While it is nice to see a little strength in the market it would be hard to call seasonal buying robust. The number of homes under contract today is down 12% from year ago numbers. Compared to 2017, we are down by 15%. Compared to 2016, today’s numbers are 23% lower. Go back to 2015 and the number of Jupiter area homes under contract is down by 30%. We really have to again ask where have all the buyers gone? Is it really time to wave the red caution flag?
We continually hear that inventory is to blame for slower sales, but the number of choices a Jupiter home buyer has today is up for the 6th straight month to the highest levels we have seen in two years. It’s getting harder and harder to blame inventory. Others say rising interest rates are to blame but today are down again and a full 50 basis points lower than they were in November. We have to go back over a year to find higher numbers, so again hard to blame interest rates for the lack of sales.
The truth is, besides the very upper end of the market, real estate in Jupiter is on a bit of shaky ground. Homes that sold for in excess of $1,000,000 set new records in both January and February and remain ahead of last year’s record pace. There are a couple factors at work, with a large number of people escaping high income tax states and moving to Florida. Who can blame them with only $10,000 in taxes of any kind now deductible. Why not move to where there are no state taxes. The savings are huge for those with large incomes. On the other hand, Florida residents of multi-million dollar homes are selling to now avoid big property tax bills that are no longer deductible. It’s a double edged sword but both fuel the million dollar plus market with activity.
Does the million dollar market really have that much control over the entire market? The answer is yes, and it’s why Paradise Sharks pays very close to these numbers and once we see them start to fall, it’s definitely not going to be a good sign.
Still a couple months of seasonal home buying ahead of us, but unless we see a shift with a significant increase in sales it’s not going to be what I would call a successful season. Watch the economy, watch interest rates and watch those million dollar home sales. Closely.
If you are thinking about real estate, please consider giving Paradise Sharks a call at 561.308.0175. You can also email us at email@example.com. Not only do we have decades of experience, but we can provide higher quality at lower prices than many other real estate brokers. We do not send a significant percentage of our commissions off to a far away franchisor. We don’t have a broker taking a cut of our earnings at the closing table. The fact is we can do things for less and are very proud of it. Boutique real estate rocks! Plus, if we do not do exactly what we say we insist you fire us. It’s really as simple as that.