24 April 2015

South Florida Home Sales, 1st Quarter 2015

March brought the Big Thaw – single family houses sales in Southeast Florida, in the area between Stuart and Homestead, increased substantially in March.

With that, the last month capped a first quarter that started characteristically slow in January and ended with 4.6 months inventory in March – which in turn trumped the very active December with 4.8 months inventory (read: at the current pace of sales, the market would be wiped clean in 4.8 months. Healthy is approx. 6 months).

Southeast Florida single family home data, Mar 2013 - Mar 2015. Red = List price, Green = Selling price, Blue = Inventory (months). Source: Kaiser Assoc. via SEF-MLS

All the activity brought an increase in the March median list price in the Tricounty area of 9.5 percent year over year, to $425,000.

Actual selling prices reached $282,200 at the end of the quarter, exceeding the December selling prices by nearly $10,000 and 7.8 percent y-o-y.

Note however the “disconnect” between what sellers are asking and what buyers are willing to pay. The index I created to measure this crucial information reached 151 percent in March, a massive 11 percent points above December and also the last three quarters of 2014.

So does that mean prices for SFH will continue to increase?

Right now it looks like it.

But especially May and June, traditionally the months with the most closings (likely tied in with the end of the school year), will tell a better story. And who knows what political and economic developments summer and autumn will bring?

Leaving you somehow dangling in mid-air without a better forecast, the only thing I can do for now is to wish you a fine weekend!

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