Early signs point to stocks returning to the real estate market – Sun Sentinel

Prospective home buyers in South Florida are eagerly awaiting signs that more inventory may hit the market and ease stiff competition.

Lack of inventory during the pandemic fueled high home prices as the region saw an influx of buyers from other parts of the country. This momentum, in turn, created the fear of missing something, which led to even greater scarcity.

Experts now say there are indications that more stocks could hit the market and that buyers could put the brakes on.

For South Florida, new listings have seen a slight improvement, said George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com.

“We are still seeing a decline in new registrations compared to a year ago, but this decline has moderated,” he said.

In January 2022, new listings were down 18% from the previous year. In February, new listings were down 10%; March was 12% and April was 9%.

“The trend here shows that we expect to see more owners putting homes on the market as the pandemic subsides,” he added. “We are back down to low single digits and that seems to be moving in tandem with the national level. Towards the end of summer [and] In the fall, we could see an increase in stocks in South Florida.

Realtors are seeing an uptick in inventory in the South Florida market, though that’s not enough to meet demand or create a balance in the market.

“It’s still a seller’s market,” said Jeff Grant, realtor at ReMax in Palm Beach Gardens. “Inventory gains were modest. I guess there are 10-20% more homes for sale than 3 months ago.

Other agents also report seeing small increases in inventory hitting the market from a year earlier. According to real estate agent David Gunther of Lang Realty in Delray Beach, there were about 7-8 single family homes available for sale this time last year priced at $700,000 in downtown Delray Beach. Now there are approximately 22 properties listed.

“Properties are still absorbed quickly, but confidence is lower,” Gunther said. “Interest rates are probably bringing sellers to the table.”

Inventory is still out of balance, with not enough properties to meet buyer demand. But real estate agents say they’ve seen more sellers motivated, in part, by rising interest rates.

Interest rates have climbed to around 5.6%, rising rapidly over the past six months. Some sellers are putting their homes on the market sooner rather than later, believing the higher rates will make buyers less interested.

“Buyer demand is below normal this year compared to last year, which is not surprising given that interest rates have already been raised several times this year and prices have increased by drastically,” Pearl Antonacci’s Brian Peal told Boca. Raccoon.

Estate agents say the most active sellers right now are those with more flexibility in their lives, who don’t need to immediately find a new home in the area.

“Most of the people I’ve worked with who list their homes are retirees and investors who are starting to sell their investment properties, second homes, or are moving out of the area for a cheaper market,” Grant said.

Although buyer demand has fallen slightly recently, buyers remaining in the market are still competitive, experts said.

“There may be less, and it’s not as much of a frenzy, but it’s still a super seller’s market,” Gunther said.

He recently had an open house for a townhouse for sale priced at around $1 million and about six buyers came to view. A year ago he said there would probably have been a rush of 25-30 people.

“I expect the market to still be a seller’s market, but stocks will normalize. That should give buyers a bit of relief,” Grant said.

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