November 2022 Market Report – October 2022 Data for Palm Beach County – By Amy Snook

It was a bit shocking to see the change in numbers this month related to inventory and balance of market – we have “felt” the change in the market but still surprised to see the uptick on the higher end market tipping the scales at the million dollar price point and beyond to the verge of a buyer’s market.

 

It is official, at the higher end market we are back to prepandemic seasonality, time to contract/closing and the skills needed to sell a home (now you have to actually have them😊).   While we are still above pre-pandemic price points, as to be expected, we are leveling off.  The demand in Florida is still stronger than most of the country – we attract the 2nd home, vacation home, rental market and those from up north that simply want our weather and lifestyle.  However, there are changes ……

 

Cash sales are down significantly, inventory is up across the board and new listings on market have slowed.  The mortgage rates and stock market portfolio losses are impacting all markets and Palm Beach county is not immune to these changes.  Don’t get us wrong, homes are still selling – we are in fact busy realtors – but the homes are taking longer to sell, our costs to market homes has increased significantly and our time for showings (yes, we personally show our listings) and open houses take more manpower.  Of course, we’re not complaining as this is what differentiates great agents from the pack. We’re sharing because it is a distinction from what has occurred over the past several years.

 

People often ask us whether this is a good time to sell and/or to buy.  The answer is yes; however, the strategy and the numbers change.  Specifically, some buyer’s obtaining a mortgage may have to reduce their price point to keep their monthly costs the same. And, what goes into selling your home, from staging to repairs should be considered more so then before.  Regardless, there is additional inventory now for buyers to choose from and sellers, there are buyers still wanting to buy.  Get ready to work with your Realtor (Amy and Noreen Team preferably) to ensure your home stands out from the rest.

 

For those of you who follow our monthly market report and follow the numbers indicating the market strength and leverage, they are as follows:

 

As you recall, balanced market is 6 to 9 months of inventory – meaning if nothing else came on the market how many months would it take to “consume” all of the inventory.  Over 9 months buyer’s market..

 

400,000 – to 599,999 – 4 months of inventory –

599 – 999,999 – 6 months of inventory – recently reached a balanced market and sellers have lost their advantage

1,000,000+ price point 9 months (yes I said it 9 months) – first time in 2022 that we have reached 9 months of inventory – there are now many options for buyers to select from, hence the price reductions we’re seeing on market

 

Understanding the market helps agents and consumers alike make educated decisions – this is why we spend time every month sharing our research and what it means to you.

 

If you have questions or would like to discuss the results any further, please do not hesitate to reach to us at 561.571.2289.

 

Amy

 

 

September 2022 Market Report for Palm Beach County – By Amy Snook

There are many variables that make September results interesting! The final results and evaluation of the next few months are going to be critical to really ascertain and give guidance on our Palm Beach County market.

 

First, the week leading up to now, Ian, as you can imagine, caused a pause in most of Florida’s market – the path of the Hurricane was unclear and therefore most sellers and buyers chose to wait before taking any action on their real estate decisions.  Further, for any buyer under contract to close on a home in September, if they had not yet bound their new insurance policy, insurance agents were unable to complete the process therefore causing closings to be delayed. The above skewed, of course, new listings coming on market, buyers going under contract and closings for the month of September.

 

Another variable, though may also be the trend for our future, is that we are back to season in our market.   Historically and prior to our pandemic years, we saw a drop off in summer months and the market did not typically pick back up until we approached our season – October, November timeframe. For the past 3 years or so, we were strong 12 months of the year with many people desperately wanting to relocate or purchase a second home in south Florida.  The lifestyle we offer in Palm Beach County fueled the real estate market.  With September’s results showing a decrease in almost all categories across the board, we need to wonder if we are back to “seasons” of real estate in Florida or were we simply impacted by the Hurricane.

 

Yet another aspect is mortgage rates. Cash sales were down again this month which means more people are financing the homes they are buying.  With interest rates higher than we have seen in many, many years and the threat of continued increases in those rates, we know that people are looking at lower price points than they did one year ago, and others are simply not able to purchase or purchase what they want and are holding off for now.

