Home Prices in Fort Lauderdale December 2014

Last month I told my readers that if you're a seller you may have reason to panic, you may have reason to relax.  This month I'm telling you if you're a seller, you may want to take a Tums before seeing the data.  Inventory levels are up, overall sales are down, median pricing is down.  Nationally I'm still hearing that the housing market is moving well.  Locally we're starting to see a different picture.

During October of 2014 we saw 133 sales take place.  That had been the lowest number of sales in a given month over the last 12 months.  Now we see that November only had 116 sales in our little area, that's a 12.8% decline month over month.  The story is no better year over year where we see a 17.1% decline (from 140 to 116).  For sale listings are down from 1207 to 1187, or a 1.7% month over month change, pretty much a non story.  However, year over year we go from 1006 sales up to 1187, that's an increase of 18%.  That's certainly worth noting, that's a huge increase in inventory year over year, huge.

Fort Lauderdale Home Prices for sale versus sold December 2014

This is a bit interesting, average price per square foot isn't really moving around too much.  Month over month we can see a 7.3% increase in pricing, a pretty decent bump, but within the norm of the year.  Year over year there's only a 4.6% increase in per square foot pricing.  I do believe that's in interesting note.  That's a rational price move over a year.  As most of you know, anytime I see double digits I get nervous.

Fort Lauderdale Home Prices per square foot December 2014

So the graph below is a little scary, but I'm not ready to freak out over it.  Yes it looks really bad statistically, really bad.  Month over month there's a 16.9% decrease in pricing.  Year over year there's a 9% decrease in median prices.  I do think this may be an anomaly.  The 314 number is way out of whack with median pricing throughout the year.  Now if we see a low number like this again next month, it may call for a bit of freaking out.

Fort Lauderdale Median home sale prices December 2014

Again and again and again and again I've said it...... months of inventory is one of the greatest gauges we have when taking the markets temperature.  If you consider 6 months of inventory to be market neutral, than seeing an upward trend line like this has to wake you up.  This truly illustrates to me that we've absolutely swung from a sellers market to a buyers market.  There's so much inventory, buyers have so many choices.  This puts sellers under tremendous pressure to lower pricing.  Once you start racing to the bottom it's like watching dominoes, the market falls quickly.  Month over month there's a 12.1% increase in inventory.  Ready for this, brace yourself.  Year over year there's a 41.7% increase in inventory!  That's absolutely mammoth and nothing you can ignore or pacify.

Fort Lauderdale Months of housing inventory December 2014

This is one thing I can't fully explain, days on market are way down.  Month over month days on market fell by 24%.  Year over year days on market fell 19.8%.  This is my best theory, properties priced well are not sitting on the market.  Those that are pricing well are selling quickly.  Those that are not are just adding to the inventory.  There's certainly enough buyers around, but a lot of buyers and sellers are pretty far apart when valuing a property.  Sellers, I believe, are often overpricing believing they are still controlling the market.  Buyers have become more savvy and just aren't willing to overpay.

Fort Lauderdale Home sales days on market December 2014

I feel a bit like a lone wolf running around painting a less then optimistic picture for sellers.  I believe an awful lot of homes are hitting the market that are wildly overpriced.  Oddly enough the spread between a renovated property and a property that's totally destroyed has thinned.  Sellers are overvaluing a lot of junky properties in my opinion.  Buyers have become more willing to renovate properties.  I don't believe that thinning margin is really healthy, but I can absolutely tell you I'm seeing it happen in choice areas.

We're almost at the time of year where everyone makes wild forward looking predictions.  I'm not immune, in a couple weeks I'll be sending out one of those wild emails.  The reason I'm bringing this up is because I believe a lot of Realtors and sellers aren't acknowledging that the market is shifting.  I would continue to view those wildly cheering that the market is on fire, with a healthy dose of skepticism.  The data is beginning to say something different.  We're slowing.

As always, the disclaimer.  Real Estate market report provided by Casey Prindle of Esslinger Wooten and Maxwell.  This market report will cover the neighborhoods of: Rio VistaVictoria ParkDowntown Fort LauderdaleFort Lauderdale BeachHarbor Beach, Lauderdale Harbors, Sailboat BendTarpon RiverCroissant Park, Collee Hammock, Las Olas IslesLake RidgeWilton ManorsCoral Ridge, and Poinsettia Heights.  Zip codes covered in this report will include 33301, 33304, 33305, 33315, and 33316.  Data reviewed will be compiled by zip code and cover a 12 month period from October of 2013 through October of 2014.  Data is taken from the South Florida MLS and provided by Trendgraphix.  Property types include single family, condominiums, and townhouses.

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I work as a Realtor in Southeast Fort Lauderdale. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, condominium, or townhouse (townhome) in: Rio Vista, Victoria Park, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Sailboat Bend, Tarpon River, Croissant Park, Collee Hammock, Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, Poinsettia Heights, Coral Ridge, or Las Olas Isles, please feel free to contact me at (786)443-7203 or through my email caseyprindle@gmail.com. I am a Realtor that works on Saturdays in order to accommodate those with busy schedules.

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Written By Casey Prindle