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!