 

All three (3) of the above variables impacted our September results, we will be closely monitoring the next few months to really ascertain whether we are back to prepandemic market seasons and how much the interest rate will impact our unique market.

 

With all of that said, Noreen and I had a very busy September with both listings and buyers going under contract. I share that because I do think it is worth mentioning – when homes are priced properly, and buyer expectations are also set upfront – homes move.     People still want to sell and people still want to buy but realistic expectations are critical and the market is clearly indicating this fact.

 

In EVERY price point which we evaluated, months of inventory crept up by at least one month – $600- $900 and then $1,000,000 and up – is officially in a balanced market – for $1,000,000 we are actually approaching (on the cusp) a buyer’s market – but from a recommendation perspective of our team – we caution anyone to get too confident and treat the $1,000,000 and up price point as a balanced market.  Too many factors impacted September results to change strategy at this point; however, we currently have the most inventory at every price point over any month in 2022.

 

I hesitate to share specific numbers as almost ¼ of our month was impacted by the Hurricane (Ian) and we don’t feel that these numbers are truly an indication of where our Palm Beach market truly stands – cash sales down, median and average price points down, new listings and new pending are down as well and inventory was up almost 68% from this time last year.

 

All of the above said, we are extremely confident that our market is still very, very attractive and is a highly sought-after place to live, work and play.  While this month we experienced a shift, we believe it was a temporary shift (as to the degree of which we shifted).   We will not continue, at this time, to see unsustainable growth in price points but we will see properties moving at price points higher than the pre-pandemic times.

 

Our greatest advice in this market, choose your real estate partner wisely😊

 

Amy

August 2022 Market Report for Palm Beach County – By Amy Snook

Palm Beach County – Due to our area being a popular destination location for vacation, seasonal rentals, 2ndhomes and relocations, PBC reports a different real estate story than much of the country.  I was recently interviewed by a reporter with the Sun Sentinel and while answering her questions regarding our current real estate market, I thought, maybe, I was off base as to the strength of our market; however, when the article came out, it was reaffirming that all the agents interviewed shared the same sentiments.

In analyzing the market, we review countless numbers and timeframes and compare the statistics to the same time last year (year over year) as well as month over month trends. To clarify, year over year, the seasonality aspect of our area greatly impacts the real estate market in Palm Beach County.

As we assess the August results for Palm Beach County..

Year over Year –

No surprise to any of us that the median and average prices are higher than they were in August 2021 – but, even with the higher price points, the total volume of closed sales for August 2022 is lower than August 2021. The fact is, we’ve had fewer closed sales this year than this time last year and the percentage of cash on these sales is down as well. At first glance, you’d expect to see cash sales increasing due to the rapid rise in interest rates; however, with prices still significantly higher than last year, investors seem to be holding and waiting for the market to cool.  New pending sales and pending inventory are down from the same time last year – the net is that properties are not moving as fast as they were, in fact, inventory is up by 63% year over year.  More inventory is coming to market which is adding to the current active listings creating more options in the market at all price points.

Month over Month –

August 2022 versus the past 4 months in Palm Beach county tells a very important tale – our market is leveling off price wise but at a much slower pace than the reports out from the rest of the country.  Both median and average sales price are trending down when compared to the few months prior – we are now coming into season so it will be interesting to watch if this influx of people from out of our area impacts the pace in which our market is leveling.  One of the lagging indicators of our market is median percent of original list price – Are Sellers considering less than list price?  The answer is yes, they are – we have held strong in our area on this indicator but July and August results show that sellers are realizing that in order to sell their home they may have to come off their price for the first time in a while.   New listings onto market have slowed this month versus last month which was different than what we expected.   We have been busy bringing new listings onto market over the past several months and are surprised to see the numbers down in Palm Beach County – however, we realize that this is not across the board but rather an indication of the hot destination area in which our team works.

