The latest market statistics are out for Boca Raton real estate and Palm Beach County. These numbers are comparing the real estate market results from December 2015 to the results from December 2014. Some insights:
If you are considering selling, now is the time:
The year over year sales pace has increased in both Single Family and Condos, while inventory has decreased. What is this telling us? There is less than 5 months of inventory on the market (the amount of time it would take to sell all of the homes currently for sale). This means that Sellers have the upper hand. The rule of thumb is that six months supply is a balanced market. Anything less than that tilts towards a Sellers market, while anything longer tilts towards a Buyers market.
Median sales price has increased while the median days on the market has decreased. Again, this favors Boca Raton home sellers.
What price ranges are in the most demand?
When I dig more deeply into the numbers, I see that homes priced between $250,000 and $600,000 are selling much more quickly than the same period a year ago. There are also more of them selling. If you are a buyer in this price range you will need to be very competitive in your offers -- See below. The pace of homes sales in the $600,000-$1,000,000 range as well as those above $1,000,000 has remained relatively constant, however again the time to sale is much lower. The median days on market for single family homes in Palm Beach County over $1,000,000 was 100 days, a whopping 46.8% decrease from the same month in 2014.
Cash buyers reign supreme
Since we are a resort market where many people are buying second homes, a large number of our sales are all cash rather than buyers who are financing. Although the number of cash sales has decreased about 10% because of the global market turmoil and strong dollar vs other currencies (which has reduced the buying power of foreign investors), the number of cash sales is still significant. For condos and townhouses, over 60% of sales were all cash, and 37% of single family home sales were cash purchases.
I am a buyer. How can I make a competitive offer?
Even though it is still a slight seller's market, you should not shy away from making an offer. The best houses which are priced properly sell quickly and for top dollar. If you want to compete in this market you have to be an attractive buyer so that the seller will want to sell to you. How to do this? First of all, have all of your ducks in order. If you are not going to be paying cash, you need to get a mortgage approval upfront, otherwise your offer will be less attractive. Secondly, do your homework and don't lowball. Overall the average list price (from the original list price) received was 92.4% but in the lower price ranges where the supply of homes for sale is much lower than demand, the ratio is higher. In many cases homes are selling for 98% or even over asking price. The days of getting a steal are over. When you offer too low, you risk the sellers outright rejecting it and not countering. Next, don't dilly-dally. They say "if you snooze you lose". Well that is certainly true when it comes to purchasing the best homes. If you will regret not getting the house if someone else buys it, then you need to make a strong offer in a timely manner. We have excellent Buyer's agents who can counsel and educate you to the market in the specific price range and neighborhood that you are seeking, and help you present your offers in a timely and competitive manner. Whom you choose to represent you in your purchase makes a difference in the outcome that you will attain. We are happy to schedule a no obligation consultation similar to what we do with Seller's to educate you on the process.
Gloria Singer is the Broker of Boca Expert Realty, a boutique Boca Raton real estate company with a focus on professional service and an unparalleled customer experience. Our select agents are amongst the top performing professionals in the field. Visit www.BocaExpert.com for information on Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach real estate and to connect with an expert in the local market.