It’s September. Summer is over and fall is in the air. Around these parts that means we are dodging hurricanes. Or at least dodging all the projections the media throws at us about the hurricanes that haven’t come now since October 2005. Come to think about it that was just about the time the real estate bubble popped.
During August, the number of homes under contract in the Northern Palm Beaches fell for the 4th straight month. Down another 3%. But it really is no big deal because it happens almost every year without fail. We can count on it, just like another story about a hurricane brewing. In August 2015 pending homes sales in the Jupiter area dropped 7%. In 2014 the drop was 9%. In 2013 it was 5%. Just like clockwork in August pending home sales are going to fall. But this year things are a bit different because since August 15th, over the past 2 weeks, the number of homes put under contract here in this part of paradise actually INCREASED. Not by much, but up they were and that has not happened for many years. It actually shows us some market strength that was really unexpected a couple weeks ago.
We are seeing strength in many areas of Palm Beach County. Paradise Sharks has been working the past couple weeks with a client who came down after selling their northern home and had to buy. You see they were moving full time to Florida and need a home to move their stuff into. Cash buyers ready to go. We had targeted single family homes in gated 55+ communities in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. We coached them that they would have to act fast with solid offers as if they did not other buyers would. They didn’t really believe us but a few days into our search I received an e-mail from them that said “This is bloody pathetic. By the time you go to the bathroom to take a whiz these places are gone.” I knew they finally got it and a couple days later the right house hit, they made a strong offer and we are under contract. Yes there is some unusual strength in many market segments for August.
The number of homes buyers have to choose from has also been steadily falling. It too happens every year. August was the 5th straight month of declining inventory. Down almost 15% since the slide began in April. However, buyers today have far more choices than a year ago. In fact in the Jupiter area inventory levels are 14% higher than they were a year ago. Watch for inventory levels to climb in the coming months as we head into season.
Not all neighborhoods are equal and many have high inventory. As we dig into details when doing an analysis for a client it’s not always price. The strength we are seeing is not “across the board”. In Jupiter, over the past 2 weeks the number of homes that have been put under contract increased almost 5%. Just to our south in Palm Beach Gardens the number of homes under contract fell by about 8%. That is a 13% swing between two towns that share a border. The metrics in different neighborhoods across the street from each other can be polar opposites so get educated when doing anything real estate. Mistakes are expensive and you don’t want to make them.
As we tell anyone when they are thinking about buying or selling real estate. Interview at least 3 brokers. Find out why you should give them your business. Find out how qualified they are to help you meet your goals. Find our how much they are going to charge you. And by all means in your are anywhere in Palm Beach or Martin County invite Paradise Sharks to be included in your interview process. We would LOVE the opportunity to earn your business and you can set up a meeting by reaching out to us at 561.308.0175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.