Median condo prices were up about 5.8% in 2017, while single family homes gained 6.8% over 2016 figures. Solid performances, but prices have been dropping over the past few months and, as the year ended, median prices were well down from the 12 month averages.
The number of properties that sold last year also fell and it will be the second straight year that sales volume declined for both condos and single family homes.
Pending home sales in the Jupiter area have declined in 7 of the last 9 months and are down another 5.1% over the past 30 days. The number of homes currently for sale also dropped 5.1% from where we stood a month ago. Compared to year ago figures buyers have 8.4% fewer properties to select from.
So far interest rates for mortgages have remained unaffected by the 3 Federal Reserve rate increases of 2017. Talk about uncertainty, as the average overnight rate on a conforming 30 year mortgage sat at 4.16% right before the Fed made their first increase back in March. After raising their prime rate 75 basis points last year, mortgage rates have gone the other way and today sit at 3.85%.
So, we head into the best buying season with median prices that have been pulling back, inventory levels are not good and historical buying trends point to our highest demand for both condos and single family homes just around the corner. Interest rates remain low but most projections show them moving up to at least 4.5% at some point in 2018. Affordability remains a concern with the median price of a single family home in Jupiter sitting at $470,000 for 2017. If interest rates climb, can prices move higher? Certainty. Hardly.
The stock market has been even more bullish than real estate with the Down Jones up last year by an amazing 25%. It was the 7th increase over the past 9 years. History tells us that nothing can go straight up but with the recent new tax plan passed by Washington, everything looks pretty bullish at the moment. One look at the national debt and uncertainty certainly creeps back into any picture of what 2018 may bring for stocks, and real estate. And uncertainty.
One thing that is certain and that is both buyers or sellers of real estate should be seeking knowledge whenever making decisions about any property. Paradise Sharks takes great pride in educating our clients to ensure they take as much uncertainty as possible out of the equation. If we can ever be of help please feel free to contact us at tom@paradisesharks,.com or 561.308.0175. Here is to a 2018 filled with good health, much happiness and as much certainty as possible.