The results of the numbers show that the $300K to $999,999K price points remain a Seller’s market – however, a different seller’s market than over the past few years.     Homes are taking longer to go under contract, longer to close (which is no surprise with fewer cash sales), homes are selling for less than list price and inventory is up significantly at these price points.  Over $1,000,000M – we went from 5 months of inventory in July to 7 months of inventory in August – fewer new listings and fewer closed but more inventory?     Yes, exactly what we have been saying for months – Sellers (and Realtors for that matter) need to adjust price at this higher end market. It is the not the same market that it was just a year ago – there is much more supply than there was, more options for buyers to choose from and now sellers are willing to negotiate and take less than their list price.

We are simply back to basics when selling homes in Palm Beach County’s high-end market. All that goes into preparing to sell your home really, really matters – taking time to get all of the information needed to properly market and sell a home is key.  No more racing to market – do it right. Slow down, understand the attributes of the home, determine how to handle any potential deficiencies in a home – have a strategy or even fix it before going on market. While we have always shown our listings personally, we saw over the past few years more Supras (lockbox’s) than ever before. A home will not sell itself anymore for the highest and best price without an agent there to tell the story and properly sell and market the property.   For the Amy and Noreen Team – we sigh a big sigh of relief – this is where we shine.

The good news for Palm Beach County- demand is still high and supply relatively low.    Partner with the right Realtor (or in our case Real Estate Team), understand the market conditions and the reality of our current market.  Homes will sell when marketed and priced properly.

July 2022 Market Report for Palm Beach County – By Amy Snook

Based on June numbers, our Palm Beach County July market report is proving to be very interesting. If you watch, the media is touting doom and gloom for real estate around the country – and while things have definitely slowed from the frenetic pace that we’ve experienced over the past few years, the Palm Beach real estate market is far from doom and gloom. In fact, as we’ve stated in our past reports these last few months, when marketing properly and priced appropriately, homes are selling…period!

HOWEVER, our reality is that the market that “was” is not the same now. That market was unsustainable, and we all needed it to soften a bit. Inventory was lacking at all price levels but we now have more inventory! Demand is still high and with inventory increasing, Buyers have more choices. Now more than ever, when Buyers have options, Sellers need to pay more attention to how their home looks, how it is priced, and how it is marketed. If you have been reading our reports you know that one of the leading indicators of the market is inventory – if nothing new came to market – how many months would it take to “consume” all that is available – you also learned that a balanced market is 5-7 months of inventory; below 5 is a seller’s market and above 7 is a buyer’s market. While under $999,000 is still a Seller’s market – our months of 1 or 2 months of inventory has now reached 3 and 4 months of inventory – inching towards a balanced market. Over $1,000,000 – is sticking at 5 months – low end of balanced but nevertheless balanced.

So, what makes this interesting? Well, as expected, the higher interest rates have cooled the market (at varying price points), certainly hasn’t stopped the market but rather slowed it down. For the first time within the past year, June results show that year over year results have declined. As it relates to closings, last June happened to be higher than normal but we cannot ignore the fact that the astronomical increases have ceased. Closed sale numbers are similar to pre-pandemic numbers; however, prices are up substantially.

In Palm Beach County, prices remain strong but the price points are responding to the increase in inventory. There are simply more options for people. Driving around we see more signs – we see more price reductions – we have more competition.

 So, Buyers, this is the first month in sometime that we are reporting good news – there are more properties!

Sellers, it continues to be very good news for you as well. Buyers are still relocating to our area! Price properly, ensure marketing is firing on all cylinders and ensure you partner with a Realtor or Team who knows how to get you to the closing table. Given that there is more inventory, buyers may exercise their right to cancel under inspection. Experience and Finesse is needed to keep deals together .

Looking for the right partners? The Amy and Noreen Team of Lang Realty are ready to spend time with you, educating you on the market and rolling up our sleeves to continue doing what we do best!

June 2022 Market Report for Palm Beach County – By Amy Snook

The results are in from May’s Florida real estate market and as predicted in our last few updates we are at a balanced marketnow for $1,000,000 and higher in Palm Beach County.  We have watched it tick up slightly each month and with the influx of inventory we are officially there.   That is a good thing for all of us.  However, in Palm Beach County – all price points are not a balanced market – $600,000 and below is still very much a strong seller’s market.     As we have shared many times – the average across Florida (and across the country for that matter) is not representative of Palm Beach County – to a degree, we are protected with many people still wanting to come to our area and enjoy the benefits of living in South Florida.

