January 2007 Market Update

Martin County escaped the slowdown in home sales experienced across the rest of the Treasure Coast during January, but not the continued slide in prices.

Realtors sold 93 homes, the same number as in January 2006, according to figures provided Tuesday by the Martin County Realtors Association. The median home price dropped to $296,000 from $310,000 between the two months, the association said.

Martin County’s report was a positive indictor for the market, said Jennifer Atkisson-Lovett, president of the Realtors Association of Martin County. “We are seeing our residential market begin to show signs of recovery as our number of pending sales are much better than 2006,” Atkisson-Lovett said. “We feel confident about the 2007 market as the pending sales have increased, and buyers are recognizing the outstanding values for investment that are abound in this market.”

Martin’s condominium market was mixed in January. There were 29 Realtor sales in that month versus 50 a year earlier, according to the association. The median price jumped, though, to $305,000 from $219,900 between the two months.

When lumped with the Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce market, the housing market looked weaker. The Florida Association of Realtors said Tuesday that its members sold 252 existing single-family homes in that metropolitan area during January, down from 343 a year earlier. The median price dropped 8 percent to $241,000 from $261,500. Realtors sold 51 existing condos versus 62 in January 2005. The median price rose 6 percent to $225,000 between the two months.

“Basically, this shows that people listing their homes for sale are not marking them down to the proper market prices,” said Brad Hunter, director of the housing research firm Metrostudy in West Palm Beach. “At least there are still buyers in the market.”

Don Santos, past president of the Treasure Coast Builders Association and president of Santos Construction, said the numbers reflected that it’s still a buyer’s market. “I didn’t expect there would be a turnaround this month,” Santos said. “But I actually think the numbers are a good sign because we’re not seeing 30 percent and 35 percent drop-offs anymore. The bright side is a lot of consumers can really get good deals now.”

The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area saw 496 sales of existing homes, down 15 percent from the 586 recorded during the same period last year. Prices dropped 1 percent to $388,000 from $393,700 last year.

Statewide, sales of single- family existing homes totaled 9, 382 last month compared to 12,906 homes sold in January 2006 for a 27 percent decrease.

Nationwide, The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously owned homes rose by 3 percent while the median price dropped to $210,600, a decline of 3.1 percent from a year ago.

Leave a Reply