But this year, they jumped. Not by much, but they are 2.3% higher than they were on December 1st. And that never happens. Or at least that was the rule. Forget rules, as they are made to be broken. Location, and other factors, drive prices and a home in North Palm Beach plays by a different set of rules of a home that may be across the street in Palm Beach Gardens. Always remember, the only numbers that truly matter are those affecting your home. To prove that point, so far in December, pending home sales in the Northern Palm Beaches are up 2.3% but we have cities where they have jumped 25% and cities where they have fallen 7%. Location, inventory, marketing, demand and a bit of good timing can be the difference between success and failure.
So, the good news is more people than expected wrote contracts in December but we still have 6.4% fewer homes under contract than we did last year at this time. Prices have been falling, inventory levels have been rising and interest rates are still under 4%. It’s a good time for buyers who are spotting the right opportunities and jumping on them.
We keep a close eye on the top end of the market as, in the Jupiter area, sales of properties with a price tag over a million dollars tend to be a leading indicator. Closings of these high end properties tumbled in October but rebounded in November. For the year, we will break the all time record of sales above this threshold. The stock market continues to hit new high, after new high, and as long as that continues and consumer sentiment remains strong, real estate in the Jupiter area will do just fine.
The Fed raised interest rates this week for the 3rd time this year. To date, the mortgage market has ignored these increases. The first increase was on March 15th and the average overnight rate on a conforming 30 year loan sat at 4.16%. Here we are 9 months and three Fed increases later and they sit at 3.85%. So, for the year, the Fed has increased interest rates by 75 basis points and during that time mortgage rates have dropped 31 basis points. Again, rules do not matter like they once did, so it is critical that anyone doing real estate be informed and make educated decisions.
As we head in to 2018, there are many things to keep your eyes on. Interest rates, the quality of home inventory, prices in both the resale and new home markets, affordability and the overall economy all looking very interesting as we wind down 2017.
Always seek knowledge when buying, or selling. Interview brokers and ask questions. If Paradise Sharks can ever be of service we would be honored to hear from you so contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561.308.0175.