Real estate agents who handle mainland homes are busy. As quickly as houses are listed, they are snapped up by eager buyers.
“Six months ago, inventory and sales were creeping,” said Jim Goldsmith, managing broker of Dale Sorensen Real Estate’s downtown office.
Now the market has become much more steady and well-balanced, with supply and demand in sync. One day last week, there were 21 active or new listings, 20 under contract and 19 sold, according to Goldsmith. He said it’s been that way in recent weeks, “which is great.”
Asked if the current market is better for buyers or sellers, Goldsmith said “the answer is yes.” Prices are in line with expectations and properties are available.
“We’re as solid as we’ve been in years,” he said.
Homes listed at $300,000 and below are moving fastest, Goldsmith said, while those in the $400,000s and $500,000s are selling at a more moderate rate. “The consumer is buying.”
Goldsmith said sellers have been willing to adjust their initial asking prices to entice buyers, but despite those adjustments, mainland home prices are up by 11 percent over last year.
“So long as houses are priced right, they’ll move quickly,” he said.
Carol Prezioso, managing broker for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, agreed with Goldsmith’s assessment of the steady, well-balanced market. Even while Hurricane Dorian was churning up the coast, the firm was putting homes under contract.
“People are looking,” Prezioso said, and when a home gets listed, “people snap it up.”
In Prezioso’s book, now is a good time to be a seller. With lower inventory countywide, houses are in demand. But she cautioned that sales really do depend on the community and the price point.
Sally Daley, of Daley & Company Real Estate, said the neighborhoods seeing the most action are those near the island bridges.
“Location reigns supreme for both new-to-Vero buyers and downsizing islanders who seek to downsize, not downgrade, in an locale offering fast access,” Daley said.
Communities located in what she called the “gold corridor” along northern Indian River Boulevard are selling strong, including neighborhoods like Lilly’s Cay, Riverwind, Grand Harbor, Oak Harbor and Diamond Court.
At the same time and for some of the same reasons, Daley said, “the Country Club neighborhood is hotter than a pistol.”
Easy access to downtown, the island, Miracle Mile and everything else Vero has to offer, along with larger lots with mature landscaping, attractive architecture and no HOA fees make the Country Club neighborhood a magnet for buyers, Daley said, noting that prices have risen steadily, year after year.
Rising prices in the Country Club neighborhood have pushed demand into similar nearby neighborhoods such as Mcansh Park, which offers much of the same ambiance and convenience as the streets off of Royal Palm Boulevard near the Vero Beach Country Club.
Houses along the 53rd Street corridor, including Waterway Village, VeroLago and Bent Pine, are selling well, too, Daley said.
Overall, Vero’s “tax-friendly environment with low-density, low-profile housing in a charming and vibrant community” make it attractive to buyers, even with the threat of occasional tropical storms.
“There’s no better time to invest in Indian River real estate,” Goldsmith said.