May is a funny month for home buying in the Jupiter area. In 2015, when we broke all the records for the number of home sales, pending home sales dropped consistently through the month. Last year, home sales were up big during the first half of May and dropped like a rock the second half. This year, as of May 15th, pending home sales are just about even with where they started the month but down about 5% from month ago numbers.
It’s going to be an interesting summer and we are starting off with pending home sales down about 8% from one year ago. Go back 2 years and we lag those 2015 numbers by almost 18%. In fact, we have not had pending home sales on May 15th this low for many years. But home buyers were pretty active over the past two weeks.
The number of homes they have to choose from continues to dwindle which makes the contract writing over the past two weeks even more bullish. The inventory of homes on the market has dropped 2.5% since May 1st and are down about 6.5% over the past month. Buyers have fewer options than they have had since way back in November. The fact that many sellers are still richly priced and the quality of the inventory continues to disappoint, it actually is great to see as much buying activity as we are.
Interest rates have been helping, but as of today are up 14 basis points over the past three weeks. The solid buying activity we are seeing, even when weak compared to recent years, coupled with limited inventory is pushing prices higher. Significantly higher. Median single family home prices in the Jupiter area are up so far again in May for the 4th straight month to new 11 year highs. Median condo prices are also moving higher this month and as of today are up 7.9% in just sixty days. These are big moves and the most recent data tells us to expect further increases through at least the end of the month.
In Jupiter, the easiest properties to sell right now are single family homes priced under $500,000 and town homes priced under $300,000. They are literally flying off the shelf if priced and marketed properly so negotiate your best commissions on these homes. The hardest to sell are town homes priced above $750,000 so your broker better be thinking out of the box here as demand is weak. Our Tequesta/Jupiter waterfront index is showing continued strength with the lowest inventory of the year combined with the highest pending home sales we have seen in 2017. Remember these are properties that typically start north of $1,000,000. The well healed buyers are very active this year in the Northern Palm Beaches with 157 sales closed with sales prices above $1 million through the end of April. Those numbers are up over 15% from last year. Its a big year for big sales.
Yes, May is a funny month and it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens as we roll downhill into June. As always, if Paradise Sharks can help you in any way with your real estate questions just let us know as we would love to be of service.