall median closed price decreased 11 percent to $173,000 in November 2009 from $195,000 in November 2008.

For the 12 months ending November 2009, the overall median closed price decreased 37 percent to $179,000 from $285,000 for the 12 months ending November 2008. Excluding the $300,000 and under segment, comprising a majority of foreclosure-related property sales, the overall median price for the market dropped by only 7 percent in a comparison of the 12 months ending November 2008 and the 12 months ending November 2009.

The median refers to the middle value in a set of statistical values that are arranged in ascending or descending order, in this case prices at which homes were actually sold.

The available inventory decreased 14 percent to 9,469 in November 2009 compared to 11,116 in November 2008.

“As season approaches, December marks the time of year that most sellers list their property. However, we are not seeing a large increase in the available inventory due to yearend sales remaining strong,” stated Mike Hughes, Vice-President of Downing-Frye Realty.

As the market continues to trend upward, buyer’s renewed confidence aids in the overall development of the area.

Source: Naples Area Board of REALTORS©

The market is looking much more favorable for 2010. If you have any questions or simply need some information on the Naples real estate market, please give me a call at Ruth Bethem, Broker-Associate, Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., Naples, Florida. My toll-free number is 877-777-7545 or you can reach me by email at ruth@ruthbethem.com.

Cal Chihuly exhibit comes to the Naples Museum of Art

The Naples Museum of Art has distributed a press release announcing a new exhibit by Dale Chihuly. The museum is located on Pelican Bay Blvd., west of US 41 in Pelican Bay.

In 2000, an unforgettable Dale Chihuly show christened the Naples Museum of Art as it first opened its doors. In 2010, a spectacular new show by the renowned artist will be part of the museum’s 10th-anniversary season. For four decades, Chihuly has produced a body of work unlike any other, helping to redefine the medium and revolutionize the American studio glass movement. Join us for this Chihuly exhibition and see the beautiful and unique new pieces he has chosen to share with us!

Additionally, there will be a special store within the exhibition where visitors can purchase books and Studio Edition glass and prints by Dale Chihuly.

Date: January 23 – April 25, 2010
Time: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sunday – Noon – 4 p.m.
Location: Naples Museum Of Art, 5833 Pelican Bay Boulevard
Cost:General Admission: $8 Adult $4 Student

From January 31-May 3, Admission $12 Adult, $6 Student

This is a beautiful body of work and well worth a visit to the museum.

The Museum is celebrating is 10th Anniversary.

Naples Winter Wine Festival 2010

It’s that time of year again for one of the top wine festivals in the world. The Naples Winter Wine Festival is ranked among the top 10 arts and entertainment events for wealthy Americans. The June 2006 ranking by the Luxury Institute is based on exclusivity, quality and prestige. The event brings many of the world’s finest vintners and chefs together with wine collectors and philanthropists for a three-day gala in picturesque Naples, Florida. The event raises millions of dollars for local children organizations.

Schedule:
Friday, January 29, 2010:
9 a.m. – 2 p.m: Meet the Kids Day Tour and Grant Luncheon
Departing from The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort
Experience firsthand how funds raised by the Naples Winter Wine Festival are expanding horizons for the children. You will have the opportunity to meet several children’s charities, tour an Naples Winter Wine Festival beneficiary center and interact with the children whose dreams are being realized through your generosity. Afterwards, enjoy a luncheon and wine tasting with acclaimed vintners.
Attire: Casual

Evening: Vintner Dinners – Private homes
Enjoy an intimate, exclusive private dining experience at one of 15 elegant homes in Naples. Each dinner is illuminated by the expertise of a renowned vintner and the culinary talents of one of the world’s greatest chefs. Each event will be a dream come true for all who attend. Dinner parties will be small affairs. Hosts will announce the attire for the evening.

Saturday, January 30, 2010:
11 a.m. – 5 p.m: 2010 Expanding Horizons Auction
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort
Join us under the tent where the sky’s the limit when the bidding begins at Naples’ world-class wine auction. Set on the Grand Lawn of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, lunch will showcase the culinary talents of The Ritz-Carlton’s chefs paired with the best wines from around the world. The most exception wines, dining experiences, custom travel packages and one-of-a-kind treasures will go to the highest bidders. Bid High! Bid Often! It’s All for the Kids!
Attire: Resort Casual

Wine Down – Carry on the day’s festive mood at the after-auction party. This fun, laid-back affair will be the perfect antidote to the gavel-to-gavel excitement. Unbelievable wines, casual food and live music will beckon guests to kick back, celebrate auction wins and enjoy friendships created during the weekend.
Attire: Casual

Sunday, January 31, 2010:
10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m: Celebration Brunch – The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort End this extraordinary weekend with a salute to Southern hospitality at the farewell celebration brunch. The fabulous brunch will be a fitting finale to the weekend celebration for guests, sponsors, vintners and chefs.
Attire: Casual

Date: January 29 – 31,2010

Location:
Naples Winter Wine Festival
6200 Shirley Street Suite 206
Naples, FL 34109

Collier County School Rezoning Maps Now Available Online

Maps showing the proposed areas needing to be rezoned because of the Class Size Reduction Amendment are now posted on the school district Web site (www.collierschools.com). The maps, which give parents a clear picture of which schools will need to be rezoned and the areas proposed to be rezoned, are easily accessible using the “Rezoning Info” link located on the right side of the home page. Hard copies of the maps will be available in all school offices on Monday, January 4, 2010.
The school rezoning is necessitated by the need for the State of Florida Class Size Reduction Amendment to be fully implemented by next school year. To meet the requirements, the School District of Collier County will need to add approximately 240 classes. Some schools have enough vacant classrooms but others do not. Therefore, the School Board decided on December 10th to rezone students from schools with insufficient space to schools with unused classroom space.

Parents with questions should call District Communication & Information Office at (239) 377-0180, or send an e-mail to info@collier.k12.fl.us.