_Quiet December wasn't so quiet after all, it turns out.
Real Estate newsletters bombard you with news about skyrocketing condo sales in Miami (who's buying?) but the market for houses was also rather lively for this time of the year. Too bad that my tools don't allow a seller origin analysis.
All the activity didn't translate into price changes though: listing as well as selling prices didn't move m-o-m, while y-o-y there was a 10 percent dent to be observed.
In the same time though, inventory dropped a hefty 24% (I added y-o-y changes behind the m-o-m changes to mix things up a bit for you). Again, supply and demand rules seem not to be applicable right now:
_Table: single family home data per month’s end for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade (Florida) counties. Changes are month-over-month / year-over-year.
Chart: Single family home data Jan 2011 to Dec 2011. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. – Data compiled from SEF-MLS
Overshadowed by the Thanksgiving holiday, _November sales of single family homes tend to begin quiet and then come to a slow crawl.
The last part of that statement will be seen in December, but overall there certainly wasn't much movement. However, inventory keeps falling, with stable prices, which in itself is astonishing.
At least so far.
_Table: single family home data per month’s end for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade (Florida) counties. Changes are month-over-month.
Chart: Single family home data Dec 2010 to Nov 2011. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. – Data compiled from SEF-MLS
At some point, if you read this column regularly, you must think I'm a grumpy old fart, uncontent and miserable.
And here grumpy goes again: What is it with the press?
Specifically, the housing numbers the press celebrated last and this week.
Perhaps you think I live on another planet, or had too much beer at the Wiesn (aka Oktoberfest–and no, I didn't make it this year.) Perhaps the housing data and headlines released for August have a self-serving purpose. But they are definitely nothing to be jubilant about, though that's what some media are–again–screaming into our ears.
THE SINGLE FAMILY HOME MARKET
Despite a tiny bit of action in Palm Beach County, overall nothing really improved last month:
Table: all regional single family homes for sale/sold; data per last month’s end. Changes are month-over-month. – Chart: SFH data August 2010 to August 2011. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. – Data source: SEF-MLS
THE MODERN HOME MARKET
As explained last month, I do not publish modern market data here anymore. Emphasis on here.
I still compile market and sales statistics for modern architecture, including asking and selling prices, prices per square foot, time on market and price differentials.
The complete data will continue to be available to my brokerage and consulting clients–just not publicly on this site.
If you have an interest or need for modern market statistics, I welcome you to contact me anytime.
And as always: thanks for reading this column!
THE SINGLE FAMILY HOME MARKET
The market for single family homes in Southeast Florida (three counties Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade) in June proved the old saying again
“In the month of June, housing sales see a boon”.
Ahem. Now you also know why some persons were not admitted into Rapping 101.
Seriously: as in the last four years, June is the month so far with the highest number of SFH closings in all three counties (in 2009 it tied with December).
Those June closings would have been signed into contract in April or May.
Does that mean buyers want to buy before school’s out? Before it gets too hot? Before Memorial Day? This Realtor is at a loss to explain.
Some people may argue that winter should be the peak real estate season, when the Florida population swells and there are more potential buyers around, especially from colder climates. But not so, at least not for single family homes.
Another oddity: while inventory keeps tightening, prices still slide – not every month, but certainly year over year; minus 5.0 percent in this case. Go figure.
The June numbers:
Table: all single family homes per SEF-MLS; data per month’s end. Percent changes are month-over-month. – Chart: SFH data June 2010 to June 2011. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: that's the dwindling inventory, in months. – Data source: SEF-MLS
THE MODERN HOME MARKET
Despite what it looks like – a modernist inventory spike in June – there really isn’t one. Easy to say. But it doesn’t feel like an upswing in inventory; quite in contrast.
As explained last month, the number of available homes under $1M shrank by 25% year over year, the number offered under $500K went down by a hefty 45%. The little inventory uptick in June (per June 30th to 255 modern homes) has already been erased – as of writing this post, it is down again. And so are absolute listing and selling prices.
(Data and graph temporarily not available – sorry)
Thinking about selling your modern home and need an inside perspective of the modernist market?
Out to buy, and need a Realtor who gets modernism?
Then please call me at 954.834.3088 or email me anytime – and until next month!
Several real estate markets are starting to show signs of improvement with home prices in the last quarter as the industry demonstrates more signs of stabilizing, according to Clear Capital's latest monthly Home Data Index Market Report.
REO saturation rates have improved in the majority of the country’s largest markets. However, many areas are still battling year-over-year price declines. Clear Capital’s index reports that quarter-over-quarter home price declines were 2.3 percent in the latest quarter, which is less than half compared to the previous month.
“The latest market report results through May suggest that home prices are starting to ease back from the heavy declines seen over the winter,” says Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “We are still far away from the strong demand needed to fully turn things around for the housing market. However, it is clear from the initial spring sales data that prices are softening, suggesting stabilization in the market."
The High Performers
Seven of the top 15 markets posted quarter-over-quarter property price gains in this month's report, compared to none in last month’s, according to Clear Capital. Here are the seven highest-performing major real estate markets, according to the report.
