Real Estate News & Market Trends on Florida's Treasure Coast

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. We feature topics relevant to the Treasure Coast of Florida which includes, Stuart, Port St Lucie, Vero Beach, Palm City & Jensen Beach. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 7, 2022

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Mortgage rates are much higher today than they were at the beginning of the year, and that’s had a clear impact on the housing market. As a result, the market is seeing a shift back toward the range of pre-pandemic levels for buyer demand and home sales.

But the transition back toward pre-pandemic levels isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the years leading up to the pandemic were some of the best the housing market has seen. That’s why, as the market undergoes this shift, it’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal years to show how the current housing market is still strong.

Higher Mortgage Rates Are Moderating the Housing Market 

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s also a good indication of buyer demand over time. Here’s a look at their data going back to 2017 (see graph below):

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Here’s a breakdown of the story this data tells:

  • The 2017 through early 2020 numbers (shown in gray) give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand. The steady up and down trends seen in each of these years show typical seasonality in the market.
  • The blue on the graph represents the pandemic years. The height of those blue bars indicates home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic.
  • The most recent data (shown in green), indicates buyer demand is moderating back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

This shows that buyer demand is coming down from levels seen over the past two years, and the frenzy in real estate is easing because of higher mortgage rates. For you, that means buying your next home should be less challenging than it would’ve been during the pandemic because there is more inventory available.

Higher Mortgage Rates Slow the Once Frenzied Pace of Home Sales

As mortgage rates started to rise this year, other shifts began to occur too. One additional example is the slowing pace of home sales. Using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), here’s a look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2017. Much like the previous graph, a similar trend emerges (see graph below):

A Window of Opportunity for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Again, the data paints a picture of the shift:

  • The pre-pandemic years (shown in gray) establish a baseline of the number of existing home sales in more typical years.
  • The pandemic years (shown in blue) exceeded the level of sales seen in previous years. That’s largely because low mortgage rates during that time spurred buyer demand and home sales to new heights.
  • This year (shown in green), the market is feeling the impact of higher mortgage rates and that’s moderating buyer demand (and by extension home sales). That’s why the expectation for home sales this year is closer to what the market saw in 2018-2019.

Why Is All of This Good News for You?

Both of those factors have opened up a window of opportunity for homeowners looking to move and for buyers looking to purchase a home. As demand moderates and the pace of home sales slows, housing inventory is able to grow – and that gives you more options for your home search.

So don’t let the headlines about the market cooling or moderating scare you. The housing market is still strong; it’s just easing off from the unsustainable frenzy it saw during the height of the pandemic – and that’s a good thing. It opens up new opportunities for you to find a home that meets your needs.

Bottom Line

The housing market is undergoing a shift because of higher mortgage rates, but the market is still strong. If you’ve been looking to buy a home over the last couple of years and it felt impossible to do, now may be your opportunity. Buying a home right now isn’t easy, but there is more opportunity for those who are looking.

Aug. 7, 2022

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

With all the headlines and buzz in the media, some consumers believe the market is in a housing bubble. As the housing market shifts, you may be wondering what’ll happen next. It’s only natural for concerns to creep in that it could be a repeat of what took place in 2008. The good news is, there’s concrete data to show why this is nothing like the last time.

There’s a Shortage of Homes on the Market Today, Not a Surplus

The supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation.

For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, supply is growing, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how this time compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just a 3.0-months’ supply at the current sales pace.

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

One of the reasons inventory is still low is because of sustained underbuilding. When you couple that with ongoing buyer demand as millennials age into their peak homebuying years, it continues to put upward pressure on home prices. That limited supply compared to buyer demand is why experts forecast home prices won’t fall this time.

Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed During the Crash

During the lead-up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get a home loan than it is today. The graph below showcases data on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage.

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Running up to 2006, banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance their current home. Back then, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices.

Today, things are different, and purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americansays:

Credit standards tightened in recent months due to increasing economic uncertainty and monetary policy tightening.” 

Stricter standards, like there are today, help prevent a risk of a rash of foreclosures like there was last time.

The Foreclosure Volume Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

The most obvious difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. Foreclosure activity has been on the way down since the crash because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions to help tell the story:

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

In addition, homeowners today are equity rich, not tapped out. In the run-up to the housing bubble, some homeowners were using their homes as personal ATMs. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up. When home values began to fall, some homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation where the amount they owed on their mortgage was greater than the value of their home. Some of those households decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a wave of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at considerable discounts that lowered the value of other homes in the area.

