WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s no secret it remains a seller's market in Florida but what does that mean for homebuyers.
New numbers from the Federal Reserve Economic Data show housing inventory has dropped by roughly half since last year. And a study last month from Florida Atlantic University says costs are almost 22 percent above their long-term price trend.
That equates to a smaller and higher-priced inventory. So should you buy or wait? And when is the turnaround?
Tammy Jo Rawn is living the good life in her Lake Worth gem.
”When I bought my home it just seemed like one of those things that was screaming for me to bring it back to life,” Rawn said. “I like the history and the location.”
It’s a 1940’s home with character, easy access to the water, and the city’s vibrant downtown district.
”This is one of my many dream homes — but this is my first step,” Rawn said.
A dream location that took almost a year to find and amid a pandemic Rawn likens it to a full-time job.
”It took up every free minute of my time,” Rawn said. “It was work, take care of my kids and look for a house. And that was my life.”
Real estate expert and Douglas Elliman realty luxury sales executive director Bonnie Heatzig said historic low mortgage rates, coupled with out-of-state buyers is behind the limited inventory and extra search time.
“It is challenging for buyers whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you are a luxury buyer — it’s a challenging time,” Heatzig said. "If you find a home that works for you strike now while the mortgage rates are low and you’ll get the biggest bang for your dollar.”
She also said the summer months, up to around Labor Day would give buyers a better inventory to navigate with the less out-of-town competition.
”Transactions are still ongoing but it doesn’t seem to be at that high rate that we usually see during other times of the year.”
Heatzig also advises homebuyers to work with a realtor who has mastered the art of the bid.
“Minimize your contingency periods. That would be for your inspection and your appraisal periods and have all of your mortgage documentation and pre-approval in line ready to accompany your offer when you make that offer,” Heatzig said. “You want to appear to the seller as someone who is ready, willing, and able to close this transaction. That’s critical because you have a lot of competition on the backside.”
”Your dream home will appear. But you gotta do the work,” added Rawn.
If you’re a buyer on the hunt waiting for market prices to drop in the near future — experts say don’t bother. Demand comes with a cost. For more information on the FAU study at home, click here.
For more information on the active housing listing count monitored by the Federal Reserve Economic Data, click here.