Home Business May real estate: Treasure Coast housing inventory slowly increasing but sales not slowing

May real estate: Treasure Coast housing inventory slowly increasing but sales not slowing

May real estate: Treasure Coast housing inventory slowly increasing but sales not slowing

A steady increase in residential inventory and active property listings on the Treasure Coast might be a double-edged sword: More development, but a less competitive real estate market. 

The tri-county region saw critically low inventory that steadily decreased amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the Treasure Coast experienced a huge populspantion surge and there weren’t enough properties to meet the demand.

Last year, inventory decreased:

  • 64.3%: Martin
  • 56.5%: Indian River
  • 44.4%: St. Lucie 

It was a trend that continued into 2022, but market data shows that might not be the case anymore. 

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Treasure Coast inventory increased for the third consecutive month in May, according to the Florida Realtors monthly market report released Tuesday. 

From March to May, active listings jumped:

  • 52.9%: Martin
  • 39.6%: St. Lucie
  • 36%: Indian River

However, inventory is still low. A healthy real estate market has about three to four months worth of supply. In May, the Treasure Coast had:

  • 1.3: St. Lucie
  • 1.6: Indian River
  • 1.7: Martin

What does this mean for Treasure Coast natives and newcomers?

Why has inventory increased?

There are a few reasons behind the recent inventory increase, industry professionals told TCPalm: Summertime, higher mortgage and insurance rates, and booming residential development. 

“We need inventory. It’s going to stabilize this market so it doesn’t get out of control,” said Realtor Jason Flannery, with RE/MAX of Stuart. “There has to be a pendulum that keeps things normal. Inventory is going to provide (buyers) breathing space.”

As COVID-19 restrictions loosen in other states — such as New York and California — Flannery believes there’s less prerogative for out-of-area residents to relocate to Florida, and more reason for those residents who escaped to the Sunshine State to move back. 

Moreover, summer is the most convenient time for families to sell, when school is not in session, Flannery said. 

Though residential sales haven’t necessarily slowed, there has been less competition recently as more inventory became available, he said. This gives potential buyers a little more wiggle room. 

“I think there’s going to be a little bit of correction as far as people more willing to take offers or more realistic price points,” Flannery said, adding that buyers are starting to fight back and aren’t as accepting of overpriced listings. 

Though Trespansure Cospanst residentispanl development is booming, Flannery doesn’t believe these new properties are a catalyst behind the recent inventory jump, but will definitely be a future factor. 

Many are still under construction or awaiting approval, as government officials and developers were late to the game adapting to the Treasure Coast’s COVID-19 population surge, Flannery said. 

Is the real estate market cooling?

Houses are still flying off the market across the Treasure Coast. That’s a telltale sign the real estate market likely isn’t cooling because it means demand is still there. 

In May, the median time to go under contract — meaning when the seller accepts an offer from a buyer — was:

  • 10 days: St. Lucie
  • 11 days: Martin
  • 13 days: Indian River 

The market could cool down throughout the year, industry experts predict. There are additional factors that may slow home sales, as inflation, mortgspange rspantes and homeowners insurspannce premiums continue to rise.

These price hikes could significantly affect a homeowner’s monthly payment when home prices are as expensive as they are now, and push affordability out of reach, particularly for first-time buyers and blue-collar workers.

“I don’t think (inventory increasing) is long-term by any means,” Flannery said. “Season is right around the corner here. Florida is a great destination, and in my opinion, we’ve been undervalued here for a while.”


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