March 2016

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March 2016 Palm Beach County housing market numbers are in. Here’s your full report from Copeland & Co.

Real Estate Market: Single-Family Homes

Real Estate Market Update - March 2016The Palm Beach County housing market for single-family homes continues to signal healthy, stable growth, thanks in no small part to a fundamentally strong economy. Florida has experienced a boom in it’s private-sector job growth in the last few years, and home buyers are finally starting to cash in those chips.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications for financing are increasing at a steady pace. Lenders are lending, and buyers are securing homes with 3%, 5%, and 10% down. In fact, in Florida, home buyers who used some kind of financing to purchase their home increased by four percent last year, and for March 2016, cash-only closed sales dropped a precipitous 25%.

Sounds familiar? Unsettling? Reminiscent of the 2007 housing crash? It shouldn’t. The banks are doing it right this time. Lending standards and requirements are strict, especially for qualifying FHA borrowers. But if you have a good job, a steady flow of income, and you can cover the down payment and closing costs, there’s no reason why you can’t get financed to purchase that home you’ve been dreaming of!

The median price for a home increased by 8.5% to $298,450 – but don’t be discouraged. There is plenty of inventory around the county, and in order to find what’s right for you, it’s going to pay to speak with a local Realtor who knows the county inside and out, and can introduce you to some areas or neighborhoods you otherwise wouldn’t know about.

More importantly, we are keeping our eye on list-to-sales price, and median days on the market. These are two pertinent indicators that tell us how well expectations among buyers and sellers are being managed, and how long it takes for a home to go under contract.

The list-to-sales price gap has been narrowing, now to 95%. That means sellers are getting $0.95 on the $1.00, and buyers are paying it. Expectations among sellers and buyers are matching each other. This is good, because neither buyers nor sellers want to see market conditions in which buyers aren’t willing to pay, and sellers aren’t willing to sell.

Median days on the market is continuing it’s downward trend. As new buyers enter the market, the pressure on inventory will continue to push the median days on market lower. In March 2016, it was pushed lower by 13% compared with last year, from 54 to 47 days.

If the house is priced right, it will go under contract in one day, as Tracie Copeland and Jen Booker have proven on a number of recent transactions. Read about how the duo sold this home in one day.

Real Estate Market: Condos and Townhomes

Condos and townhomes continue to show a resurgence of popularity among buyers. Though closed sales were down about 9% in March 2016 compared with this time last year, list-to-sales price ratios are strong, and median prices are continuing to increase.

If you’re thinking of buying a condo or a townhome, heed this piece of advice from one of our Realtors, who recently had to navigate and overcome an obstacle for her client: don’t wait too long to begin working with the HOA of the building or community you are thinking of buying into. The problem is that lenders are a little tighter on their rules for condos and townhomes, and any delay a buyer creates by hesitating to begin the HOA process, like submitting applications and paying fees, could spook the lender and tank your deal.

Ready to Buy or Sell A Home?

We continue to feel strongly that the housing market is viable, healthy, and accessible. This is the time to jump in – don’t “wait” for “better rates” from lenders, or for prices to “stop going up”. Lenders are lending now at a pace and at rates that are commensurate with market conditions, and risk control. So stop standing on the sidelines – get in the game!

Call 561-500-LIST (5478) for a FREE consultation with one of our Realtors.

Closed Sales 1,520 1,674 9.2%
Median Sales Price $298,450 $275,000 8.5%
Days On Market 47 54 13%
Active Listings 7,688 7,290 5.5%
List to Sale Price 95 93.8 1.3%

*Data provided by Realtor’s Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB)

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