homes in Vero Beach, homes in Sebastian, homes in Palm BayEach Week, Sean Prescott, who is a member of my BNI group, stands up to do his elevator speech, and although he addresses different aspects of his real estate business, he is always asking for new listings. Here, in Indian River County, the real estate market is moving fast. A home you could  have purchased for the mid $190,000’s a year ago is now priced in the $230,000 and up price range today. I cannot predict what the market will do, and what effect the new tax laws may have, but given the low to mid range pricing here in Florida, it’s often still cost-effective to purchase a home versus renting. Plus rentals are in short supply these days.

Just out of an abundance of curiosity, I checked out what some real estate publications had to say about our current market.

Originally printed in

“Homes across the nation are selling at a breakneck pace—reaching levels not seen since the height of the housing boom more than a decade ago.

Sales of existing homes (which have previously been lived in) rose 5.6% last from October to November, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report. They were also up 3.8% year-over-year to reach a high of about 5.81 million sales. That’s the fastest clip at which they’ve sold since December 2006.fairway mortgage home loans, va loans in sebastian, va loans in vero beach, va loans in palm bay

(® looked only at the seasonally adjusted numbers in the report. These have been smoothed out over 12 months to account for seasonal fluctuations.)

Co-op and condo sales surged the most, vaulting 14.3% month-over-month and jumping 7.5% annually. Meanwhile, sales of single-family abodes, those classic residences that often come with a yard out back (if not a white picket fence), rose 4.5% from October and 3.2% from November 2016.

In general, home sales are up because of the strong economy, low unemployment,” says Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner. “There may have been a bump in sales because home buyers are anticipating an increase in mortgage interest rates and they wanted to act before the rates went up.”

But given the high number of sales, and the fewest number of homes on the market since the 1980s, he predicts “we’re in a for a bumpy ride,” as the high sales growth simply is not sustainable.

The uncertainty surrounding how the Republican tax plan will affect both buyers and sellers also may throw a wrench into the housing market—though it’s also not clear in what way.

“They may either hold off or speed up,” he says of prospective home buyers.

Median home prices to rose to hit $248,000 in November. That’s up 0.8% from the previous month and 5.8% over the previous year. It’s great news for sellers and not-so-good news for buyers. The most existing homes sold in November, about 41.5%, were in the $100,000 to $250,000 price bracket. An additional 34% were in the $250,000 to $500,000 range.

Only 10.8% were under $100,000. The rest, about 13.7%, were over $500,000.

Existing homes are still significantly cheaper than newly constructed abodes—about 27.2% more so. That’s because land and labor costs are so high, so new construction is skewed toward luxury and custom homes.

Newly constructed homes cost a median at $312,800 in October, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development data.

Nationally, sales of existing homes rose the most in the more-affordable Midwest, where many metros are experiencing resurgences. They jumped 8.9% from October and were up 7.2% over November 2016. The median home price was $197,500.

The region was followed by the South, with the number of sales up 7.3% month-over-month and 4.1% year-over-year. Some of that rush may be from buyers whose homes were damaged in Hurricanes Harvey or Irma and chose to buy new properties. The median home price was $220,200 in the region.”

Brian Denton

Fairway Independent Mortgage

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