Today, prices have risen nicely over the last few years, and that’s given homeowners an equity boost. According to Black Knight:

In total, mortgage holders gained $2.8 trillion in tappable equity over the past 12 months – a 34% increase that equates to more than $207,000 in equity available per borrower. . . .”

With the average home equity now standing at $207,000, homeowners are in a completely different position this time.

Bottom Line

If you’re worried we’re making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, the graphs above should help alleviate your concerns. Concrete data and expert insights clearly show why this is nothing like the last time.

Aug. 7, 2022

Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market

Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

As there’s more and more talk about the real estate market cooling off from the peak frenzy it saw during the pandemic, you may be questioning what that means for your plans to sell your house. If you’re thinking of making a move, you should know the market is still anything but normal.

Even though the supply of homes for sale has been growing this year, there’s still a shortage of homes on the market. And that means conditions continue to favor sellers today. That’s because the level of inventory of homes for sale can help determine if buyers or sellers are in the driver’s seat. Think of it like this:

  • buyers’ market is when there are more homes for sale than buyers looking to buy. When that happens, buyers have the negotiation power because sellers are more willing to compromise so they can sell their house.
  • In a sellers’ market, it’s just the opposite. There are too few homes available for the number of buyers in the market and that gives the seller all the leverage. In that situation, buyers will do what they can to compete for the limited number of homes for sale.
  • neutral market is when supply is balanced and there are enough homes to meet buyer demand at the current sales pace.

And for the past two years, we’ve been in a red-hot sellers’ market because inventory has been near record lows. The blue section of this graph highlights just how far below a neutral market inventory still is today.

Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

What Does This Mean for You?

Ed Pinto, Director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, gives a perfect summary of what’s happening in today’s market, saying:

“Overall, the best summary is that we'll move from a gangbuster sellers' market to a modest sellers' market.”

Conditions are still in your favor even though the market is cooling. If you work with an agent to price your house at market value, you’ll find success when you sell your house today. While buyer demand is softening due to higher mortgage rates, homes that are priced right are still selling fast. That means your window of opportunity to list your house hasn’t closed.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market still favors sellers. If you’re ready to sell your house, let’s connect so you can start making your moves.

Aug. 7, 2022

Housing Market Forecast for the Rest of 2022 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Housing Market Forecast for the Rest of 2022 [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The housing market is shifting away from the intensity of the past two years. Here’s what experts project for the remainder of 2022.
  • Home prices are forecast to rise more moderately than last year. Mortgage rates will respond to inflation, and home sales will be more in line with pre-pandemic years.
  • Let’s connect so you can make your best move this year.
July 24, 2022

Expert Housing Market Forecasts for the Second Half of the Year

Expert Housing Market Forecasts for the Second Half of the Year | MyKCM

The housing market is at a turning point, and if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, that may leave you wondering: is it still a good time to buy a home? Should I make a move this year? To help answer those questions, let’s turn to the experts for projections on what the second half of the year holds for residential real estate.

Where Mortgage Rates Will Go Depends on Inflation

While one of the big questions on all buyers’ minds is where will mortgage rates go in the months ahead, no one has a crystal ball to know exactly what’ll happen in the future. What housing market experts know for sure is that the record-low mortgage rates during the pandemic were an outlier, not the norm.

This year, rates have climbed over 2% due to the Federal Reserve’s response to rising inflation. If inflation continues to rise, it’s likely that mortgage rates will respond. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains it well:

“Until inflation peaks, mortgage rates won’t either. Without improvement on the inflation front, we don’t know where the interest rate ceiling will be.”

Whether you’re buying your first home or selling your current house to make a move, today’s mortgage rate is an important factor to consider. When rates rise, they impact affordability and your purchasing power. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a team of professionals, so you have expert advice to help you make an informed decision about your best move.

The Supply of Homes for Sale Projected To Continue Increasing

This year, particularly this spring, the number of homes for sale has grown. That’s partly due to more homeowners listing their houses, but also because higher mortgage rates have helped ease the intensity of buyer demand. Moderating buyer demand slows down the pace of home sales, which in turn helps inventory rise.

