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January 2016: Here we come! Myself and other realtor friends/associates feel like we have been shot out of a cannon with the finishing of the holidays and a dramatic surge in activity among both buyers & sellers. The snowbirds came down a little later this year, due to unseasonably warm weather through late December, and that seems to have created a very strong start to the year here in Palm Beach county. New construction, especially among small builders, has been squeezed as construction financing has made it difficult for "mom & pops" to borrow debt in order to build. Buyers are finding fewer and fewer distressed properties to consider, down 11% from 1 year ago. JW Florida Real Estate is here to help you with your real estate needs... whether you are looking for the right property for primary use or as a 2nd home, or if you would like a confidential opinion of value on your current home, just call us today!

November 2015: The National Association of Realtors just released the 2015 profile of home buyers and sellers. Some of the notable findings of this national survey include: overall, home sales strengthened, driven by repeat buyers, many of which have dual incomes (averaging over $100k/year); the share of first time buyers declined for the 3rd consecutive year, likely because of rising rents putting downward pressure on the ability of 1st time buyers to save, along with scarce inventory and difficulty in obtaining a mortgage; the "typical seller" was 54 years old, 77% of sellers are married, with an average of 9 years in the home before selling, and a median equity gain of $40k... and for those who owned the property for 20 years or more, the price gain exceeded $135k!

September 2015: As we head into the season, buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to find "deals" in the market, spurring agents to get more creative when representing buyers via: auctioned properties, unsolicited offers on off-market homes and innovative terms on contracts to smooth seller's transitions into their next residences. While interest rates have yet to rise with the Fed's reluctance to increase rates, home ownership still remains very affordable and attractive as compared to leasing. The benefits of deducting mortgage interest, principal paydown and reduction, and enjoying one's hard work in the form of real estate, cannot be understated. Palm Beach County is in prime position to continue to appreciate in value over the next years and decades because the desirability of this area will continue to drive job creation and growth, while our supply is limited to the East by the ocean, to the West by the everglades, to the South by existing Broward county, inevitably leading to increased development in the Northern part of the county. 

July 2015: With inventory levels at multi-year lows, the buyer’s market of years past has transitioned into a seller’s market in 2015. The $250,000 and under segment remains ultra-competitive with first time home buyers, retirees and investors all competing for properties in safe & established neighborhoods, while limited by a minimal amount of reasonably priced inventory. Homes between $250,000 and $500,000 are also going quickly, with transactions closing very close to list price (on average), especially in high demand areas such as East Delray and “A/B+” communities in Boynton Beach & Boca Raton. Homes over $1,000,000 are also selling at a healthy pace, with additional premiums paid for water views & access, updated kitchens & bathrooms and neighborhood amenities- justifying the highest prices per square foot since 2007! To further discuss selling your home or purchasing a property, call Jesse today!

May 2015: The March year over year numbers are in and they are staggering – Sales are up 37% in March 2015 as compared with March 2014. What’s even more impressive is the average days on market of those sold properties – just 45 days! Inventory levels are down to about half of what they were at the “peak” of the downturn, with a supply of homes just over 5 months. On a different note, State Farm after shedding policies in Florida over the past several years, is now writing policies again. In Palm Beach county alone at the end of 2009, State Farm had more than 50,000 policies. By the end of 2013, that number was under 13,000. Currently, the top 5 insurers in Florida, by number of policies are:  1) Citizens (643k policies),  2) Universal (506k policies),  3) State Farm (348k policies),  4) Heritage (217k policies) and 5) Security First (208k policies). 

April 2015: Strong consumer confidence continues to drive the market in all segments. Snowbirds, primarily from the NE, continue to purchase waterfront condos and newer construction homes to spend increasing amounts of time in Florida, as they get further further into retirement. First time homebuyers compete for reasonably priced "starter homes", frequently ending up in multiple offer situations and bidding wars. 

February 2015: According to the National Association of Realtors & Fannie Mae, here are some projections for 2015 & 2016 of key indicators for the real estate market & US economy: Existing Home Sales 2015 - 5.3 Million, 2016 - 5.4 Million  (2014 Actual - 4.93 Million) ; Median Home Price 2015 - $215,900, 2016 - $225,300 (2014 Actual - $207,600). While the pace of home sales & price of housing is expected to increase over the next 24 months, one thing is for certain, the extraordinary gap between the wealth of homeowners vs renters. According to the Federal Reserve, this gap is currently 36X, meaning the average renter has a net worth of $5,400 vs the homeowner with a net worth close to $200,000. 

January 2015: What a start to the year! The lowest gas prices in the better part of a decade, a volatile stock market and wicked weather in the Northeast & Midwest. All bode well for the South Florida real estate market! Gas prices keep mortgage rates low via lower inflation rates. The stock market has outperformed over the last several years, but how long can that last, and an undeniable attraction to the intrinsic value of real estate and owning assets with a tangible value (land, home, improvements, etc), not to mention, being able to live in & enjoy your money/assets. Lastly, the severe weather in other parts of the country will continue to "encourage" a gradual migration to South Florida, especially Palm Beach county, where limited supply and boundaries to the East, West & South, will limit growth and development while pushing prices up and creating wealth for those who own real estate in the Palm Beaches. 

