Led by a huge increase in Indian River County, sales by Realtors of existing single-family homes in April surged by more than 21 percent over the previous year. That outpaced statewide sales, which were up about 18 percent from a year ago.
Generating for the first time a report on price-to-value ratios in counties with populations of at least 100,000, California-based RealtyTrac, a leading online marketplace for foreclosures properties, found sellers in Indian River and Martin counties are getting significantly closer to the estimated value of their home now than four years ago.
RealtyTrac’s report, comparing sales this March with March 2011 found the price-to-value ratio (average estimated market value at sale divided by average sales price) increased to 98 percent from 92 percent in Martin County, while the ratio in Indian River County rose to 96 percent from 89 percent.
St. Lucie County’s ratio was relatively unchanged, falling slightly from 99 percent to 98 percent.
Steve Rennick, president-elect of the Realtors Association of Indian River County, said 2011 was the “rock bottom of the real estate market, and “the market has improved steadily since then with inventory reducing.”
“In 2011, listings lingered on the market, so negotiating a great price was common for those in a position to buy,” Rennick said. “When foreclosure listings hit the market today, oftentimes there are multiple offers within the first week, creating a bidding war.”
Noting the inventory of homes on the Treasure Coast market is down 13.8 percent from a year ago, Martin County Realtor Association President Dennis Fadden said, “We don’t have many homes on the market; when they go on the market and are priced correctly, they’re often selling in a few weeks.”
The 445 single-family homes in Indian River County sold in April were 33.2 percent more than sales in March and a 32 percent jump from the previous April.
The median price for Indian River County sales rose 9.4 percent from a year ago.
Martin County sales increased almost 25 percent from a year ago, with a 5.1 percent increase in the median price.
St. Lucie County sales were up only 12.1 percent, but the median price jumped almost 21 percent.
Matt Halperin, president of the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches, which includes St. Lucie County’s association, said the housing market has recovered.
“We are seeing the return of buyers that once could not qualify for a mortgage,” Halperin said, noting enough time has passed that many people with a foreclosure or short sale buyers on their credit report can finance a home again.
Article written by Paul Ivice
Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers
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