Column: A First Look At WilMa’s First Quarter

SFGN File Photo

Mid-April is the time when our “Snowbird” visitors start making the trek back north, to where many of them are known as “Summer People.” Those of us who stay here year-round then get to start reviewing peak-season real estate transactions. And while sales activity continues throughout the calendar year, the first quarter often sets the pace.

When I analyze specific neighborhoods, I usually consider pricing on a rolling six-month (or even 12-month) basis, because there can be too few sales to make any sort of meaningful assessment. But for the city of Wilton Manors as a whole, it’s probably all right to consider pricing on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

The first chart here is median sales prices for single-family homes in the Island City over the last nine quarters. Although there are a couple aberrant quarters, the longer-term trend has been pretty flat for two years. For first-quarter 2019, the median sales price (half above, half below) for a single-family home in WilMa was $470,000. This compares with a median price of $455,000 in last year’s first quarter – an increase of three percent.

It seems the days of double-digit annual price increases may be at an end – at least for a while. 

Next consider sales volume in units. Because of a degree of seasonality in sales (the first half of the year traditionally has been a bit more active), I consider sales on a rolling four-quarter basis. Here we see aggregate 12-month sales at 180 homes in 1Q19, versus 201 homes for the 12 months ended March 31, 2018.

Even if you consider the 201 to be a little off the norm, you can picture a trendline headed gradually down over the last 18 months or so.

So, what does it all mean? 

I worry about perceptions of value per dollar with some properties. The test, I think, would be a further statistical analysis on two questions: 

1. How does final sale price compare with original list price (not price after multiple reductions)? 

2. Has there been a change in the number of listings that expire without a contract? (This, by the way, turns out to be a very complex statistical exercise if you want to do it right.)

More on these questions soon.

James Oaksun, Florida's Real Estate Geek(SM), is Broker-Owner of New Realty Concepts in Oakland Park. In addition to having degrees from Dartmouth and Cornell, he is a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI).

 



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