November 2014: Real estate prices continue to increase at a modest pace, as consumer confidence balances the incremental increase in total cost of home ownership. The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors predicts that average mortgage rates will surpass 5% in 2015 and possibly approach 6% in 2016. International money flowing into the US bond market because of a weak European economy, as well as geopolitical uncertainty in the Ukraine and Middle East, have helped keep interest rates in 2014 among historic all-time lows. Quantitative easing (due to taper off in 4Q 14' and 1Q 15') and 2% inflation have also put downward pressure on rates. While many buyers consider interest rates as one of the key factors in home ownership, there are many other factors that truly drives the buying and selling of real estate in South Florida. Here in Palm Beach county, many buyers are changing lifestyles and moving from the NE or Canada in order to spend some or most of the year in Florida. These buyers, typically, baby boomers, pay cash and are less affected by interest rates. Other motivations for buyers in our area include: desire to live in a better neighborhood, increase or decrease the sizing of their current home, moving into a better school district, changes in marital status or career/job change. 

September 2014: The Fed continues to keep interest rates at historic lows to drive growth in the general economy & real estate market. With rates in the 4-5% range for 30 yr fixed loans, home affordability is still quite alluring for those who have not yet made their move. On a more local note, PBHomes.com continues to grow it's new & returning visitor base as season approaches. With new listings in the western corridor and "central" golf communities, broker Jesse Winner is ready to help you buy or sell your next property. 

July 2014: The newest trend in real estate marketing & photography, aerial drones, has come under fire by the FAA. Several of the top NYC real estate brokerages have been subpeoned for use of non-licensed commercial drones. From the brokerage perspective, this is a setback as the aerial shots drones are able to produce are quite impressive, however, in a dense area like Manhattan, the danger of a novice operator is not difficult to imagine.  

May 2014: PBHomes.com closes on the first resale at 4001 N Ocean, Unit 303 Gulfstream. Direct oceanfront condominium in one of the newest buildings in Palm Beach County. $2,860,000 Sold Price

April 2014: Reduced inventory continues to hamper buyer's efforts, while sellers' have regained confidence in the market value of their homes & have returned with a willingness to wait for the right price. With Blackstone Group having purchased over 1,000 in Palm Beach county, inventory, especially under $250,000, is often put under contract within the first 10 days on the market, especially when those properties reflect a listing price close to market value. The good news for buyers is rates remain low making the home ownership affordability index quite reasonable by historical standards. 

 

February 2014: The market is stabilizing with increased buyer confidence and a more "normalized" market than we have seen in several years. Buyers & sellers seem to be meeting minds with stable price appreciation and a continued low cost of home ownership via interest rates in the 4.5% range. 

December 2013: The median sales price continues to see gains in Palm Beach County for single family homes, condos, and townhouses. The median sale price for single family homes saw an increase of two percent from $245,000 to $250,000. The year-over-year gains are far more impressive. Palm Beach County’s single family homes saw a 13.7 percent increase in median sales price. Year-over-year, the increase for condos and townhouses were far more substantial at 32.2 percent. ...Investors have helped bring inventory levels down and housing prices are appreciating. It’s a simple supply and demand relationship. Even though the housing market has seen a slight uptick in inventory levels since last quarter, now is the right time to put your house on the market before inventory levels rebound...

August 2013: Mortgage rates have increased to 4.37% and with inventory at a multi-year low, buyers are learning what a sellers market feels like for the first time in many years. Builders have ramped up new construction starts and asking prices have increased with the market, approximately 1% per month over the last 12-15 months. 

June 2013: Investors continue to scour the market for properties with potential appreciation & short term cash flow. First time buyers are still encouraged by low mortgage rates, now hovering around 4%. Sellers who have been waiting for the market to turn are now listing properties due to the reduced inventory and increasing prices and price per squre foot. Call us today at JW Florida Real Estate Services to further discuss your home, community or market of interest.

April 2013: Buyer's confidence is at a multi-year high, with reduced inventory & lessened shadow inventory, offers are being made closer & closer to list price as buyers compete for the homes & condos that are priced correctly and offer the best value in this rising Palm Beach county market. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, job growth and pent up demand are driving home sales with the only headwinds coming from tough credit conditions in the mortgage markets & limited inventory.

February 2013: Prices are up! According to the National Association of Realtors & CoreLogic: "Home prices increased by the most in 6.5 years in December (2012), spurred by the low supply of available inventory and rising demand. Home prices rose 8.3% in December (2012) compared with the previous year, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data provider. That is the biggest annual gain since May 2006."

December 2012: The market has turned! We are on the way back up as it seems more and more clear that Palm Beach county bottomed in 2011 and has seen gains in 2012. Despite the possible "fiscal cliff" looming, real estate remains a safe haven for investment and protection of personal assets. Buyers continue to be selective, but those with specific criteria and patience are still finding fantastic deals. For sellers, the worst is certainly over and a return to normality is already present. If you have any questions regarding Palm Beach County real estate, I would encourage you to call me at 561-374-3899. - Jesse

October 2012: Palm Beach County real estate is up! Few markets in the country are poised for the type of return in values that Palm Beach residents & homeowners can look forward to and are already enjoying. Nationally, we are seeing year over year price increases and lower inventory levels. Here in Palm Beach County, that could not be truer with many markets showing price increases & and an increased number of transactions at the community level. Nearly all of the communities & submarkets that we specialize in have seen nice rebounds off the bottom with 3-7%+ appreciation forecasted for the next several years to come. Investors are buying properties as they hit the market and first time home buyers are seeing how the market has already turned, especially for the most desirable homes and condos in the best communities. New home prices jumped on average of 11% to $256k at the national level. JW Florida Real Estate Services represents sellers, buyers & investors in the purchase & sale of residential homes & condos, commercial property and income producing real estate. Call us today to discuss your real estate needs and we will be happy to consult with you based on your personal goals & preferences. We are truly excited for the resurgence in the South Florida real estate market and we are very optimistically anticipating a record year in 2013!