While we analyze the market monthly and provide a report, this one is different and it is so essential that we all understand what is happening to the real estate market, as a result of Covid-19, so that we,together, can make educated decisions.
There is little doubt that Covid-19 and the shut down have impacted our Palm Beach County Real Estate but in what way and what to expect I believe will surprise most consumers.
The first quarter results are in and as many of you know, we were trending for a great year with year over year results showing improvements from last year – and March results showed the same improvement of Closed Sales, Median and Average Sales Prices up year over year. That may surprise many people but know that closed sales in March are a result of contracts from earlier in the year – Pre-Shutdown. March closed sales while up from February are at a much lower rate of growth from earlier in the year – so while they were closing, there were a percentage that simply did not close due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, the financial impact, etc. The months of inventory over $1,000,000 is down to 13 months and if you will recall was almost 19 months just a few months ago. Did homes sell? Certainly but also we saw homes come off the market. $600,000 to $999,999 is a balanced market but 300,000 to $599,000 is now a sellers’ market. We do expect, of course, the April numbers to really reflect the effects of all that has been happening in our world. These numbers will be out in just two weeks.
This brings me to an important point of this 1st Quarter analysis and what to expect, in my humble opinion, moving forward. We have clients and prospects calling and asking is now the time to buy? Is now the time to sell? What drives the real estate market – two major factors are interest rates and inventory. For now the federal reserve is doing a good job keeping the interest rates low – while they are bouncing a bit – they are still very attractive for a new loan. Inventory overall is low – regardless of the price point and what happens when inventory is low? You will find the listing and sales prices are higher –
We are having to get creative in how we show property, we are capitalizing on all technological opportunities for listings from the photography to the 360 virtual tours – “showing” the home without having to physically show the home to every potential interested party. We are all operating efficiently and effectively and as a result homes are selling. In fact to homes that we listed in the past 30 days were under contract within days of being listed and at or close to list price!
So while we are living in these uncertain, scary times – it is essential that our economy recover – for all of our sakes and to be able to share with you all that homes are being listed, that home are selling and that our market is start to once again move is wonderful news that I am honored to share!