Home Inventory in Hobe Sound Up 1% in December
A new year and the local real estate market seems to be immune form anything holding it back. Absorption rates were down again in 4 of our 5 reporting municipalities with sales levels up almost across the board. Buyers continue to make deals even faced with fewer choices so today we take our first look of 2013 into local inventory levels and see what has happened over the past 30 days.
Real estate is truly local in nature and we are lucky to have one of the strongest real estate markets in the country as the word gets out what an amazing place to live the northern Palm Beach County area is. The demand is from everywhere and to date has driven prices in many neighborhoods much higher than year ago levels. Interest rates dipped 4 basis points last week which keeps home affordability at all time records throughout the country.
Locally, rising prices may reverse the home affordability trend but nationally a combination of household income, home prices and interest rates have made homes more affordable than at any point in our history. There is no doubt that 2013 is shaping up to be another great opportunity for buyers throughout the country.
As we pointed out in our last article, we are not ready to jump on the “full recovery bandwagon” as there is too much going on around us and real estate market can only go so far without other segments of the economy picking up. The looming debt ceiling in Washington will certainly be in the news in the coming weeks and although we have seen some good news in job creation and other areas a few phone calls to associates across the country show that we are certainly not yet in full recovery mode.
One news item that hit this week forced us to take a look at reality and that was a surge in mortgage default rates throughout the fourth quarter of 2012. Americans are still defaulting on all types of consumer debt and jumps in the default rate increased significantly. So again, we rejoice in the market momentum of rising home sales and home prices but remain mindful of the bumps in the road ahead and that the market is constantly in flux. Buyers and sellers in today’s market must understand these trends and how they affect decisions they are making as it can make a very significant difference to their bottom line.
Let’s take a closer look at changes in home inventory in Hobe Sound and the surrounding areas over the past month. As you recall last month at this time we reported an increase in inventory in 60% of our reporting municipalities that gave buyers a few more choices and they have reacted with sales levels that were incredibly strong. So just what did happen to inventory over the last 4 weeks.
This report shows our home inventory “power rankings” for the month ending December 31st. These rankings are set up so the top rated municipality will be the one who shows the highest reduction in inventory levels. Since it is these reductions, when coupled with stronger sales, that will continue to move prices higher we want to rank those accordingly. So here are the inventory power rankings are the rankings for the month of December;
#2 Juno Beach –
#3 Palm Beach Gardens –
#4 Tequesta –
#5 Hobe Sound – up 1%
During December in the northern Palm Beach County region the average inventory level decreased 3% with the median decrease also weighing in at 3%. Certainly nothing dramatic to the downside but measurable and a reversal in a four month trend where inventory pressure had been to the upside. With strong sales and decreasing absorption rates the market is showing us it has some legs going in to the 2nd half of the season. This month we start with home inventory in Hobe Sound which was our only reporting municipality to show an increase in available homes but it was minor. As of January 1st, total home inventory in Hobe Sound sits at 334 which is up 3 units from the 331 available on December 1st. With these levels we find ourselves with home inventory in Hobe Sound down 1% from the 12 month average that now sits at 337. Looking at the “seasonal” factor we are also down 8% from the level of home inventory in Tequesta that we reported on January 1st of last year.
Certainly some very good news streaming from the front lines in Palm Beach County real estate.
Until next month…………