Real Estate Market Report – January 2018

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Real Estate Market Report - January 2018The first Real Estate Market Report for 2018 is out, with January 2018 showing the often feeble performance we have come to expect from the first month of the year.

Closed Sales are very commonly slower this time of year, with January 2018 being down 3.8% over 2017. Remember, the single-family homes, townhomes, and condos that trade hands in January had been placed under contract in December, a viciously slow month in the real estate market.

Median Home Prices sagged from December 2017, but adjusted over the last 12 months, show a healthy increase of 4.8%. The median home price in Palm Beach County for a single-family home now sits at $325,000, a price range we have grown accustomed to in this market.

Cash Sales hit an apex in 2014, but for the last four years, have been steadily declining as a percentage of total sales for the market by a factor of one-third. That’s a significant implication. As we have been saying for a few years now, there are no “deals” on the market anymore. That window has been closed, locked, and sealed.

We do typically see a resurgence in cash sales over the first two quarters of the year, followed by a decline through the end of the year, and a slight bump each January. But don’t expect cash sales to come anywhere near their previous years’ highs anytime soon. Cash deals year-over-year are essentially stagnant since 2015.

However, investors want to put money to work in the beginning of the year. January 2018 saw a 9% increase in cash sales as a percentage of total sales over this time last year.

Dollar Volume for the market came it at just under half a billion dollars, which is about as low as it will get in 2018. For comparison, the Market Report for May 2017 saw a month in which dollar volume hit a 5-year high at $1 billion.

New Listings and Active Inventory offer signs of a tightening seller’s market, with each being down to the tune of 3.6% and 5.2% in the year-over-year comparison. As labor markets in South Florida more broadly continue to grow, new homebuyers will be entering the market, and competing for an increasingly smaller number of homes for sale.

That’s going to have the effect of driving median prices and overall dollar volume up – a bad thing for active buyers in the market.

The Year Ahead for Home Sellers

It’s still a great time to sell a home in Palm Beach County; for potential home sellers, the market is yours. Highlighting the unique characteristics and amenities of your home, coupled with a deep and thorough understanding of the market place and pricing dynamics, will you give you the competitive edge in attracting top-dollar bids for your property. That’s what our Realtors do.

Commercial real estate will fly high, too – with investors and builders continuing to usurp available land in high-demand areas like West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, and Boynton Beach, and building new spec properties for sale or long-term leasing. Financing terms are still just too attractive to pass up, even with the modest increases in interest rates.

The seller’s market will continue through 2018. Properties and listings in specific high-demand areas will continue to enjoy multiple-offers, while buyers will start to look more west to Greenacres, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, and Loxahatchee to make a purchase.

The Year Ahead for Home Buyers

The market is bright for home buyers! Yes, it’s a seller’s market, but with some guidance from an excellent Realtor, you can find the home of your dreams in your price range. You may need to be willing to capitulate some of what you thought were “must-haves” in your home search, and re-focus on the basics by asking yourself: What kind of lifestyle do I want to live instead of Should I give up the pool, or the garage?

Hire a great Realtor who knows Palm Beach County, and can help you drill-down to find out what you are really looking for – and then go out and find it together!

Stay tuned throughout the year for our upcoming Market Reports – they are published monthly for the month prior to the current month. Subscribe by using the form in the sidebar!

January 2018 Single-Family Real Estate Market Stats

Closed Sales 1,103 1,146 -3.8%
Median Sales Price $325,000 $310,000 4.8%
New Pending Sales 1,668 1,638 1.8%
Active Listings 7,383 7,784 -5.2%

*Source: RAPB Single-Family Home Market Report

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