When I found out that one of my first trips for Season 2 of American Dream Home was taking me to Key West, Florida, I felt like I was living a dream.
It was a cold, dreary day in New York, and the lure of white sand beaches and colorful buildings was a wonderful prospect.
It is no wonder that the Keys are one of the hottest real estate markets in the country right now.
The median listing home price was $1.1 million dollars, a jump of 33.3 percent over the last year, according to Realtor.com.
The median home sold for $871,500, which is different from listing prices. Key West continues to be a seller's market, with more people looking to buy than homes available.
The average time it takes to sit on the market for listings is 55 days.
In this episode, Orlando and Shirley were followed as a new job opportunity brought them to Key West.
Jennifer Stauffer, a real estate agent, said the couple are doing great and that they are doing great.
They love their neighborhood and the Keys lifestyle. They are becoming great kite boarders! Stauffer says things are beginning to change as for the current state of Key West real estate since interest rates began to rise.
There is still low inventory and high demand, but we have noticed things start to cool off a bit. The prices are still high and the homes are still moving. She said that the higher interest rates have caused some buyers to back off, particularly new homeowners. People still aren't selling because they don't know where they will go and where they will go and don't have to pay a crazy amount! The homes that are over the asking price comprise 21.1% of sales, a jump of 16.5%, according to Redfin. Many of the first-time buyers are starting to get priced out due to the fact that interest rates are already above 5 percent nationally.
The big difference that makes Key West so unique is that it is a tourist destination and a popular retirement destination as well.
If Stauffer told me things are slowing down, those two factors will continue to keep the market strong.
It is also popular with investors. It is a small island with limited properties in general. Most short-term rentals are usually found near downtown, while monthly rentals can be found in residential areas that are quiet and away from the main tourist area.
The uniqueness of this location makes it very different for the buyer.
The crowd that is about to retire has the income and savings to afford a luxury home, and this group creates competition for those looking to buy vacation homes or seasonal homes.
A cool-off does not mean a slow down, as it tells me that there is a constant demand for a variety of buyers.
Orlando and Shirley not only found their American dream home, but they also made a wise long-term investment.