Are Jupiter home prices heading for another bubble?
Anybody who follows Paradise Sharks knows we track real estate metrics in the Northern Palm Beaches like nobody else we know of. The numbers are important for us to know what advice to give our clients, whether they are buying or selling. We believe in the numbers. They told us to put our house on the market in the 4th quarter of 2005 and rent for 6 1/2 years. They told us to quit renting and get buying back in early 2012. Listening to the numbers has helped up make some very wise, well informed real estate decisions. We want to help our clients make wise decisions.
We are starting to see a lot of feedback from readers of our articles. “This insanity can’t carry on forever.” “Prices are ridiculous.” “Talk about a bubble about to burst.” Well, you get the picture and there is no doubt some validity to the concerns being aired. But most are what we call “affordability related” and that is a real problem. I believe in the numbers and right now the numbers are not telling me what they clearly did when we put our house on the market in 2005. So far prices have been moving higher but no clear signs of any bubble. But certainly signs that bear watching, many of them related to the overall economy. As long as they keep the overall economy moving forward, real estate here in paradise should do just fine.
Here in the Northern Palm Beaches the median priced single family home as of September 1st was worth about $8,000 more that it was a month ago. It was worth $28,000 more than it was a year ago. That represents an annual increase of 6.8% which is certainly above the 3.4% that we consider “normal” appreciation. But prices move daily and if you remember it was just 2 months ago we reported that today’s prices had actually moved lower than year ago figures for the first time in 5 years.
August was a strong month for single family home sales in the Jupiter area. We had almost an 11% increase in closings over last months numbers. We were also solidly ahead of August sales in 2015. Sales up, prices up, but both by reasonable levels. Remember that between 2000 and 2005 prices were up each year and they were up by a annual minimum of 14% and a maximum of 29%. If prices end up higher once 2016 is finished we will match that 5 consecutive year increase but there are big differences.
Right now the largest annual increase we have seen on median single family home prices since 2011 was 9%. Another very important ratio we follow is what the “median” rent on a “median” single family home is. Back in 2005 the median priced single family home in Jupiter was $490,000 and the “median” rent was $2,000. That gives us a rental return of 4.9%. So far this year in Jupiter the median single family home has sold for $450,000 and the median rent has been $2,800. That gives us a much higher rental return of 7.4%. We watch this ratio closely. With so much fear about the equity markets real estate still looks like a good investment at these levels. If median rents remain at $2,800 and the rental return falls to 4.9% (as it was back in 2005) the median priced home in Jupiter will be selling at $685,000. Now that would be a bubble.
Whether you are buying, or selling, please get informed. Interview at least three real estate brokerages before trusting anyone with a valuable asset like your home. Make decisions on real information and if Paradise Sharks can ever be of assistance we would love to be interviewed and earn the right to serve you. Reach us anytime at 561.308.0175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.