I started tracking the area’s real estate performance monthly since 2009, and this is the first time in the past nine years that December had a lower number of sales compared to November. December came in about 17% below December 2017. Interestingly enough this year had the highest performing November with 196 residential home sales which was about 28% above November 2017. November is typically one of the lowest months of each year for sales. Essentially the activity shifted which has occurred before based upon various economic or legislation factors.
All in all 2018 was another up year for the area. The number of residential home sales increased about 7% compared to 2017 coming in at about 2,488. This was about an 11% gain compared to 2016. Median home price rose by about 5% versus 2017. And inventories continue to remain low currently around 850 residential homes listed for sale..
Cash purchases accounted for about 34% of closings this year. The decline in cash purchases has been the trend over the past few years as lending has opened up and interest rates remain low.
So what should we expect in 2019 for the area? That’s tough to say. Inventories remain low and demand does not seem to be slowing in the area which is a recipe that protects prices from dropping. But we could see a slight downturn in activity this year as prices have risen significantly over the past few years.
What should sellers expect?
Sellers have been fortunate over the past few years to be in a good position with lower levels of competition and ever increasing demand. But this will be a year to keep a close eye on activity and not be hesitant to consider price reductions. We are seeing many buyers being priced out of purchasing and others maybe sitting out while waiting to see if prices drop. Demand may slow this year and inventories may rise. The conditions and current trends don’t indicate a rapid decline in my opinion, but we could see some corrections occur in the local market.
What should buyers expect?
If you are serious about purchasing this is the time to have your financing or cash in order and not wait around to make a decision. That house you liked could be easily gone if you wait around to make a decision or try to negotiate too aggressively. The average sold to list price this past year was about 97%. Yes, you should check to see if the property is reasonably priced and be prepared to make a smart offer. Aggressive offers in this market right now will typically just shut down dialogue and the seller will move on.
What questions do you have?
Disclaimer: Information based upon the Flagler County Association of Realtors MLS as of 1/26/2019 for Residential Houses. Information may be deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed