Every year about this time, I update my readers on how things are going in the single family home market in the Island City. This year is no exception. In this column I will discuss some overall results and trends for the whole city. There will be additional information on the three specific neighborhoods of WilMa in a blog entry on my website, NewRealtyConcepts.com.
As a starting point, I would recommend taking a look at the longer term historical trends for the three neighborhoods. You’ll find those in my Real Estate Yearbook, also on the New Realty Concepts website.
Before getting to the numbers, there are a couple of overall observations of which you need to be aware. First, real estate has been flying pretty high here since the 2011 market trough. In most neighborhoods, prices had been increasing at a compounded rate of 10 percent or more per year. And into last year, homeowners in the Island City shared in those gains.
The second observation is that the real estate market in Wilton Manors is seasonal in nature. Yes, we have sales throughout the year. But generally, actual closings on single family homes tend to concentrate in the period from March to August. The first part of the period is more seasonal/second or vacation home business, with locals buying in the later weeks.
Overall, prices in WilMa peaked early in 2017, and have been essentially flat since then. Things seemed to be flattening as I wrapped up the Yearbook analysis last summer, but now the trend seems confirmed: Overall prices have stalled out in the Island City.
Sales have been a bit variable, but the trend here is positive. For the 12 months ended 2/28/2018, Island City single family home sales are up by 13 percent compared with the 12 months ending in February 2017.
Again, results for the overall city mask to some degree what has been occurring in the three neighborhoods. For example, the increase in sales is being driven by activity in the center part of the city (Andrews to Dixie). The west and east neighborhoods have had essentially flat sales. You can refer to the website for the details.
As for inventory levels… well that is a curious thing indeed. Through late last year, inventory levels were decently balanced in all three neighborhoods, relative to the sales activity that has occurred recently, with availability favoring neither buyers nor sellers. But I noted something interesting. As I described in the Real Estate Yearbook and in a previous column, given the seasonality, the inventory level at any one time is more a leading indicator of expected activity than it is a coincident indicator of the current situation.
In other words, if a strong second and early third quarter of sales were to be expected, inventory levels right now would be significantly higher than we are now seeing. With 75,000 Realtors serving the Miami to Jupiter region, I know lots of my friends are looking for listings regularly. But the numbers suggest that a lot of owners in WilMa are now in a “wait and see” mode.
More will be revealed.
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).