Impact 5: Downtown condo market low on inventory

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - They're close to the beach, restaurants and shopping. And they're close to being sold out!

"Essentially inventory is at an all-time low," said real estate agent Anthony Pizzarelli.

Pizzarelli has worked in the downtown market for close to 10 years.

"I like doing downtown West Palm Beach. It's just a nice paced area," said Pizzarelli.

And the pace of sales is picking up. Over the last year condo and townhome inventory in Palm Beach County has almost been cut in half. Pizzarelli pulled numbers from five buildings, and said out of 1,691 units, less than 50 are for sale.  In a typical market, he said that number would be closer to 120.

"You used to have your pick of the litter of properties and now I have folks who are coming down looking for properties and are hanging a real difficult time finding the right fit at the right price," Pizzarelli said.

And those prices are steadily climbing, up 15-percent from 2011.

"Over the next 24 months if you're coming in with an expectation of $150,000 for a one bedroom and a $250,000 for a two bedroom that's fairly generally. I would expect those prices to get into the $200,000 one bedroom range and the $300,000 two bedroom range when things settle out here in the next two years," said Pizzarelli.

Low vacancy in the market is also helping homeowner associations.

"Originally I had $407,000 outstanding that was owed to the association. Now I'm down to $13,000," said Carla Sponito, the community association manager at the Courtyards in City Place.

Sponito said most of the distressed properties have been purchased.

"We only have a few units that are in foreclosures and everything is doing well here," Sponito said.

"I think the perception that downtown is a distressed market is incorrect. We did have our correction and we're beyond it."

To read more you can check out Anthony Pizzarelli's website here . bit.ly/WiiV4g

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