 

All of that said, there are some stark realities that we need to accept – current events in our world is impacting the real estate market as a whole.   We are seeing what we would call a “pause” people evaluating their next steps – leveraging more of their wealth in real estate and less in the stock market; will home prices hold their value?  This analysis in conjunction with an increase in interest rates and more inventory coming on, in all segments; we are now back to pre-pandemic marketing strategy of selling homes – for those of us agents who know how to really sell a home versus simply putting it in the MLS – this brings a big sigh of relief.    We can move back to quality and our clients can trust that they are working with experienced professionals.

 

Showings with agents “selling” the attributes of a home, staging a home, curb appeal, spending money to really market a home – print media, social media, videos, photography, drones, 3d tours, advertising – it is all coming back for our luxury market.   While we know many potential sellers reading this report are thinking “how is this good for us selling our home” (versus flying off the shelf that we have seen for the past several years) – please know that, simply put, if our market continued to increase at the rate it has – it is not, in our humble opinion, sustainable.   At the same rate – we are still experiencing the effects of supply and demand; supply continues to be lower than pre pandemic. Our area is highly desirable and homes will continue to sell.

 

Who you partner with to Sell your home or Buy a home – really makes a difference now more than ever.

 

If you want to learn more about the market or how we can help you with your own real estate needs, please contact us at 561-571-2289

April 2022 Market Report for Palm Beach County – Presented by Amy Snook

Palm Beach County April 2022 real estate market report highlighting the changes that are being seen due to rising interest rates, leveling off of pricing, but does include lots of good news for sellers and buyers alike.

No one has a crystal ball as to what the future will hold for Palm Beach County real estate but while you can feel a shift in the frenetic energy that consumed our market for the past several years, there is no denying that demand is still strong for our market.

So what does that mean for us Palm Beach County Residents?  Lets look at the April report showing March 2022 final numbers.

First, similar to last months’ report, under $999,999 is still a strong seller’s market showing 2 months of inventory – versus a balanced market which is typically 5 to 7 months of inventory. Over one million is holding steady for several months now at 5 months of inventory – just on the cusp of a more balanced market. These results of course take into account closed sales which were under contract earlier in the year and so the next few months will be important as we continue to analyze the market.

Now, what’s different this month than the past few months of our market report?   Several factors, closed sales and pending sales are both down from the same time last year- this is no surprise when you look at the fact that the sense of urgency to relocate to south Florida has waned slightly and mortgage interest rates are up.  Interestingly while total volume of closed sales is up due to the higher price per sale, in Palm Beach County our median sales price is up 23% while our average sales price is down 7.1% – as we have shared in the past the differential between median and average is great in our Palm Beach market due to the sheer number of higher end homes we have in our county versus other counties.

Also watching our multiple listing service we are starting to see price reductions more frequently than we have over the past few years when listings came and went under contract before you could even say the word “listing”.   Now personally, I don’t necessarily feel this is 100% indicative of a slowing market but rather shows that the listing prices of many new homes going on market are not taking into account everything that is going on in the market and in the world.  Our listing prices are not increasing at the rate in which they were over the past several years.

Our advice, be aggressive yet realistic and strategic on your list price.    When we meet with Seller’s, we review the active comparables, your competition, pending, what is selling and then closed over the past 90 days or so. Important to also note is what someone can buy at the targeted price point – there aren’t a lot of options for buyers therefore looking at the entire picture together, Listing Agent and Seller (s), to make the pricing decision.   Thank Goodness, marketing once again matters.

We are fortunate to have a higher demand than most areas around the country – buyers want to relocate to our area full time, want a second home or even just a seasonal vacation home.  A balanced market is good for us all  so while the numbers showing a decrease year over year can be concerning, in this case, I would say it is a sign of our real estate market heading towards a more stable market for both buyers and sellers alike.

