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I always thought going South on I95 from Boca Raton to Miami had the most deranged drivers in the world. Motorcycles going 125 mph and those bizarre little white dividing poles that keep your heart palpitating when you get too close. Turns out that’s more like a slow sloth compared to driving in Costa Rica.
There are no left turn signals in Costa Rica no matter how busy the traffic is going. There are also no lanes. You kind of line up and then all of a sudden to the left of you appears a Sanford and Son pickup with 2 goats. One goat standing and one goat lying down. In between a little scooter, scoots in. Then another car to the right. Finally off to the races if there is an opening. Furthermore, its all hills and “stepping on it” doesn’t do much. So, just yell, “ahhhhh” and pray.
Pura Vida. In Costa Rica it stands for the simple life. The sloth which takes something like 3 hours to get down a tree is the animal that the country showcases as the way of life. Considering the sloth sleeps 20 hours a day, that only leaves an hour to do anything else if it decides to take the 3 hour adventure to the bottom of the tree. Like get a 1/3 way back up the tree. On the other extreme of favorite Costa Rica creatures is the hummingbird, moving a million miles a minute. Driving in Costa Rica is insane like the hummingbird zigging and zagging. Not so Pura Vida.
I just returned back from Costa Rica. Our son, Sam, just graduated from UCF and will be joining us at Echo Fine Properties. As a celebration, a holiday vacation was in order. The nature is beautiful with sloths, hummingbirds, volcanoes, and of course great dark roast coffee.
My Crystal Ball forecast for 2023 that I wrote last year predicted that 2023 would be a “pause”. I could have said “sloth” and been just as accurate. Sales activity was slow. The Fed started raising interest rates to curb runaway inflation due to lenient Covid incentives and artificially low interest rates. Inflation hit 9.1% 20 months ago. The Fed raised the borrowing rate exponentially and interest rates skyrocketed from the mid 2’s to 8% in November 2023. As a result during this time, real estate activity slowed to a crawls pace. Sellers have hung on to their Lord of the Rings “Precious” 2.9% rate. This slowdown resulted in what I called a “stalemate” earlier this year.
Just like Costa Rica though, one look can be a sloth and the next the hummingbird. That is where I see the real estate market going in 2024. We are now on the cusp of a new marketplace. I’m referring to this as the “Rachel & Ross Market”.
Month by month, week by week, day by day, hour by… (you get the drift), pent up activity is building. Rachel & Ross from “Friends” had 9 seasons of pent-up energy. Just like the volcanoes in Costa Rica, that energy needs to go somewhere. In season 10, the volcano finally erupted. (If you haven’t watched the show or are like the girl in the new movie, “Leave the World Behind”, don’t read on as spoiler alert!) Ross and Rachel became more than “friends” and got together. And that’s where the housing market, especially in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, is going. Would be buyers and sellers staying in their home until the rate differential becomes de minimis has near hit the 2-year mark.
I was interviewed by the Palm Beach Post on the matter.
Here are 10 reasons why the “Ross & Rachel Market” should blow, and you’ll want to be more than friends and fall in love with a forever home.
If you’d like to confidentially know how much equity you have in your home and would like to discuss strategies for buying/selling, send me an email.
Here is to Pura Vida, in 2024!
Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, got his start in the home furnishings textile business where he traveled over 35 weeks a year selling fabrics. After the family business was sold, Jeff moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. Today he is the owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury residential brokerage voted best brokerage of the year. Jeff manages a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Echo has 80 agents, an average of one million dollars per transaction and over 500 million in annual sales. Between traveling for work and annual family trips to national parks with his wife and 2 now adult children, Jeff has visited 49 states. He is also one of the few Chicago White Sox fans you’ll ever meet. Some publications he has been quoted in.
Author of business & leadership book How Making a Sandwich Can Change Your World – The Amazing Success of the PB&J Strategy – Available to Buy Now!
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