Experts say that growth will continue. Recently, realtor.com updated their 2022 inventory forecast. In the latest release, they increased their projections for inventory gains dramatically, going from a 0.3% increase at the beginning of the year to a 15.0% jump by the end of 2022 (see graph below):

Expert Housing Market Forecasts for the Second Half of the Year | MyKCM

More homes to choose from is great news if you’re craving more options for your home search – just know that there isn’t a sudden surplus of inventory on the horizon. Housing supply is still low, so you’ll need to partner with an agent to stay on top of what’s available in your market and move fast when you find the one. It’s not going to be easy to find a home, but it certainly won’t be as difficult as it has been over the past two years.

Home Price Forecasts Call for Ongoing Appreciation

Due to the imbalance between the number of homes for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase, the pandemic led to record-breaking increases in home prices. According to CoreLogic, homes appreciated by 15% in 2021, and they’ve continued to rise this year.

Even though housing supply is increasing today, there are still more buyers than there are homes for sale, and that’s maintaining the upward pressure on home prices. That’s why experts are not calling for prices to decline, rather they’re forecasting they’ll continue to climb, just at a more moderate pace this year. On average, homes are projected to appreciate by about 8.5% in 2022 (see graph below):

Expert Housing Market Forecasts for the Second Half of the Year | MyKCM

Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains why the housing market will see deceleration, but not depreciation, in prices:

“The current home price growth rate is unsustainable, and higher mortgage rates coupled with more inventory will lead to slower home price growth but unlikely declines in home prices.

For current homeowners looking to sell, know your home’s value isn’t projected to fall, but waiting to make your purchase does mean your next home could cost more as home prices continue to appreciate. That’s why, if you’re thinking about buying your first home or you’re ready to make a move, it may make sense to do so now before prices climb higher. But rest assured, once you buy a home, that price appreciation will help grow the value of your investment.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a homebuyer or seller, you need to know what’s happening in the housing market, so you can make the most informed decision possible. Let’s connect to discuss your goals and what lies ahead, so you can determine the best plan for your move.

July 24, 2022

Great News About Housing Inventory [INFOGRAPHIC]

Great News About Housing Inventory [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Experts say the number of homes for sale is growing this year, and that can have a big impact on your move.
  • If you’re planning to buy, additional options in today’s market may be just what you’ve been waiting for. More inventory means added opportunities to find the home of your dreams.
  • Let’s connect so you have the latest information on available homes in our area.
July 24, 2022

Think Home Prices Are Going To Fall? Think Again

Think Home Prices Are Going To Fall? Think Again | MyKCM

Over the last two years, the rate of home prices appreciated at a dramatic pace. While that led to incredible equity gains for homeowners, it’s also caused some buyers to wonder if home prices will fall. It’s important to know the housing market isn’t a bubble about to burst, and home price growth is supported by strong market fundamentals.

To understand why price declines are unlikely, it’s important to explore what caused home prices to rise so much recently, and where experts say home prices are headed. Here’s what you need to know.

Home Prices Rose Significantly in Recent Years

The graph below uses the latest data from CoreLogic to illustrate the rise in home prices over the past year and a half. The gray bars represent the dramatic increase in the rate of home price appreciation in 2021. The blue bars show home prices are still rising in 2022, but not as quickly:

Think Home Prices Are Going To Fall? Think Again | MyKCM

You might be asking: why did home prices climb so much last year? It’s because there were more buyers than there were homes for sale. That imbalance put upward pressure on home prices because demand was extremely high, and supply was record low.

Where Experts Say Prices Will Go from Here

While housing inventory is increasing and buyer demand is softening today, there’s still a shortage of homes available for sale. That’s why the market is seeing ongoing price appreciation. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americanexplains it like this:

“. . .we’re still well below normal levels of inventory and that’s why even with the pullback in demand, we still see house prices appreciating. While there is more inventory, it’s still not enough.”

As a result, experts are projecting a more moderate rate of home price appreciation this year, which means home prices will continue rising, but at a slower pace. That doesn’t mean prices are going to fall. As Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogicsays:

“The current home price growth rate is unsustainable, and higher mortgage rates coupled with more inventory will lead to slower home price growth but unlikely declines in home prices.”

In other words, even with higher mortgage rates, moderating buyer demand, and more homes for sale, experts say home price appreciation will slow, but prices won't decline.

If you’re planning to buy a home, that means you shouldn’t wait for home prices to drop to make your purchase. Instead, buying today means you can get ahead of future price increases, and benefit from the rise in prices in the form of home equity.

