25 October 2013

South Florida Housing Market, 3rd Quarter 2013

I know I have been neglecting the blog for a bit; my apologies: work got in the way. Summer seems to come to an end in South Florida – about time, we're all well-done by now – and so is the overheated single family market that ruled from approximately April until about mid-August.

Falling relative and absolute inventory, rising asking prises, increasing selling prices: for now all this is over. Middle of August I first could feel a bit of slack, from one week to the next. What most August numbers hinted at, September confirmed: the froth is gone.

A 36 months-overview:

SE Florida single family homes: inventory, median asking prices and median selling prices, Sep 2010 - Sep 2013. Break indicates end 2012. Source: Kaiser Assoc.

Note how list prices and selling prices trend downwards, while inventory points upwards. The break in the lines indicates 2012 year end.

More specific, Q III 2013 vs. Q II 2012 by the numbers:

      +9.8%  Number of Houses for sale
    +19.8%  Inventory for sale (absorption rate in months)
      –3.6%  Median list price
      –8.2%  Median list price/sf
      –8.1%  Number of Houses sold (quarter)
      +4.3%  Median selling price
      +0.1%  Median selling price/sf

Outlook: we are hopefully returning to normal ranges, avoiding further overheating and the inevitable speculation that accompanies it.

But that doesn't mean we're in bargain territory again. Right now those days seem to be over, and I do not anticipate a return any time soon: the quiet Holiday season is coming up – quiet for buying and selling – and that will carry us into January. By then interest rates will be the next deciding factor.

In the meantime, vulture buyers who are hoping for bottom deals – "Hi, I'm Billy-Bob, and I'm looking for only really good deals. Got any for me?" "Yes sure, I held them secretly just for you." – have zero chance in any good market segment for single family homes, be it by location (water front, ocean front, good school districts) or be by expertise like mine, modern architecture.

But do you know which buyers really get the juicy deals?

Stay tuned.

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