Several days prior to the issue you’re reading, I posted a bit of info on Facebook that I hoped would get some interest (and it did). As of a recent date, the were 76 single family homes for sale in Wilton Manors. (There were another 26 properties with live realtor listing contracts that had not yet closed.) So I wondered – and worried – what is happening to inventory in the Island City, and how did that compare with prior periods over the last several years?
As I have noted before, I calculate inventory a bit differently than does the state, owing to the seasonality of sales here. (When sales volume fluctuates seasonally, in my opinion you need to take that into account when doing an inventory calculation.)
Going back to 2013, I have created the chart you see. The straight horizontal line is the average inventory over the entire 6-year study period. The variable (jagged) line is the monthly inventory over that same time frame.
Now, what does it all mean?
First, once we got to 2014, inventory in WilMa became (relatively) stable.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, you will note three pretty serious spikes upward in the last three years. These spikes all coincided with the height of our high season – the month of February.
It’s clear to me what was happening. At that month, people were anxious to get their homes on the market. Prices had dramatically accelerated from the mid-2011 low point, and everyone knew it. Consequently, the impression in the market was that that was the optimal time to sell.
And, if you missed the opportunity in the previous year, or overpriced and could not sell in the prior period, you got the home listed and tried again. Although this time, you may have actually gotten your price, as values continued to appreciate (albeit, generally at lower rates).
In closing, as I noted in that Facebook post I mentioned at the start, just more than half of the homes currently on the market have had at least one price reduction since the original listing date. I hypothesize that this is a combination of some sellers getting a bit greedy, and some realtors telling sellers what they want to hear in order to get a listing. After all, it’s usually harder to get a listing than to persuade a seller to accept a list price reduction.
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).