Market Report – March Report – February Results

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The latest data for Palm Beach County is out – results from February 2022 tell good news for our market.

Everyone, in almost every county and state, knows that inventory is low and while great for Sellers – not so great for Sellers who need to relocate and buy or just general buyers coming into a market.

When a market is balanced, everyone has more options, has room to negotiate and we see fewer bidding wars.    While we are far from a balanced market, we are seeing some important changes.

Every month, without fail, our team analyzes the market reports specific to Palm Beach County and we delve into the numbers by price point.    The price point differential is very important, especially in Palm Beach County, where we have a large percentage of higher priced homes.   This is where we are starting to see a divide – homes under $600,000 are trending one direction while homes above $600K, above $1,000,000 in particular are trending in another.

For example – the overall inventory for Palm Beach County – all price points is 2.0 months – a strong, very strong, sellers’ market.

In actuality, the months of inventory up to $600,000 is in fact 2 months; however, $600,000 to $1,000,000 increased from 2 months up to 3 months of inventory and the interesting story is homes $1,000,000 + increased d to 5 months of inventory – right on the cusp of a balanced market. We have more inventory over $1,00,000 than we have had in quite a long time.

In addition to the monthly statistics, we also receive notifications daily of all adjustments in our Multiple Listing Service and we are seeing more price reductions every day.  Now personally, we do not think that this is a sign of the market slowing down from a supply/demand perspective. Rather, we believe that buyers are starting to say that there is a limit to how much they will pay for a home. Interestingly this is not across the board – waterfront homes, proximity to hot spots such as Delray’s Atlantic Avenue, are not only holding value but values continue to climb. Working with an agent who understands the market, understands your neighborhood and “who” the buyers are for your home is even more essential in this wild, wild west market we are all living in today.

The other news that so many of our clients are asking us about is in regard to the fact that the Federal Reserve announced, as you know, that they will raise interest rates a few times this year which means we can most likely expect increases in mortgage rates as well. While we do understand that it may impact how “much” someone can buy, the fact is people can still buy. Rates are still low on the historical scale. We still have a healthy percentage of cash buyers in our Palm Beach market which can make it difficult for a buyer obtaining a mortgage, but that percentage went down across the board.

What advice do we give in this market to our Sellers – price strategically, price aggressively BUT price wisely – what you don’t want, as we have shared before, is to sit on market, in this market in particular, or have to reduce – the strategy in this market is price right and they will come!  Many of them bringing a multiple situation.

For our buyers – you can find a home, you can buy – you just need the right partner on your side.  Relationships with other Realtors make a difference in a competitive market such as this, expertise of the contract and how to structure an offer are a competitive advantage (I would argue that is the case in any market but more so today) and a strategic agent who can work with you to put a plan in place to get you in the right home is the key.

 

A December Market Report And January News!

For our first market report of the new year, we’ll be reflecting on the results of December 2021 and the newsworthy events of January 2022—sit back and relax, there’s plenty to talk about, and plenty that affects you as a consumer!

Let’s start with December—as everyone can guess, we’re still in an extremely strong Seller’s market. As you’ve heard us share time and again, when we talk about market conditions through the lens of inventory and consumption rate, a balanced market provides for anywhere between 6 to 9 months of inventory. Above the 9 month mark you’ll find a Buyer’s market. Below 6 months, a Seller’s market. Most reports summarize market inventory on a basis of price point average. In our Palm Beach County Market, which includes many areas of luxury homes, analyzing based on price point is especially important. However, in this low inventory market, there is only a slight difference at the price points ranging from 2 months of inventory from $300,000 up to $999,999 and 3 months of inventory over $1,000,000—a far cry from the 9 months of inventory over $1,000,000 just one year ago. Any way you look at it, the low inventory and influx of buyers to our area has built up quite the Seller’s market.

December results show an increase in cash sales year over year—no surprise there, as people are coming in with cash (or simply not making the contract contingent upon financing) in order to win in the multiple-offer scenarios so characteristic of the Seller’s world we’re living in. Average and Median sales prices are up as well.

