South Florida single-family home sales are exploding over this time last year and local realtors say the COVID-19 pandemic has a lot to do with it.
\”We’re breaking records, the amount of sales are soaring,\” said Tracy Ward of Douglas Elliman.
Ward said they are seeing buyers from New York, New Jersey, California and other states hard hit by the virus and expecting more quarantines.
\”A lot of the properties we looked at we blinked and they were gone,\” said buyer Evan Jacobson from Northern Virginia.
Ward pointed to a house in Jupiter where they got a contract in less than a week — for more than $2 million.
\”A lot of our properties are selling before we’ve even had a chance to do the photos,\” she said.
It was even faster for a 3/2 with a pool in Abacoa.
\”I don’t think we even put it on the market and we received multiple offers, well above asking price,\” said realtor Chelsey Fries.
Jacobson and his partner Michele Angel said the pandemic convinced them to look for a place in South Florida for the winter months.
\”We know once the winter comes we’ll be trapped in the house with nothing to do other than take a quick run outside, but even so it\’s like 30 degrees in the winter,\” said Angel.
Like most buyers fleeing a dreary quarantine in close quarters, the couple was entranced by South Florida\’s weather, restaurants ad outdoor attractions.
Their checklist included:
- A single story house.
- Room for a pool and hot tub.
- Near a golf course.
\”What we didn’t anticipate once we got here was how little would be available to us,\” said Michele.
Already tight inventory is at historic lows with thousands of people moving to Florida in the past year. Most are from big cities with cold weather, high taxes and the threat of another quarantine looming.
The low inventory is driving up prices — according to the Douglas Elliman Third Quarter Report for 2020, the median sales price in Jupiter for single-family homes is up 15.8% over last year at $998,000, and there were 19.3% more sales.
There is a similar story in Palm Beach Gardens where the median sales price is up 28% at $899,000 with 20.6% more closed sales than last year\’s third quarter.
Realtors said they\’re amazed at the prices they are getting, with bidding wars happening and sellers sometimes getting cash over their asking price.
Kevin Kelly said he was listing a renovated home in the Bluffs of Jupiter and couldn\’t believe they were able to ask well over $700,000 for the single-story, vaulted-ceiling house built in the 1980s.
\”It\’s really unheard of, how it\’s been in just a short period of time,\” said Kelly.
\”People are making hundreds of thousands of dollars on homes they\’ve purchased in the past five years,\” he said.
Kelly said the condo market has also exploded, with a huge uptick that began in July because people are realizing they can still enjoy warm weather and outdoor life even in a multi-family building.
Jacobson and Angel said the inventory was so low they ended up deciding within two weeks on a new construction home for $875,000 in Sonoma Isles in Jupiter.
The house includes the option to join the golf club, and they were thrilled.
\”We’re super excited,\” said Jacobson.
Realtors said it is a great time to sell if you have someplace else to go.
They recommend if you are buying to find a knowledgable realtor with lots of contacts and tell everyone you know what you are looking for, so you can possibly be one of the ones to find a new home before it is even listed.
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