The consensus outlook for the U.S. economy continues to be optimistic for the remainder of 2018 and full year 2019. Real GDP is projected to grow 2.9% and 3.1%, respectively, for the 4th Quarter 2018 and all of 2019—this compares favorably to 2.2% in 2017. Unemployment is forecasted to remain below 4% through 2019. Existing home sales, while lower than the past two quarters, are thought to improve to $5.4 million in FY 2019. The housing market will face some headwind from rising mortgage rates and existing home sales prices.
Local trends year-to-date (through October 2018) in the Ponte Vedra Beach real estate market (data is for 32082 zip code) are also quite favorable. Sold listings are up year-over-year (2018 vs. 2017) by 13.3%, with the average sales price year-to-date of $802,368 versus $708,404 in 2017. The great majority of sale increases have occurred in homes priced above $500,000. The number of listings has remained relatively stable, with absorption rates falling since May to less than six months in September and October. Sold-to-list ratios did climb mid-year to almost 95% of asking price and are now back down to levels experienced between Nov 2017-Jan 2018 (92.5%).
Sales above $1 million are up 40.8% year-to-date versus 2017 and account for most of 13.3% increase in average sales prices noted above (71 sales in 2017 versus 100 in 2018). Pending sales are up 38.8% (from 85 to 118), indicating that full year results in the $1 million plus market will remain strong throughout this year and into the new year. The $1 million plus market showed little growth in 2017 over 2016 so the strong showing in 2018 for the Ponte Vedra Beach area is even more notable.