Sept 2021 Market Stats, Including A Local Luxury Market In-Depth Analysis

Sept 2021 Stats

It is indeed a Seller’s Market, with our local Multiple Listing Service, (MLS), reflecting only ONE MONTH’S INVENTORY of properties for sale in Sept of 2021! However, in an article from the Florida Realtors Association dated August 27th, 2021, according to data from Florida Atlantic University economist Ken H. Johnson and Florida International University professor Eli Beracha, Lakeland and the Tampa Bay area were the most overpriced in Florida, both at a little more than 31% above where they should be! Their data came from their analysis of over 100 metro areas, using 25 years of data from Zillow on single-family homes, townhomes, and condos, out of nine metros in Florida. Said Johnson:

“While we’re almost certainly nearing the peak of the current housing cycle, it’s nowhere near as serious as it was more than a decade ago, when Florida homes were overvalued by 60% or more,” Johnson said. “Prices eventually will level off or fall, and recent buyers who want to sell would be hard-pressed to earn their money back.”

Will that happen in our market in the near future? That seems unlikely, with the latest US News and World Report’s list of the top metros in the US for the “BEST PLACES TO RETIRE,” listing 11 Florida cities in the top 20!  Indeed, out of the top ten, eight are in Florida, including Tampa as #6! (FYI: Tampa means Tampa Bay, which is annoying for those of us on the Pinellas side of the bay!) In this new COVID-era, the ability to enjoy the great outdoors year-round is even more important than ever before. Being able to enjoy it in the sunshine, with the sand between your toes or out on the water….That is what puts us in the top 10! 

September’s local statistics support this supposition. Our market, like our weather, is Hot, Hot, HOT! New Listings in our MLS were almost the same as September of 2020, with a whopping total of 20 additional units for 2021! (Anything more is better, as inventory is perilously low!) The number of SOLD units for September of 2021 also rose very, very slightly. Indeed, it is a difference with no significance number-wise. But the fact that we are seeing a return to 2020 numbers is significant. Having said that, 2020, the year that will be remembered for bringing COVID into our lives, was already a time of grave inventory shortages and rising prices. But, if we look at 2021 numbers only, we see that 6% more homes sold in September than did in August. The most shocking number in the chart above is that the number of Active Listings in September of 2021 was 44% less than in September of 2020… but on an upward trend from August of 2021. The bottom line is that properties are moving quickly in 2021, with the average number of Days on the Market for SOLD properties in September of 2021 being 19. That is 60% less than September of 2020, when it was 48 Days! Here is another fun fact: September of 2021 had an AVERAGE SALES PRICE 17% higher than September of 2020! For a more ‘drilled-down’ view of what is happening in our luxury market, visit this link:

What do all these numbers mean to you? If you are interested in selling your property, odds are that priced properly, it would sell very quickly, for a GREAT price. As the Florida Atlantic University Economist, Ken Johnson said we cannot count on these unprecedented increases continuing. Indeed, some market correction is bound to occur! For a precise estimate of your property’s value, please give us a call. My Team and I would love to see your home in person and provide you with a Custom Comparative Market Analysis. I am an experienced Broker/Owner with three offices and a robust team of professionals that perform consistently in the top ½ of 1 % of ALL Realtors in Pinellas County! Let us show you what we can do for you! Experience the NextHome Beach Time Realty Difference! Call our office at 727-363-3300.

Sept 2020 stats

DAY 214 of COVID-19 Battle Plan: Virtual Life & New Challenges

First of all, I cannot believe I did my first “COVID-19 Battle Plan” post 214 days ago on March 22nd! I guess time flies when you are having fun! LOL! Not!  But… we are adjusting. I hope this does not become our new normal. So many things have changed. Then again, many have just evolved.  Some, I think, will be a permanent new state of affairs. Take, for example, virtual showings. Virtual showings, while much more prevalent now, have been part of our Realtor toolbox for ages! Check out my video done in early 2018. We were using an iPhone and a gimble and had a lot of fun with it. (Fortunately, I was blessed to be ably assisted by Niki Maturi, my Assistant Extraordinaire; Photographer; Videographer; and Graphic Artist!) I thought about this fun video earlier this week, because it was a virtual showing. Prior to this, I had made many videos to send to a client while previewing and sometimes, using Facebook Messenger or Skype, we held live video tours. This particular virtual showing was videoed live and then later edited for a promo video. (Niki and I actually had a lot of fun doing this and subsequently have done several “I LOVE MY JOB!” videos.) But now, rather than an occasional occurrence, we are conducting virtual tours and Open Houses for our clients almost daily. Of course, there are differences. One big change is that we would all be wearing masks! Another less sobering one is that before it was Skype or Facetime we used. Now it is more often ZOOM or What’s App, especially for our International Buyers!

Here is a BIG CHANGE: With inventory today at a two-month supply, the beachfront house in this video would have sold very quickly, even at $1000/sf,  if only for the lot value! Instead it took almost 1.5 years to sell and finally did close at $1,561,000 versus original asking price of $1,795,000. With over 1000 people per day moving to Florida, we are STARVING for inventory. There were 36% fewer listings in our area in Sept 2020 versus Sept 2019! But our total Sales/Dollar Volume for September  2020 versus 2019 was up by $1.5 billion or 38%! The average sales price is also up by 18% for 2020 versus 2019! The ‘moral’ of the story is that it is a VERY GOOD TIME TO BE A SELLER! And with mortgage rates almost ludicrously low and rental rates exceedingly high, it is also a GOOD TIME TO BUY!

The challenges in today’s market are:  As a Buyer, how to you buy intelligently? (Forget about buying cheaply unless you are prepared to do extensive rehab.)  And as a Seller, how do you achieve the best price? I recently had a listing appointment with a client that intended to do a FSBO, i.e., a For Sale By Owner. I am going to talk about that transaction and the challenges in another post. Suffice it to say that in our market, at every Open House, there is both a live and virtual stream of people to reach and manage. Then there is the potential for bidding wars. (Personally, I do not like them – but that too will be covered in a future post.) There is also the issue of the appraisals. Cash is KING, as always. Today CASH is even more important, as escalating prices are not always acknowledged by the appraiser.  That means advocating for your non-cash Buyers is another important skill.  Safety, while always a concern, now has a whole new twist!

What’s the bottom line? Life and business go on. We evolve! 214 days later I still get out of bed one foot at a time. I lament that moment when I reluctantly, but religiously step on the scale. (More so 214 days later than I did, by the way! ;o) I work seven days per week, every week – not 5 or 6!  But, I  am not complaining! I am happy to have a job. And that job manages to help me keep my people employed. And my people help our property management clients to earn income, paying their bills. As so on and so forth. The truth is, like in the video, I am truly grateful and “I DO love my job!”