Vero Beach Housing Sales Increase 9.5% While Inventory Drops 18%

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Ginny Mitchell, Coldwell Banker Realtor, ABR, CRS, GRI announced today compelling market indicators in the Vero Beach – Indian River County Florida real estate market. After years of excessive numbers of properties on the market, the Inventory of houses and condos in the Vero Beach area have now dropped 18% from September of 2010 and real estate sales increased 9.5% over September 2010. Since the peak inventory in January 2008, inventory has increased each winter when the tourist season starts and then moved downward through the first half of each year to bottom out in mid-summer. In the last 3 years, inventory has turned upward after the winter season sales, but this year inventory has continued to fall.

Mitchell noted that “cash sales comprised 64% of the total sales, and bank owned and short sales were of 37% of the total, which is low compared to a year ago. Demand is anticipated for homes to continue to increase in the near future as mortgage rates are historically low and home prices appear to be at or near the bottom.”

She added that new construction is at a 10 year low, which drives up the demand for resale homes. In Indian River County the 2007 taxable value of new construction was over $700 million. Through the first 6 months of 2011, that taxable value is only $89 million, which is up only fractionally over 2010. In general, the same ratios occur for St Lucie County.

Bank foreclosures are forecast to rise over the next year. However, many foreclosed homes are bought by investors and used as rental units for displaced homeowners. In Florida foreclose on a property typically requires an average of 687 days.

Addressing the population issues, Mitchell stated “the population continues to increase. According to the 2010 census, Florida population is now 18.8 million, up 300,000 from 2009 and up 3 million from 2000. In Indian River County the population increased from 113,000 in 2000 to 138,000 in 2010. The St Lucie County population increased from 192,000 in 2000 to 278,000 in 2010. Population increases will continue to push inventory levels downward.”
The median price of houses in the Vero Beach Indian River County Florida area decreased to $120,000 in September, a 4.2% reduction from September 2010. This is the lowest median price in the last 5 years, the same as January 2011. Remember that the median price change does not necessarily mean that the value of an individual house has increased or decreased. The median is influenced by the number of high or low priced homes sold in a certain period. The size of houses selling are smaller than they were 4 or 5 years ago. We believe that the decline of prices is at or near bottom in the Vero Beach area, and that this low median price indicates a trend that many buyers are moving to lower priced homes and smaller homes. There are large numbers of foreclosures waiting to hit the market, but many buyers also waiting to buy.

When a more balanced market approaches with about 6 months of inventory, and prices start to increase, we should then begin see a higher than normal appreciation. Had it not been for the housing bubble when prices overheated, prices would likely have continued at about 5%, the historic annual appreciation.

Given a variety of indicators that include continued population increases in Florida, low levels of new construction, and higher new construction costs, we anticipate that once the economy and real estate market recover, we will see a “recapturing of equity.”
All these factors are inviting home buyers to the marriage of low interest rates and low prices to find their real estate investment and/or dream home in Vero Beach Florida. The unknown question is how long this buying opportunity will last?

A certified Previews Luxury Home Specialist, Ginny Mitchell specializes in Vero Beach and Orchid Island, where she is consistently a Top Producer by offering personalized services to achieve her client's goals. As a Coldwell Banker Previews agent, Ginny offers her expertise for buyers and sellers in the luxury market. Her professional style emphasizes utmost confidentiality and discretion, a great reassurance for the significant investments she deals with every day. Ginny has over 30 years’ experience on the Treasure Coast in Indian River County. Among their cultural and charitable contributions, Jeff and Ginny are business benefactors of the Riverside Theatre and the Vero Beach Art Museum. Ginny is currently serving as the liaison between the Active members and the Sustaining members of the Junior League service organization and has accepted the leadership role for the area Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority alumnae chapter.

Visit Ginny Mitchell at http://www.myverobeachrealestate.com, or
Email her at ginny(dot)mitchell(at)coldwellbanker(dot)com

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