Palm Beach Luxury Condo Sales Up in March, Yet Home Sales Down

Palm Beach Luxury Condo Sales Up in March, Yet Home Sales Down

Residential News » Palm Beach Edition | By Michael Gerrity | April 24, 2019 8:19 AM ET

According to the Miami Association of Realtors, Palm Beach County luxury $1-million-and-up condominium sales increased again in March 2019.

Palm Beach luxury condo sales increased 1.8 percent year-over-year in March, from 55 to 56. Luxury condo sales have increased for two consecutive months.

"Palm Beach is one of the best places to live, work and play," 2019 JTHS-MIAMI President Kim Price said. "South Florida has 100 miles of the most beautiful coastline in America. International and domestic homebuyers continue moving to our region."

Total Home Sales Decrease in March Due in Part to Higher Interest Rates

Uncertainty over mortgage interest rates and the stock market may have impacted Palm Beach County total home sales in February.

Total Palm Beach County home sales decreased 9.6 percent year-over-year in March 2019, from 3,016 to 2,726. The decrease is due to a lack of inventory in lower price points.

Palm Beach single-family home sales decreased 8.9 percent, from 1,669 to 1,521. Condo sales decreased 10.5 percent, from 1,347 to 1,205. Condo sales have increased in 12 of the last 16 months. The decrease in March 2019 is due to a lack of inventory in lower price points.

Total sales volume decreased to $1.3 billion from $1.4 billion. Single-family home dollar volume decreased 14.1 percent from $969.5 million to $833.2 million. Condo dollar volume increased 9.1 percent from $388 million to $423.5 million.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.27 percent in March from 4.37 percent in February. The average commitment rate across all of 2018 was 4.54 percent.

Palm Beach Single-Family Home Median Prices Continue Rising

Palm Beach County single-family home prices increased 0.6 percent in March 2019, from $348,000 to $350,000. Existing condo prices decreased 1.1 percent, from $177,000 to $175,000 in March.

Palm Beach Distressed Sales Comprise Just 3.2 Percent of Total Sales

Only 3.2 percent of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed in March 2019, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 3.4 percent in March 2018.

Total Palm Beach distressed sales decreased 15.7 percent year-over-year, from 102 to 86.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.4 and 2.8 percent, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in March 2019. Short sale transactions decreased 47.6 percent, from 21 to 11. REOs decreased 7.4 percent, from 81 to 75.

Nationally, distressed sales represented 3 percent of sales in March, down from 4 percent last month and down from 4 percent in March 2018. One percent of March 2019 sales were short sales.

Palm Beach Real Estate Selling Close to List Price

The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Palm Beach single-family home sales was 62 days, a 10.7 percent increase from 56 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 102 days, a 3 percent increase from 99 days.

The median time to contract for condos was 51 days, a 1.9 percent decrease from 52 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date was 91 days, a 2.2 decrease from 93 days last year.

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 94.3 percent. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 93.5 percent.

National and State Statistics

Nationally, total existing-home sales fell 4.9 percent from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million in March. Sales are down 5.4 percent from a year ago (5.51 million in March 2018).

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 25,013 last month, about the same level as March 2018, according to Florida Realtors. Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market in March, statewide closed sales totaled 10,340, down 6.1 percent compared to a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $259,400, up 3.8 percent from March 2018 ($249,800). March's price increase marks the 85th straight month of year-over-year gains.

In March, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for the 87th month-in-a-row. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $256,000, up 2 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month's statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $189,500, up 3.6 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Palm Beach Cash Buyers Represent More than Double the National Figure

Palm Beach cash transactions comprised 45.1 percent of March 2019 total closed sales, compared to 48.8 percent last year. Palm Beach cash transactions are more than double the national figure (21 percent).

Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach's cash purchases as 60.6 percent of condo closings were made in cash in February compared to 32.8 percent of single-family home sales.

Seller's Market for Palm Beach Single-Family Homes, Balanced Market for Condos

Inventory of single-family homes increased 8.5 percent in March from 7,335 active listings last year to 7,959 in March 2019. Condominium inventory increased 0.3 percent to 6,756 from 6,738 listings during the same period in 2018.

Months supply of inventory for single-family homes increased 11.8 percent to 5.7 months, which indicates a seller's market. Existing condominiums have a 6-month supply, which indicates a balanced market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months of supply.

Total active listings at the end of March increased 4.6 percent year-over-year, from 14,073 to 14,715. New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 5.8percent to 2,148 from 2,280. New listings of condominiums decreased 5.8 percent, from 1,874 to 1,766.

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of March increased to 1.68 million, up from 1.63 million existing homes available for sale in February and a 2.4% increase from 1.64 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.6 months in February and up from 3.6 months in March 20

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