Welcome to 2016 and Paradise Sharks very first market update of the new year. We keep sitting, wishing and waiting on the buyers to return to the local real estate market. We are in the midst of the largest seasonal crowd to hit our shores in history but so far they have not been signing contracts to purchase real estate.
As of today, pending home sales numbers in the Jupiter/Palm Beach Gardens region have dropped again. We have to go all the way back to April 1st of last year to find a time when we told you about an increase in these numbers. For 9 long months it has been nothing but down, down, down, down. Over the past 30 days they have fallen another 12.5%. Over the past year they are down 6%. Since the great fall began back in April they are down 42%. Yes 42%.
The good news is we are heading into what historically is our strongest buying season. We should be seeing buying start in earnest now that the holidays are over. We should be bringing you higher numbers in the 5 or 6 months ahead. We should be, but so far we aren’t seeing it. But we should be. We saw a slight uptick in pending home sales for a two week period at the beginning of December but it didn’t last. We remain here sitting, wishing and waiting.
Interestingly, median sales prices of single family homes in the area are soaring. Up two months in a row and we see them soaring even higher this month. We have even gone on record that we will take out the 10 year high of $431,000 set back on July 1st of last year. That is going to be a huge jump when we publish numbers at the end of January but it is coming. Condominium prices are not behaving as well and have not risen since June of last year and while they may inch up when we next report in a couple weeks they are not inching up very high. Looking at this metric it is an awesome time to be shopping for a condo.
Inventory is a part of the buying problem as there just isn’t much good stuff out there. We reported earlier this week about a million dollar listing that we felt would sell very quickly and it did. In two days. In all price ranges, good properties in the best locations, that have been well cared for and properly priced and marketed are selling quickly.
Inventory levels have been moving higher since September 1st but over the past 30 days they have pulled back; only by 2%. Even with these increased numbers, inventory levels are 12.5% below last year numbers and many sellers are priced ahead of the market. A market where buyers aren’t buying but are paying more. At least for single family homes.
We called this market dysfunctional a month ago in this column and it still is. We remain sitting, wishing and waiting and still see good things ahead for real estate in the coming months.