Now, let’s chat about recent reports—what’s happening now, and what’s forecasted down the line?

The Fed has announced it’ll be raising interest rates in a few months—there are some forecasting that this will slow Buyers who plan to finance—it bears keeping in mind that, even with an increase, we’re still at historically low interest rates. If and when inventory loosens and we have more options for our Buyers, we personally don’t feel the increase in interest rates will slow the average Buyer. What the increase may do is give Buyers cause to evaluate, and reconsider what suits their needs.

Another development that speaks to our times is that prior to the pandemic, approximately 10% of employees worked remotely. Now, almost 50% work from home at least part time.

In the news earlier this month were the new condo lending rules affecting Buyers and Sellers alike—certainly put into motion as a response to last year’s tragedy in Surfside, FLorida. Fannie Mae regulations will now require buildings to evaluate deferred maintenance cases, reserves, and turn over their declarations, covenants, conditions, restrictions, and budgets to the lender to evaluate before they’ll even consider a loan. We’re forecasting a large increase in condo cash sales to avoid this onerous, yet important, process.

So what does this all mean for us in South Florida?

Our sunshine state with it’s balmy weather, beaches, and no income tax will continue to bring potential Buyers to our areas. Sellers and Buyers, now more than ever, we’ll need to work together and strategize our approach to this market. Things are moving fast! Just take a look at the median times to contract and sale:

Sellers—if you have somewhere you’re looking to go, or you’re open to renting (even at a higher rate), carpe diem! This is your opportunity to capitalize on your investment. Keep in mind, however, it’s still a price sensitive market. Your home needs to be priced aggressively )but appropriately) and buyers will come. Now, how can we really tackle the opportunities offered by this market? For our Sellers, we’ll work together to determine the right price to drive multiple offers. Hold showings until an open house, or a window for showings, staggering them every 15 minutes or so. Staging photos and marketing all matter—even more so today because many Buyers and buying site unseen! The 360 Matterport photos are even more valuable, so Buyers can “walk” through your home—even when they’re hundreds of miles away.

Buyers—you can win this market too! You just needs to be prepared and creative. We at the Amy and Noreen Team have had enormous success with and for our buyers. You’ll be pleased to hear it’s not only about the price. The structure of the offer, terms of the offer, and creativity of your offer can make all the difference. Our Team takes the time to understand the Seller’s priorities in and outside of price for a well rounded picture; then, we structure our approach in a way that satisfies the Seller’s goals in every aspect—giving you the best chance!

Understanding today’s market is key to your success as a Buyer or Seller. It’s for this reason that we analyze and report on the market conditions regularly.

Stay tuned for the next report—or if you prefer to speak with us now, you can always reach us at 561-571-2289 or Team@AmyandNoreen.com.

Until next time,

Amy and Noreen.

Amy Stark Snook and Noreen Payne photo

MARKET REPORT: April 2021

 

With the highest medium and average sales prices that we have seen in over a year and  inventory weighing in at record lows, April 2021 rang in an unprecedented time in real estate. A surefire indicator of market conditions, 6-9 months of inventory is considered a balanced market. Under 6 makes for a Seller’s market, and over 6, a Buyer’s market. The average inventory in Florida today across all price points is 1.8. That’s right, a mere 1.8! Never fear, however, hope isn’t lost for the motivated buyer in Florida.

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, this market calls for strategy. To approach real estate with a recipe for success, you must account for the ingredients at hand.

Here’s the bread and butter of it: cash sales are up significantly in Palm Beach County, according to the April 2021 Florida Realtors report. It’s important to remember “cash sales” doesn’t always mean green: but instead, that the transaction was not contingent upon financing.

 So, for our seller’s out there: you’ve got high probabilities of a cash offer coming your way. Now, does this mean you shouldn’t accept a finance offer? Not in the least! It means that Sellers are empowered to “demand” certain elements should you accept a mortgage. Such as a quicker loan commitment— meaning the contingency for finance ends faster (including appraisal and loan conditions). You can also weigh your options on whether to allow an appraisal contingency— for the right buyer, omitting this step may suit just fine, and the finance offer can move forward.

