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Many questions as we kick off another year of real estate in paradise

Goodbye 2016 it’s time to move on. Behind we leave a year where the number of real estate sales in Jupiter and the surrounding communities fell by more than 6% from the previous year. Median prices shrugged off slower sales volume and moved higher by just about 6.5%.

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Sellers have reacted by looking at home prices that have been moving higher for years. They see what developers are charging for new homes. The times are good and they are going to make sure not to leave any money on the table when selling their home. No reason to believe that prices will do anything but surge forward again. However, list prices are starting to lift some eyebrows on the buying side of the equation. Prices rose last year but today we turn the page. It’s a new year. What can we expect?

The number of homes under contract at this moment in the Northern Palm Beaches has fallen again and are at the worst levels we have seen in more years than I care to count. Over the last month, pending home sales were down an amazing 19%. The number of home sellers in the Jupiter area who have a contract on their home and are preparing for a closing is down about 15% from where we were last year at this time. Home buyers are not beating down the doors. And now interest rates are rising, or at least they were.

Home sales the first 2 months of 2017 will be dismal. It will not be a robust beginning but what we really need is our winter visitors to start buying. The number of properties they have to choose from, what we call inventory, fell slightly last month but is still much higher than a year ago. The market is highly segmented with different market segments and geographical areas, even by neighborhood, seeing much different trends. One would expect with the recent surge in the Dow Jones that many of this years flock of snowbirds are feeling rather bullish. But many signs point to the areas premier properties getting very pricey and need to pull back from these lofty heights. We want to keep a close eye here as the year unfolds.

At the other end of the spectrum, finding properties priced under the median price point becomes more and more difficult. First time home buyers and entry level purchasers are going to have a hard time finding opportunities they feel confident about. More specifically that they can qualify for, as affordability will remain a key ingredient in the 2017 version of the real estate recipe. A dash of where interest rates are going will also add plenty of flavor. The past three weeks we have seen some consolidation and the rapid rise in interest rates has abated. It’s anybodies guess with a new administration taking charge and huuuge changes underway what is going to happen to our debt, inflation and where the cost of borrowing money will go.

Let’s just say there are a pile of questions to be asked as we head into what is going to be a very interesting period in America. We don’t even begin to think we can comprehend what is going to take place on the macro-economic level but Paradise Sharks will be here again bringing you the real numbers on the value of your most precious asset. Your home. If you need help that is what we are here for and you can reach out to us anytime at 561.308.0175 or info@paradisesharks.com.

Fins up…….

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