Conflicting Views On Area Housing Market

Realtor_logoBOCA RATON, FL ( — We told you last week that the Palm Beach County Clerk’s Office says that 2011 was the worst year for foreclosures in the area in the past several years, rising a whopping 27-percent from 2011. Foreclosures often lead to decreasing property values — if the house next to yours sells in foreclosure or in a short sale, it could lower your value.


So it may seem odd that the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches is painting a rosy picture in its carefully worded media release, below.

Note, however, that the Realtor Association is citing sales of foreclosed homes — not homes in foreclosure — as it reiterates its never-ended message that “now is the perfect time to sell” and “now is the perfect time to buy.”

“The housing market made an incredible comeback in 2012, ending the year with impressive price gains for single-family homes and townhomes and condos,” according to Tim Harris, 2013 President of the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches.  Year over year the median price of single-family homes increased 20.9 percent and townhouses-condos increased 34.4 percent in Palm Beach County.  Harris said, “Buyers presumed that prices hit bottom and started to aggressively buy property.  This caused a sharp decline in inventory and high demand for properties that are in good condition.”

Year-over-year closed sales of single-family homes are up 14.3 percent, pending sales are up 77.5 percent and inventory levels are down from an 8.7-month supply to a 5.9-month supply.  According to Barb Kozlow, 2013 President-Elect of the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches, “Buyers are actively looking for a good buy, and they do exist.  The key is to be flexible, consistent and prepared. As they say, if you snooze you lose.  Therefore serious buyers should be prepared be tour properties of interest in a timely manner and act quickly if they want to make an offer.”

Year-over-year foreclosed single-family home sales decreased 52.2 percent and the median sale price increased 24.8 percent.  Conversely, short sales increased 22.4 percent from a year ago. Short sales should continue to be a positive alternative for distressed property owners as a result of the one-year extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act.

The buyer rebound remained strong throughout the year as a result of consumer confidence and low interest rates. Signs indicate continued strength and a positive housing market for both buyers and sellers in 2013.

The Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches, “The Voice of Local Real Estate,” represents over 8,000 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate.

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