Real estate data has a tendency to be seasonal and from the looks of this latest batch, we are right on track again in South Florida. Today we will take a look at the “pop” in transaction volume last month, along with price trends, foreclosure filings and distressed sales.
A seasonal “pop” in deal volume
It’s a good think that transaction volume increased during the month of March, otherwise it would have signaled a warning moving forward through the spring. If you look at the previous years in the chart below, you will notice the same pattern during March and April of each year. You will want to see one more month of strength in deal volume before it tapers off for the summer months. The first chart breaks out the condo and single family home sales and the second chart is combined.
A slight drop in single family home prices (not seasonal)
This isn’t much to worry about right now, after several years of an upward trend. However, if the April numbers are soft it could be the start of a downward trend in single-family home prices across South Florida. The average sale price of a house in South Florida declined by 5% month over month from $505,236 in February to $477,764 in March. Meanwhile, the average sale price of a condo climbed 6% from $270,277 in February to $286,474 in March. Always keep in mind that the average sale price tends to be more volatile than the median, and one month in either direction does not signify the start of a new trend. We do anticipate softening in the condo market over the summer months and it will be interesting to see if house prices follow condos South. Mortgage rates have declined once again, so that may provide price support until rates resume their uptrend. Be careful not to cheer low rates for much longer, because they fortell much larger problems in the economy.
New foreclosure filings continue to climb throughout South Florida. During the month of march there were 1,495 new foreclosure filings in the condo and single-family home segments in South Florida. This is a jump of 18% month over month. So far in 2017, the monthly average of new filings is 1,304. The monthly average in 2016 was 1,262 and it was only 796 in 2015. Do you see a pattern here? Just look at the chart.
Distressed property sales
Finally, here is a look at the pace of short sale and foreclosure transactions in comparison to the new foreclosure filings. Obviously the properties that are just now receiving foreclosure notices have awile before ever hitting the market, but this chart and the one above really add some perspective to the “recovery” in the South Florida housing market.