WHAT’S IN A NUMBER?

If you’re like us, you read everything about local real estate market trends.  What’s confusing to us is that one day sales are up, the next the trend is down…all reported by the same media.  Prices are up, prices are down.  It’s confusing so you have to determine which indicators have meaning to you.

A friendly agent sometimes passes along statistics generated by local real estate boards.  The data is only as good as what brokers report but it is interesting nonetheless.  Since the February numbers were produced in early March, there may be a slight information lag.  But here are a few interesting items:

Year-to-date financing (of sales)

CASH                     46.0%

Conventional     25.8%

FHA                        24.5%

Other                      3.7%

(includes assumption, VA, seller financing, etc.)

One can only imagine that the financed  transactions might lean more heavily to FHA.  But it’s telling that agents are reporting so many cash transactions.  No prior year statistics were presented but the figures seem to agree with other media reports.

Activity Summary

Single family listings February 2010: 4,600; 2011: 4,078, a decrease of 11.3%.  Pending sales February 2010: 2,230; February 2011: 2,938 an increase of 31.7%.  Sold listings February 2010: 1,627 vs. 1,736 for February 2011, an increase of 6.7%.  

 Many investors report fewer homes available and some agents and title companies relate the shrinking inventory to the legal woes of many foreclosure firms caught up in the “robo-signer” probe.  Closing delays when buying bank properties are now the norm because of these issues.  But even with a decrease in inventory, sales volume has increased.  And, depending on which day you read the newspaper, prices remain in a downward trend, slight or not. 

Where the Action Was (and probably remains) 

During the 4th quarter of 2010, there were 8,726 new listings reported in the tri-county area.  Here are the top 5 areas in terms of new listings during that period:

  1.  Miami:  1,844
  2. Fort Lauderdale:  507
  3. Hollywood:  413
  4. Miramar:  327
  5. Homestead:  317

 And for the same period, here are the top 5 areas of sales:

  1.  Miami: 827 at an average sales price of $181,150 and median sales price of $147,000
  2. Fort Lauderdale: 218.  Average price of $364,216 and median price of $131,750
  3. Hollywood: 180 with an average of $151,494 and median of $109,250
  4. Homestead: 179.  Average price of $110,930 and median price of $97,000
  5. Pembroke Pines: 134 at an average price of $255,148 and median price of $222,500

Boots On The GroundIf you’re orking with an agent and you’d like to know more about the area that interest you, ask!  Many statistics are available to real estate agents.