Bottom Line

Home prices skyrocketed in recent years because there was more demand than supply. As the market shifts, experts aren’t forecasting a drop in prices, just a slowdown in the rate of price growth. To understand what’s happening with home prices in our area, let’s connect today.

Jan. 4, 2022

3570 SW Zullo Street, Port Saint Lucie, FL 34953

POOL/SPA HOUSE in 34953 Zip Code! This home is ready for your interior finishes to make it your own! The seller has made the following updates: roof replaced w/white metal roof, newer Hardie Board siding, updated pool/spa inc equipment/heater, travertine pool deck, new vinyl privacy fence, newer kitchen appliances/washer & dryer, travertine front porch, new hot water heater, wind rated garage door. Super private location backing up to large lake/preserve. A/C replaced in 2011. Nearby all that Tradition offers. Easy access to 95. This one won't last!

Presented By:

Ann Chauss

Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Realty
772-233-9211
Licensed In: FL
License #: SL3436247

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Posted in Just Listed
Dec. 27, 2021

Best Neighborhoods in Port St. Lucie

Best Neighborhoods in Port St. Lucie, FL

Nestled along the Atlantic Coast in southern Florida is the scenic and friendly city of Port St. Lucie. With a population of nearly 190,000 residents, Port St. Lucie is located in St. Lucie County.

For many different reasons, more and more people are looking for the perfect coastal town to call home. Some are hoping to settle in for their golden years, while others are looking to escape the chaos of larger cities and find an ideal, quiet spot to raise a family.

Port St. Lucie ranks as a very affordable city, especially when considering other areas of south Florida. It is one of the best places to purchase a home for those on a budget. It also features wide roads, low crime rates and ample access to outdoor activities. Port St. Lucie has also been nominated for many different awards including being one of the best places to work and among the best for military retirees. 

The beaches, waterways and golf courses that make up the area's natural landscape are perfect for enjoying a relaxed lifestyle. There are also plenty of shopping centers, restaurants and places of worship to choose from.

View All Homes For Sale in Port St. Lucie, Florida >>>

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Posted in Buying
June 22, 2021

5 Things Homebuyers Need To Know When Making an Offer

5 Things Homebuyers Need To Know When Making an Offer | MyKCM

When it comes to buying a house, you’re looking for the perfect place to call home. The problem is, in today’s market there just aren’t that many homes available to purchase. With inventory hovering near record lows and sky-high buyer demand, a multi-offer scenario is the new normal. Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re ready to make an offer.

1. Know Your Numbers

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. That’s why you should connect with a lender to get pre-approved for a loan early in the homebuying process. Taking this step shows sellers you’re a serious, qualified buyer and can give you a competitive edge in a bidding war.

2. Brace for a Fast Pace

Today’s market is dynamic and fast-paced. According to the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home is on the market for just 17 days – that means from start to finish, a house for sale in today’s climate is active for roughly 2.5 weeks. A skilled agent will do everything they can to help you stay on top of every possible opportunity. And, as soon as you find the right home for your needs, that agent will help you draft and submit your best offer as quickly as possible.

3. Lean on a Real Estate Professional

While homebuying may seem like a whirlwind process to you, local real estate agents do this every day, and we know what works. That expertise can be used to give you a significant leg up on your competition. An agent can help you consider what levers you can pull that might be enticing to a seller, like:

  • Offering flexible rent-back options to give the seller more time to move out
  • Your ability to do a quick close or make an offer that’s not contingent on the sale of your current home

It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller may need can help your offer stand out.

4. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer

Let’s face it – we all love a good deal. In the past, offering at or near the asking price was enough to make your offer appealing to sellers. In today’s market, that’s often not the case. According to Lawrence YunChief Economist at NAR:

“For every listing there are 5.1 offers. Half of the homes are being sold above list price.”

In such a competitive market, emotions and prices can run high. Use an agent as your trusted advisor to make a strong, but fair offer based on market value, recent sales, and demand.

5. Be a Flexible Negotiator

If you followed tip #3, you drafted the offer with the seller’s needs in mind. That said, the seller may still counter with their own changes. Be prepared to amend your offer to include flexible move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Just remember, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to forego. Freddie Mac explains:

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”

Bottom Line

When it’s time to make an offer, it’s important to consider not just what you need, but what the seller may need too. Let’s connect so you have expert advice on this step in the homebuying process to put your best offer on the table.

Posted in Buying, Housing Economy