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    Is The Beach Real Estate Market Softening?

    By Gwinn Volen

    Many a homebuyer interested in buying out there is asking, “is there an end in sight?”

    Unfortunately for buyers, and the bleary-eyed agents trying to help them find homes, the data, as well as expert opinion, suggests there is no immediate end coming to this frenzied market.

    First, the data.

    Ponte Vedra Beach and Nocatee: Real Estate Over The Last 15 Years

    If you look at the graph below, the trend is clear. Our area is at an all time low in terms of supply. Back in the bubble days of 2006-2007 in Ponte Vedra Beach there was a range of total inventory showing a low of 5 months and a high of 19 months. Currently, there is just 1 month of inventory. Though you see a slight upward tick as we closed out May, there has not been a mass of new inventory to enter the market this month.

    Nocatee is even worse with regards to inventory. It had less than a month of inventory in May. Nocatee was just beginning build out in 2006, hence the lack of of data from that timeframe, but the decline in inventory is severe.

    A balanced market, where buyers and sellers are on equal footing, is 6 months of inventory. With inventory at 1 month or less, we are definitely in a seller’s market.

    This next chart shows the trend in sales prices for both areas. Again, Nocatee didn’t even start selling lots until 2006. But with Ponte Vedra Beach, you can see that the “bubble” high was back in 2007. We are past that now, but keep in mind, that last high was 15 years ago. Some communities have just finally recovered from bubble days. Understand, this is a recovery not a mention of a new bubble. Expert after expert will assure buyers and sellers our circumstances are not bubble-centric

    This last chart shows how long listings are sitting on the market. Right now the median days on the market is 13 days in Ponte Vedra Beach and 10 days in Nocatee.

    What Do the Experts Say About a Market Shift?

    Right now, experts are all looking at data and consulting the real estate crystal ball. Right now, bets are on things continuing as they are for the near future.

    Housing Shortage Predicted to Continue

    Millennials entering the market; people shifting locations for lifestyle changes; and low overall housing inventory, including new builds, are three major things that continue to feed the market giving us no clear end in sight.

    “Despite the month-to-month trend, or even year-to-year changes, America is facing a massive housing shortage due to multiple years of underproduction in relation to population growth. We estimate around 5.5 to 6.8 million additional housing units need to be built. America is on track for only 1.6 million and 1.7 million new housing units this year and next, respectively. That would represent the best two-year performance in 15 years, yet it would still be inadequate. Therefore, expect both rents and home prices to outpace overall consumer price inflation in the upcoming years.”

    Lawrence Yun, NAR Economist Outlook Instant Reaction to Housing Starts June 16, 2021

    A Tick Up in Mortgage Rates Could Change Affordability

    Some experts are predicting that mortgage rates may increase, which could slow down the pool of buyers, who could be priced out should mortgage rates rise.

    If fewer people have the means to buy, it could ease the pressure on the market. Less competition could lead to  fewer bidding wars and mind-boggling offers over asking price.

    Clare Trapasso, The Feds Doesn’t Expect Rate Hikes Until 2023, But They Could Affect Today’s Housing Market

    About the Author:

    Gwinn Volen is a real estate agent and owner of The Volen Group at Keller Williams Luxury International.

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