Home Inventory in Hobe Sound Drops 6% in February
If there is a single buzz word in the air whenever the topic of real estate comes up lately it is invariably going to be “inventory”. Shortages, shortages, shortages. Sales of exiting homes in the north county region were down almost 23% in January and while we are still finalizing the February numbers they seem to be stagnant as well. Buyers are faced with increasing competition and higher prices whenever a well priced new listing hits the Multiple Listing Service.
There are still opportunities hiding out there but you need to know which pocket to look into and be prepared to act lightning fast. But with a well designed game plan executed properly you still can yield results. Results reported two days ago by Realty Trac show that in Palm Beach and Broward Counties “shadow inventory” rates are up 55% from year ago levels. However, banks are working with mortgage reductions on some distressed homes and selling directly to large investment groups so the number of these homes that actually hit the market is reduced. There still is negative pricing pressure influences due to these properties and banks at some point will figure out that the costs of holding them are significant. To break even they have to hope overall price increases will cover the cost of property taxes, insurance, homeowners association, maintenance and utilities. Florida has now had the highest foreclosure rate in the country for six straight months and there are still about 366,000 foreclosure cases pending in the legal system. So watch out there are still bumps in the road ahead.
New home sales continue to prosper and builders now are concerned that there is not enough supply of land to keep up with the current demand levels. Just look around Jupiter with DiVosta working to close out the Abacoa project that started back in 1999. A total of 2,200 acres now home to thousands and thousands of new residents. Quality land is hard to find and with stringent growth plans new communities will not be so convenient to our beaches and waterways which is what makes this area one of the most spectacular places to call home. If you have not had the chance to read the fantastic article that recently was published in Golf Digest about this part of the country please go to the link below. No wonder demand for homes continues to grow!
Every month at this time we take a closer look at changes in home inventory in Hobe Sound and the surrounding areas. As you may recall last month at this time we reported an increase in inventory in 60% of our reporting municipalities which should have provided ready, willing and able buyers a few more choices. So how did the market react and just what did happen to inventory over the last 4 weeks.
This report shows our home inventory “power rankings” for the month ending February 28th. These rankings are set up so the top rated municipality will be the one who shows the highest overall 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 February;
#1 Hobe Sound – down 6%
#2 Jupiter – down 5%
#3 Palm Beach Gardens – down 3%
#4 Juno Beach – down 2%
#5 Tequesta – up 10%
During February in the northern Palm Beach County region the average inventory level decreased 1.2% with the median decrease weighing in at 3%. Certainly nothing dramatic to the downside but these numbers were skewed by an unusual inventory increase in Tequesta. This month we next move to home inventory in Hobe Sound where inventory levels decreased 6% over the past four week period. As of March 1st, total home inventory in Hobe Sound sits at 298 which is down 20 units from the 318 available on February 1st. With these levels we find ourselves with home inventory in Hobe Sound down 9% from the 12 month average that now sits at 326. Looking at the “seasonal” factor we are down 21% from the level of home inventory in Hobe Sound that we reported on March 1st of last year.
Unemployment levels improve, and interest rates are up a bit so the next 30 days again will prove interesting.
Fins up until April………..