This past January showed us some signs of strength in the housing market with increased home prices all across South Florida
The results for the tri-county area: Up 10 percent from a year ago, Broward County’s median price for existing, single-family homes last month was $311,250. In Palm Beach County, the median was $310,000, showing a 9 percent higher than last year. Miami-Dade County’s median price also was $310,000, a 15 percent jump.
Strong demand and a lack of quality inventory have driven prices higher in recent years. Statewide, the median price rose 10 percent to $220,000, meaning half the homes sold for more and half for less.
So, when is the right time to take action? According to a statement by Florida Realtors President, Maria Wells, “Florida’s housing market continues to show positive momentum. While existing inventory remains tight, Realtors across the state are reporting interest from both buyers and sellers — and with interest rates expected to rise over the next few months, now is certainly a good time to take action.”
Monthly home sales in 2016 were strong in Broward County, but that wasn’t match with buyer enthusiasm in January. In January, the county had 982 single-family homes traded, but that was down 5 percent from a year earlier.
Palm Beach County did slightly better, transacting 1,146 in sales representing an increase of 5 percent from January 2016. Miami-Dade showed an increase of 4 percent to 857.
President-elect of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, Jeffrey Levine, said sellers of homes priced at more than $400,000 are losing leverage to buyers as the number of listings accumulates. Despite the loss of leverage to listings in excess of $400,000, it remains a seller’s market at $400,000 and below because those quality listings are hard to come by, even though a handful of first-time buyers and young families continue to hold out, postponing ownership because there are too many fixer uppers out there.
Levine goes on to say that, “At today’s prices, first-time buyers shouldn’t have to go in a home and put another $50,000 or $100,000 to renovate.”
Real Estate economist at FAU, Ken Johnson has said that he’s surprised at the still-robust rate of home price increases in the tri-county region. Being cautious about the market, he and other analysts expect prices to slow amid rising interest rates and more homes listed for sale. Johnson already sees a market beginning to soften, and futher opines that the likelihood of successful sales transactions is declining based on an FAU analysis of multiple listing service data, economic trends and publicly available figures from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
“A lower likelihood leads to increased inventory, which will eventually lead to a slowdown in prices,” he said.