February Home Sales in Hobe Sound Down 20%
It is that time of the month when we take a look at the sales numbers of homes sold in
the northern Palm Beach County region. As the market continues to shift and with the
lack of inventory, buyers are coming to terms that things are different, very different.
Those looking to find that “deal” of the perfect house at a discount of 30% because it is
a short sale are being left behind as other buyers who understand the competition are
bidding higher prices in order to secure a home amidst the dearth of new well priced
Sellers are also finding out that pricing above what the current market will bear means
their listing sits there and becomes stale. However, when they decide to put a
reasonable value on the property they will quickly be under contract, more often that not
with multiple offers from which to select.
Last month this shift caused a significant drop in sales in the area with plenty of
buyers and not enough properly priced supply to meet demand. Inventory throughout
the region, with the exception of Tequesta, dropped with new record lows in many
areas. How important is inventory when it relates to sales levels? Just look at Tequesta
where inventory jumped 10% which helped to contribute to a very strong sales month.
Put your home on the market at a fair price and the will come; in droves.
The national economic numbers continue to improve but still a high level of
unemployment and uncontrolled government expenditures are still of significant concern
to a full recovery. Here in Florida we are still faced with over 90,000 foreclosed homes
that sat empty during the first quarter. Even more important is that this level is over
three times higher than the second place state and dealing with banks on short sales
continues to be a very frustrating process for many buyers.
But as we see people still facing foreclosure in high numbers we are also seeing a large
number of buyers who have successfully sold short their property coming back into the
market after waiting out the required period to where they once again qualify for
financing. And with rates still at historically low rates they are able to afford more home
than they could have back when they last purchased. Rates are down a bit this week to
an average overnight rate of 3.68% on a 30 year fixed rate as of this morning. Creeping
back close to the 4.03% we were at a year ago but well below the 4.81% we sat at two
Last month in this column we reported sales were down an average of 22.6% in our
reporting municipalities with 80% of our local villages showing double digit declines.
With inventories continuing to shrink, buyers getting more aggressive and some sellers
seeing the benefit of placing a realistic sales price on their property the market
continues to evolve. So let’s take a look at home sales in Hobe Sound and the
surrounding communities for the month of February and see what has happened since
our last report.
North Palm Beach –
Palm Beach Gardens –
Hobe Sound – down 20%
As inventory levels continue to erode pending sales have been on the rise and even
though we are comparing this month to slower sales volume in January the numbers
are encouraging. Prices continue to rise and some economists are predicting increases
of at least 40% over the next two year period. During February the average number of
sales from our reporting municipalities soared an amazing 72% but this number was
significantly skewed by exceptionally strong sales in Tequesta and North Palm Beach.
The median increase of 10% is actually more reflective of what transpired with sales in
the area during the month of February.
We start off this months report with home sales in Hobe Sound that fell significantly by
20% and this was on the heels of a 34% drop in January. During the month of February
a total of 16 Hobe Sound single family homes sold compared with 20 during the
previous month. With this showing we fell well below the 12 month average sales
volume which currently stands at 21.25. On a “seasonal” note home sales in Hobe
Sound ended up in a dead heat with the 16 sales we had in the same month in 2012.
As we saw sales volume slump again in Hobe Sound we did see some of the heaviest
sales activity in homes priced between $500,001 and $750,000 with 5 sales representing
31% of the market. Luxury property sales were also solid with 19% of all sales above
the million dollar threshold. With this showing the median sales price soared 48% to
$440,000 from the $296,500 reported a month ago. This price seta new record and of
course moves us well above the 12 month average which now stands at $256,350.
From a “seasonal” perspective we were well below the median sales price in February
of last year which stood at $255,000. Below are the charts showing the percentage of
single family home sales in each category for the month of February as well as median
prices over the past 12 months in Hobe Sound.
Finding well priced homes remains a difficult task and prices continue to head higher.
Until next month…………