Single Family Home Sales in Jupiter Jump 43%
As we “sprung forward” last weekend the nice sunny skies lasting later in the day are a perfect reminder that spring home buying season is upon us once again. For the first time in over 6 years we are in a position where interest rates are at historic low rates, housing inventories are at multi-year lows and many economists are finally calling the bottom of the great real estate bubble.
There is no doubt that the foundation for potential price increases is stronger than we have seen for a very long time. Indexes that track sales of previously owned homes continue to rise on a national level and again strengthens the potential for prices to once again be on the rise. As we all know, real estate is very local in nature so let’s evaluate how sales looked in the local markets during the month of February.
#1 Hobe Sound –
#2 Jupiter – up 43%
#3 Palm Beach Gardens – up 27%
#4 Tequesta – down 44%
#4 North Palm Beach – down 44%
#6 Juno Beach – down 57%
When looking at the breakdown of local sales during the month of February the one word that comes to mind is bizarre. The smallest change in any municipality was 27% with three communities way ahead of January’s numbers and three reporting sales way below. The average difference in sales in the month over month reporting cycle was over a 43% change. When you balance out the highs and lows the “average” difference over the 30 day period was a more modest 5% change. The lack of quality inventory coupled with the low interest rates and pent up demand is the main factor in a rather strange month.
Weighing in last month in 2nd place with a very nice increase of 43% above January numbers is Jupiter. What a fantastic month when 63 properties closed escrow compared to just 44 in January and a nice showing heading in to the spring season. This showing still keeps us below the 12 month average which stands at 74.75 but ahead of the 56 homes that sold in February of last year.
While sales pace showing improvement, prices realized were heavily weighted between $150,000 and $500,000 with 77% of all sales. The luxury home market above $500,000 were a bit disappointing with 10% of all sales and we really would like to see some marked improvement here as the economy starts to show some improvement. The chart below shows the percentage of sales by price category for the month of January.
With the vast majority of sales falling between $150,000 and $500,000 we should expect a little weakness in the monthly median numbers and that is exactly what we got. We saw the median sales price in Jupiter fall slightly to $290,000 from the $300,000 we saw in January. With this showing we fell slightly behind the 12-month average of $296,258 and also below the median price from February 2011 which stood at $342,500. While the increase in sales was a great sign certainly a bit disappointing when it comes to prices realized and if we are in fact going to see an overall increase in prices this year we need to see things pick up from these levels. The chart below shows median prices on a monthly basis over the previous 12 month period.
So another month rolls by with more questions than answers but the signs still point to the local real estate markets continuing to recover with a few more bumps in the road but the economy seems to have the shock absorbers needed to handle whatever is thrown it’s way and with spring buying season staring us in the face it should be continued good times ahead.