Why The Florida Space Coast Real Estate Market Isn’t Cooling Off
By Space Coast Daily // October 27, 2021
Like most regions, the Florida Space Coast property market took a sizable nosedive when the pandemic hit in early 2020, but it recovered quickly and hasn’t looked back.
By June of 2020, the rate of homebuilding shot back up and properties were in such high demand that would-be buyers were camping out night after night to secure their desired lots.
That said, inventory remained low, keeping demand high and pushing values up, creating a red-hot sellers’ market.
People living in other states that were subject to heavier restrictions wanted to escape, and those benefiting from the ongoing trend towards remote working found themselves in a position to seek out a lifestyle property further afield. All of these sun, sand and space seekers have found the Space Coast to be a particularly attractive option.
Plus, let’s not forget that, as well as Brevard county enjoying a generally lower cost of living than larger metro areas, Florida’s no-state-income-tax rule makes it an even more desirable location still.
So, just where is the market sitting now, and is there any cooling off in sight?
Inventory is rising
The inventory levels in Brevard county have fluctuated since the onset of the pandemic, but right now they appear to be on the rise. According to the latest data from the Space Coast Association of Realtors, the month of July 2021 closed out with 1,367 active listings across the county – the highest since February 2021. That said, year-on-year the number is down, with listings in July 2020 recorded at 2,394.
The July figures report that supply has crept just over the one month mark at 1.01 month’s worth. In June, the county was sitting on just 0.73 month’s worth – so yes, it’s climbing, despite it still being significantly lower than the July 2020 supply of 2 months.
The Space Coast housing market is certainly in the midst of an ongoing adjustment period, as inventory is still lagging behind previous years, yet is nevertheless on the rise – good news for anxious potential buyers.
The region will remain a seller’s market until the inventory figures exceed 3,500 and the number of sales drops below a thousand. With an inventory supply of six months or more for a buyer’s market status, however, the best that buyers can hope for in the foreseeable future is a balanced market of four-to-six months of supply. The Brevard county property market has been a seller’s market for the last nine years, so it’s nothing new at this point.
Brevard county properties being snapped up quick
With 63% of properties being sold within 7 days and 88% going within 30 days, there is no shortage of real estate activity in Brevard county. The number of properties sold in July was 1,347, down slightly month-on-month from June’s figure of 1,577.
Values are on the rise, with the average property price across all types coming in at $362,103 for July 2021, up from $356,923 for the month before. Median prices also rose from $292,500 in June to the new threshold of $315,000 in July.
The city witnessing the most sales for both June and July 2021 was Palm Bay, with the number of properties sold at 290 and 261 respectively. A total of 28 properties sold for over $1 million in the county in July, and 3 went for over $2 million, with the highest sales figure being $2.9 million for a Melbourne Beach 4 bedroom property.
Condo market strong for Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach
Active condo listings for Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach closed in at 60 for July 2021 – up 20% from June’s supply of 50. Despite the rise, condo inventory is still low when compared to previous years, (currently at 1.11 months supply compared to almost 3 months in July 2020) and this is keeping demand high and the condo market strong.
Condos in the Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral areas are spending an average of 20 days on the market, and are averaging a value of $279 per square foot. Prices have dropped slightly month-on-month as the inventory has risen. Average values are at $350,771 for July, down from $384,441 in June, and the median price is sitting at $295,000, a $53,000 drop from the June figure of $348,000.
The beachside single-family home sales are lagging behind when compared to 2020 stats, however, they are still ahead of previous years, and in any case, the active inventory figures are still low compared to a typical pre-pandemic year.
Property sales values ranged from $440,000 in south Cocoa Beach to just over $1 million for a canal property in the same area.
Why isn’t the market cooling off?
When the pandemic first hit, people became too concerned about having anyone else in their homes, so they pulled their properties off the market. As the low inventory supplies began pushing values up with the increased demand from interstate buyers, more of these homes are now reentering the market, and thankfully causing listings to rise once more – albeit slowly.
Lumber and other construction-related costs also rose significantly as a result of a pandemic-induced interruption to typical availability, and this further affected property prices as the rate of construction continued to climb regardless.
Despite all of this, thanks in large part to the historically low-interest rates, Space Coast properties are still relatively affordable, especially for those moving away from high-income metro areas. A strong sellers’ market in a popular area with only gradual increases in inventory is a perfect recipe for continued red-hot market conditions!
Since the pandemic erupted, people have been flocking to the Space Coast in their droves, and the low inventory levels have been really squeezing the market.
Now that inventory seems to be on the rise, we may see a little more balance appearing, but it will certainly remain a strong seller’s market for some time to come.