A Conversation With Burton Wilkins on the State of the Real Estate Industry in New Jersey and South Florida
As Americans are concerned about inflation, the stock market and interest rates, many investors are turning to history’s oldest asset class as a hedge to weather the storm. While the real estate industry is consistently the most profitable market over time, the industry has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of new trends and norms, some regions – particularly the suburbs of Florida, Tri-State area and Texas – saw a generational boom in real estate activity, while others – large cities – saw a decline in activity and residents. Due to these current market conditions and externalities resulting from the pandemic, homeowners and investors alike are looking to experts to help them navigate regional real estate market nuances.
In order to shed light on the state of the industry as well as the subtleties of buying and selling real estate in South Florida and New Jersey, we caught up with dual-region luxury agent Burton Wilkins. The Sotheby’s International Realty luxury agent has made a name for himself as an expert in luxury real estate in both his hometown of Southern New Jersey as well as South Florida.
Here is our conversation with Burton:
Q: Can you elaborate on how current macroeconomic conditions are affecting the real estate market in South Florida?
BW: Prices are staying strong. The volume of transactions is decreasing and due to this inventory is slightly increasing.
Q: Will New Jersey & Florida real estate renaissance continue through 2022 and into 2023?
BW: I see the prices staying strong and the volume of transactions declining. In lieu of this I see inventory staying incredibly tight. Interest rates will continue to rise so I am advising most clients to either sell or buy if they are looking to move in the next 6 months to a year.
Q: What are the most important trends for BUYERS to keep in mind when looking for a home in New Jersey and South Florida right now?
BW: A great majority of my clients pay cash, but I am advising clients going for financing that interest rates are going to continue to rise. I also do not see the market crashing or declining enough to hold off from purchasing, especially in the event that you find a property you love. There is a great line, “Marry the home. Date the Loan.” In short this means that you will keep the home sometimes for your entire life. When rates come down you can always refinance your mortgage to get a lower interest rate.
Q: What are the most important trends for SELLERS to keep in mind when looking for a home in New Jersey and South Florida right now?
BW: The most important trend is to work with a top producing broker that is affiliated with a big brand like The Wilkins Team’s affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty. As a large team we have an extensive personal sphere of influence and behind that is the international reach of Sotheby’s International Realty. Combine the two that’s what Burton considers “The Perfect Storm.”
Q: How should real estate agents think about growing their book of business in South Florida or New Jersey during this time?
BW: For both regions, I would advise that people get involved with groups in your community, charities, church, and fitness groups. The more involved you are, the more people will think about you once it becomes time to buy or sell their home. Get on the phone and make your calls. We are constantly touching base with old and new clients who have become great friends to see how they are doing.
Will New Jersey continue to benefit from the exodus out of New York City or has that trend stopped?
BW: No, with increased inner city violence we have tons of clients that are relocating to the shore. A lot of these clients have the ability to work remotely and would prefer to work from the beach vs the city.
As a top expert in two regions, a leader in Sotheby’s international referral program, and a descendant of real estate royalty, it is no surprise that the public is looking to Wilkins for advice on the industry. Recently, Wilkins sold two oceanfront properties, one located at 2021 Wesley Avenue in Ocean City, NJ for an impressive $7.5 million and another located at 100 105th Street in Stone City, NJ for just under $6.5 million. These two sales come on the heels of Wilkins’s recent record-breaking sale of 7605 Pleasure Avenue in Sea Isle City, NJ.