Buyers Again Have More Options
Yesterday we published the latest pending home sales data in the north county region. For the second month in the row we are seeing positive signs the local real estate market is improving. One has to question if the slow down we experienced over the previous 8 or 9 month period had more to do with supply than demand. And more importantly the price level of that supply.
There is no doubt that sellers have been asking higher prices and getting them to some extent. The median prices on single family homes has been up for three straight months while condo prices have stagnated after larger gains over the past year. Growing inventory levels typically put downward pressure on prices especially when we have seen that level increase unabated for over 7 months. As of March 1st the available home inventory in Palm Beach Gardens and the neighboring communities increased another 2.5%. Buyers today have a larger selection of options than they have had in well over a year.
As prices have risen it allows more homeowners with improved home equity positions to make moves that have been on hold for years. They are asking higher prices to make that move possible without bringing money to the closing table and over the past few months buyers have been willing to pay higher prices. With interest rates falling again last week, for the 8th time in 9 weeks, the cost of money is also helping out with the total cost to own.
But price reductions are more and more prevalent and as inventory levels continue to climb one wonders if demand will remain strong enough to keep up. One thing is certain and that is we live in different times than our parents did. Always interesting, always fun.