As for buyers? It’ll be key to keep in mind that you’re competing against cash offers— so offers need to be written aggressively, and with the least amount of contingencies. That said, it’s important to ensure you’re protected as well; and in that, a good agent will make all the difference.

Now factors aren’t the same across all price points. April’s market sweet spot is the $400-599k price point. In this turf, homes are selling in a stunning 8 days. That, compared to the 1,000,000 plus market, which is an average of 27 days to contract. So if you’re selling a home at $500,000, your price is right, the place is properly staged, and sports curb appeal? Well, you’d better start packing!

Buyers—I’m sure you’ve read your fair share of stories on scarcity, that homes just can’t be found. We’re here to tell you that they absolutely can! Simply put, you’ll need three tricks to compete in this market: an aggressive offer, the preparation to write it quickly, and a partnership with the right agent who has your back and your interests in mind.

Sellers— are you scared to sell because you haven’t yet pinned down where you’ll go next? Not to worry, we have a plan for that. Let’s partner up to sell your home and gain you the most we can, while holding space for a strategy that allows you time to find the right home for your needs. It’s a Seller’s market out there, and you’re in the driver’s seat for both your sale AND your purchase. Sit down with Noreen and I of the All About Florida Homes team of Lang Realty, and we’ll put the priorities of you and your family front and center to build you a strategy that feels the perfect fit.

 

February’s Market Report

The other day, two new listings went live.  In a normal market, we’d chalk this up to a delightful day. Instead, yesterday quickly became a deluge of frantic calls from buyer’s agents and consumers, all desperate for an opportunity to view and offer on these listings. Within hours of going on the market, we saw over 100 showing requests and multiple offers on both properties. This has taken shape as the new normal for us in South Florida. Inventory has been so scarce that when a new listing, especially a single family home, comes on and is priced right, it goes in the blink of an eye.

As more people manage to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, we fully expect an increase in the frequency of new listings, which spells good news for prospective home buyers in search of a new place.

That said, we’re seeing an uptick in the numbers of buyers out there, with the influx of people looking for second homes, or to relocate to South Florida away from the crowded cities and cold weather. With these market trends in mind, it’s essential that buyers are fully prepared to make an offer, and that their Realtors are strategic and well equipped to work in a multiple offer scenario. In this landscape, helping a buyer stand out is one of our most important responsibilities. Communication is key, and price isn’t the only answer to coming out on top in a multiple offer situation.

The January market report found us with some very interesting, insightful statistics.

If you’re a faithful reader of our market reports, you might remember that last January the market was busy— we had months of inventory; but comparing January 2020 to January 2021 for Palm Beach County tells quite the story

Inventory is 3 months up to $600,000— half of where it was just one year ago. The reason for this is the frenzy that occurs when a new listing goes live. The $1,000,000 price point, a highly sought after market in South Florida, has gone from 19 months of inventory (a ridiculously strong Buyers market) to a balanced market of 9 months; but these, too, are coming and going fast!  This reduction of inventory we’re seeing is a result of sellers going off-market due to the pandemic, and out of state buyers venturing in, in addition to our traditional local buyers.

Even with the reduced inventory, our dollar volume is up from $667 million to $979 million. Both the average and the median sales price in Palm Beach county are up as well, with the average weighing in at nearly $850K— a reflection of higher priced homes going under contract. This hardly comes as a surprise, what with the reduction in inventory from 19 months to 9 months in just a single year.

With low interest rates, you might expect to find cash sales trending down; but they too are up from this time last year. Why, you might ask? Simple— in multiple offer scenarios, cash is king. These offers are typically desirable over their competition. I would suspect that, with this in mind, many buyers are often paying cash and then turning around after closing to do a cash-out refinance.

It’s an interesting time in the world to say the least, and a particularly interesting time for real estate. In Palm Beach County, we’re fortunate to be at the heart of such a sought after area. So sellers, if you’re considering selling? I can say with great confidence that now’s the time!