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Florida real estate market continued to stabilize on Treasure Coast in November

BusinessFlorida real estate market continued to stabilize on Treasure Coast in November

Have you been thinking about buying a house on the Treasure Coast?

In November, the real estate market continued to favor sellers, but it also continued to stabilize, according to the latest data available. Housing inventory and active listings increased while closings and sale prices decreased — except in St. Lucie County, where rampant development in Port St. Lucie continues to drive up costs.

While it is difficult to predict how the market will behave in 2023, this is a good time to buy, said Kyle Von Kohorn, sales manager at Alex Macwilliam Real Estate. With more inventory available, buyers have more options to find suitable properties, so they’re regaining some negotiation power against sellers.

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“Buyers now have time to search and select between a few options,” he said. “Homeowners considering selling are becoming more willing to place their home on the market with the better likelihood of finding a satisfactory replacement property.”

In the tri-county area in November, there was over three months of housing supply available. That’s an increase from November 2021, when where was only about a months worth of inventory:

  • Martin County: 3.1
  • St. Lucie County: 3.2
  • Indian River County: 3.3

Having three to four months worth of inventory is considered a healthy market. In the law of supply and demand, anything below 5.5 months is considered favorable to sellers while anything above is good for buyers.

The Treasure Coast’s housing inventory has been low since around June 2020, when inventory began crashing at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Outsiders flocked to Florida’s outdoor lifestyle, often paying cash and over the asking price to beat out the competition.

“We have to remember that the market was in overdrive in 2021, so as we begin to enter a balanced market, percent change in some metrics may appear extreme,” Von Kohorn said. “The trends in the second half of 2022 track more closely with historical trends in the marketplace from 2019 and prior.”

Home For Sale Sign and New House stock photo

The number of active listings has increased in the last year, especially in a spike from July to November:

  • Martin: 520
  • Indian River: 837
  • St. Lucie: 1,824

In a 12-month period, the active listings have doubled in some cases from November 2021 where Martin County had the lowest amount of inventory available on the Treasure Coast with 231.

Closings have decreased compared to November 2021, evident of buyers pulling back from purchasing homes amid high prices and interest rates:

  • Martin: 106
  • Indian River: 168
  • St. Lucie: 392

The median time to contract — between when a seller lists a house and accepts an offer — did not change from October to November, but has increased significantly from November 2021:

  • St. Lucie: 29 days, up 222.2%
  • Martin: 34 days, up 183.3%
  • Indian River: 39 days, up 105.3%

The increase is another indicator of an improving market reaching pre-2020 levels that ranged from 40 to 60 days, Von Kohorn said.

Homebuyers are paying an average $53,980 more compared to November 2021, according to the latest median sale prices:

  • Indian River: $353,000
  • St. Lucie: $388,980
  • Martin: $527,500

As housing prices and mortgage interest rates increase, fewer people are able to pay cash for homes.

The national average on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 6.6% as of Dec. 21, according to Bspannkrspante, a financial services company that collects data from U.S. lenders. It was 7.06% in October.

Federal Reserve officials have said they eventually will raise the rate to 5.1% from 4.4% effective Dec. 15, but economists are debspanting whether they will respanlly go thspant high.

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