1. Washington, D.C.-Arlington, Va.-Alexandria, Va.
Quarter-to-quarter home price change: 4.5%
Year-to-year price changes (May 2010-May 2011): 4.9%
REO saturation: 17.5%
2. St. Louis, Mo.
Quarter-to-quarter home price change: 2.2%
Year-to-year price changes: -11.4%
REO saturation: 35.3%
3. Pittsburgh, Pa.
Quarter-to-quarter home price change: 1.6%
Year-to-year price changes: 0.3%
REO saturation: 10.9%
4. New York, N.Y.-Long Island, N.Y.-No. New Jersey, N.J.
Quarter-to-quarter home price change: 1.5%
Year-to-year price changes: 1.4%
REO saturation: 9.6%
5. Virginia Beach, Va.-Norfolk, Va.-Newport News, Va.
Quarter-to-quarter home price change: 1.4%
Year-to-year price changes: -13.2%
REO saturation: 22.4%
6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla.
Quarter-to-quarter home price change: 0.6%
Year-to-year price changes: -5.2%
REO saturation: 39.6%
7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
Quarter-to-quarter home price change: 0.5%
Year-to-year price changes: -5%
REO saturation: 25%
Tthe lowest-performing market for the fifth straight month was Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., with a 13.2 percent decrease in quarter-over-quarter home price change and a 58 percent REO saturation rate.
Source: “Clear Capital Reports Quarterly Home Price Decline Slows; Signs of Market Stability as Summer Approaches,” Clear Capital (June 9, 2011) via Realtor.mag
THE HOUSE MARKET OVERALL
The MLS data for April for Southeast Florida show a slight increase in selling prices for single family homes in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade county, while Broward county remained stable in volume and prices. Inventory is steady at seven months, very close to the normal range for a balanced market.
But the data raise two questions: with a plethora of short sales and foreclosures available (the latter often not on the MLS), it makes me wonder how small then must the non-distressed inventory be?
And secondly, as everyone has access to the same data set from the MLS, I am not quite sure where some of the exuberant reported data on our regional market in April comes from. Perhaps condos and townhomes? There certainly is activity and even selling price increases (6% m-o-m in Dade, 5% in Palm Beach), but it’s not exactly a firework either.
The overall single family house market in Southeast-Florida in April:
* Houses for sale: 23,241 (–0.2%)
* Inventory: 7 months (no change)
* Median list price: $291,333 (+0.8%)
* Median list price per sf: $142 (no change)
* Houses sold last month: 3126 (–4.6%)
* Median selling price: $178,450 (+3.3%)
* Median selling price per sf: $99 (+3.5%)
Table: all single family homes per SEF-MLS; data per month’s end. Percent changes are month-over-month. – Chart: SFH data Apr 2010 to Apr 2011. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. – Data source: SEF-MLS
THE MODERN HOME MARKET
A much much tighter spot is the modern home market.
That inventory is shrinking weekly – not even monthly – all the while demand for modern architecture is increasing, to a point where I am running out of modern houses in certain price categories.
My database of modern architecture for sale – and I know of and catalogue practically everything that is available – is down to 236 properties in all three counties. This is the lowest it’s ever been since five or six years. In the first three weeks of May alone, there was an inventory drop of 12.7%.
In addition, when a home’s value equation fits a buyer’s expectation, sellers can realise price increases, as the April data show.
So for modernist buyers, it is rather important to be prepared and to be able to react quickly when the right home comes along. Waiting for falling prices and an increasing selection will leave the stragglers on the street, and judging from the inquiries I receive, this situation will get worse as schools start again in August.
THE RESIDENTIAL MARKET OVERALL
The November single family home market wasn’t exactly fun. The wee bit of activity that was came at the price of, um, the prices: median list prices fell a timid 1.2 percent, but median selling prices dropped a hefty 8.3 percent. But that still did not buoy the market.
So who’s asleep at the wheel: sellers on 500mg Xanax, wishfully thinking their house is so much better than anyone else’s? Or real estate agents, desperately chasing any listing they can get, as overpriced as it may be? Probably both. Case in point: a house in my neighbourhood, fresh on the market and according to a quick analysis approx. 25 percent (!) overpriced. That’s either major brawn or what’s called “shooting with wet powder”. Good luck. – The November numbers:
* Inventory for sale: 27,538 (13 months supply)
* Median list price: $274,667
* Median list price per sf: $138
* Units sold last month: 2,136 (3.7%)
* Median selling price: $186,667 (-8.3%)
* Median selling price per sf: $105
(SFH data Nov 2009 to Nov 2010. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. Data source: SEF-MLS)
THE MODERN MARKET
The modern market in November went against trend, as this segment so often does: compare the selling price uptick in modern homes vs. selling prices of all homes (green curve). That doesn’t mean stellar performance and ecstatic sellers, but despite inventory going up and absorption rate down, median selling prices as well as selling price per sf managed a 15+ percent increase over the previous month.
Unchanged is the market segmentation: few good properties under ca. $1.3m - $1.5m, really difficult under $600,000, and plenty to choose from above ca. $1.5m to $2m. I do not foresee this situation changing any time soon. And with mortgage rates possibly rising – despite stubborn unemployment, a key factor in housing activity – more buyers may become active in the market.
Have a nice weekend!
Tobias Kaiser is an independent real estate consultant and licensed Realtor in Florida since 1990. He specializes in modern architecture and net leased investments.