The market is a question mark

As we roll into March and the Spring Break Season there seems to be a monster question mark on what’s going to happen with our real estate market here at the beach.  There are a few huge factors battling for supremacy right now and how everything shakes out remains to be seen.  Here’s what we are looking at.

Affordability and the Overlooked Stat

Look around, everything costs more. 

  • Cars? Yep.
  • Food? For Sure.
  • Gas? Absolutely.
  • Real Estate?  No Doubt.

See where this is going?  Because of inflation if it seems like everything costs more… it’s because it does. Except for one category – and it’s a huge one for folks buying and selling real estate at the beach.  I’m talking about the price of money.  While everything else has increased in cost, the price of money is cheaper today than it’s been since the 1980s. Mortgage rates have seen a steady decline over the years and that is why – and how – so many people are buying so much real estate.  Even if the sales price is higher – and it is – the monthly mortgage payment still remains “cheap” so folks can afford to buy and pay more for homes, second homes and investment properties.

A Big Question Mark is

Will mortgage rates stay low or because of inflation will they start to jump and follow everything else?  While we cannot predict the future it appears to be a pretty safe bet that mortgage rates are headed up.  As we said, Inflation is a thing, and the way the Fed tries to control inflation is by increasing the cost of money.  When money is more expensive fewer people want to take out loans which results in less spending (demand).  As we know from Econ 101 when demand drops… so do prices – generally speaking. The graph below was printed in the Washington Post and provides a pretty good prediction of the direction mortgage rates are headed.

Next Question Mark – Is Covid over?  And if it is… will it have an impact on our rental market?

It appears that most of the country is moving on from mask requirements, vaccine requirements and all that comes with them.  The Wall Street Journal reported that major cruise lines including Carnival and Norwegian are loosening onboard mask rules starting Tuesday (3/1/2022). Royal Caribbean Cruises relaxed its mask requirements for fully vaccinated guests in February. Will this lure folks back to the cruises as vacation destinations and pull them away for our condos and homes here at the beach?  Maybe, certainly some.  It’s definitely something we will have to consider as we move into the summer and future summers.

Also, with Covid coming to an end will folks start to go back to work in the office?  Will schools (universities) go back to fulltime in school teaching?  Will folks who left the city and moved to the beach… want to stay here?  Again, these are trends that could impact the demand for property here at the beach.

Another Massive Question Mark is Ukraine.

What if a larger war breaks out?  In addition to the horrors of war what impact will it have on our economy? Supply chain issues?  Travel abroad? On and on.  These are legitimate concerns and questions which could have significant impacts on the demand for real estate here at the beach.

 

Final Question Mark – What should you do?

As you can see there are question marks out there and to assume that our real estate market is going to keep going up could be… reckless.  What should you do?  We have been helping folks buy and sell real estate at the beach for fifteen years and have been fortunate enough to have closed more that 1,250 transactions.  This means we’ve seen a lot of question marks and a lot of bumps in the road.  We’ve seen people make a ton of money and we’ve seen some get crushed.

Whether you are buyer or seller a property here at the beach we want you to max out your position based on your financial goals and the current market conditions so with this in mind and based on years of experience our advice breaks down as follows:

Short Term Owner (Five years or less): If you plan on owning your property for five years or less, we recommend that you list and sell it now.  This allows you to lock in a really high sales price and mitigate all risk of price of price drops, tax code changes, and any other scenario that would have a negative impact on your profits.  Remember, you can’t go broke taking profits.

Long Term Owner (Longer than five years): If you plan on owning the property longer that five years, we recommend that you simply sit back and enjoy the ride.  This is because you have time to ride out the crazy ups and downs so they should not have much impact on you.

We do suggest though that you look at your rental income and make sure you’re maxing that out.  If you would like to get a FREE, No Obligation rental projection for your property we recommend you contact Beach Stays Vacations (beachstaysvacations.com)

Multiple Property Owner:  If you own multiple properties, we suggest that you sell and take one or more off the table and protect the equity you’ve built up. Keep your best properties and consider adding new ones when prices drop.

Long Term Buyer (Going to own five years or longer): If you plan on buying a property that you will own for five years or longer, we recommend that you buy now… and hold it – longer the better.  This will allow you to lock in s historically low interest rate and take advantage of high rental incomes. In addition, if you hold the property over time prices will go back up.  If you do buy, we suggest that you max out your rental income.  If you would like to get a FREE, No Obligation rental projection for your property we recommend you contact Beach Stays Vacations (beachstaysvacations.com)

Short Term Buyer (Going to buy and flip): If you plan is to buy and flip the property, we simply say – be careful.  Operating on a short time frame escalates the risk of missing the market – for sure, but we do have people who are doing this and making big money.

 

Bottom Line

We are wealth builders, so our goal (whether you are buying or selling) is to get you the best deal possible – based on your financial goals and the current market conditions – call us today and lets talk about how you can max out your position as a buyer, a seller or as an owner to continue building your family’s wealth well into the future.

Committed to your success,

John Moran – CEO

The Smart Beach Investor | Keller Williams Realty AT THE BEACH TEAM 

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