Palm Beach County Home Sales Dive 21 Percent Annually in January

Palm Beach County Home Sales Dive 21 Percent Annually in January

Residential News » Palm Beach Edition | By Michael Gerrity | March 5, 2019 8:20 AM ET

According to the Miami Association of Realtors, total Palm Beach County home sales decreased 21.1 percent year-over-year in January 2019, from 2014 to 1,590. The decrease is due to a lack of inventory in lower price points. Palm Beach County mid-market condo sales increased double digits in January as median prices rose for all properties.

"Palm Beach luxury real estate is one of the top-performing markets in the country, but the county also has a robust mid-market sector," 2019 JTHS-MIAMI President Kim Price said. "Higher interest rates impacted last month's total sales."

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

Uncertainty over mortgage interest rates, the federal government shutdown and the stock market may have impacted Palm Beach County total home sales in January.

Palm Beach single-family home sales decreased 23.3 percent, from 1,103 to 846. Condo sales decreased 18.3 percent, from 911 to 744. Condo sales had increased in 12 of the last 14 months. The decrease in January 2019 is due to a lack of inventory in lower price points.

Total sales volume decreased 25.1 percent to $679.8 million in January 2019. Single-family home dollar volume decreased 28.5 percent from $668.5 million to $477.8 million. Condo dollar volume decreased 15.4 percent from $238.7 million to $202 million.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.46 percent in January from 4.64 percent in December. The average commitment rate for all of 2018 was 4.54 percent.

Palm Beach Mid-Market Condo Sales Rise 10 Percent

Palm Beach existing condos priced between $400,000 to $600,000 rose 10 percent, from 30 to 55. Growth in the middle of a real estate market is an indicator of a strong market.

Palm Beach Median Prices Continue Rising

Palm Beach County single-family home prices increased 4.6 percent in January 2019, increasing from $325,000 to $340,000. Existing condo prices rose 2.9 percent, from $170,000 to $175,000 in January.

Palm Beach Distressed Sales Continue to Drop, Reflecting Healthy Market

Only 4.2 percent of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed in January 2019, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 4.8 percent in January 2018.

Total Palm Beach distressed sales decreased 31.3 percent year-over-year, from 96 to 66.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.8 and 3.3 percent, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in January 2019. Short sale transactions decreased 27.8 percent, from 18 to 13. REOs decreased 32.1 percent, from 53 to 78.

Nationally, distressed sales accounted for 4 percent of sales, down from 5 percent a year ago, according to NAR.

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 56 days, a 16.7 percent decrease from 48 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 97 days, a 6.6 percent increase from 91 days.

The median time to contract for condos was 63 days, a 28.6 percent increase from 49 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date was 99 days, an 8.8 increase from 91 days last year.

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 94.4 percent. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 93.4 percent.

National and State Statistics

Nationally, total existing-home sales decreased 1.2 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in January, according to NAR. Sales are now down 8.5 percent from a year ago (5.40 million in January 2018).

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 15,526 last month, down 6.2 percent compared to January 2018, according to Florida Realtors. Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market in January, statewide closed sales totaled 6,739, down 10.9 percent compared to a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $247,500, up 2.8 percent from January 2018 ($240,800). January's price increase marks the 83rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

In January, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties increased year-over-year for the 85th month-in-a-row. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $249,900, up 4.1 percent from the previous year, according to Florida Realtors. Last month's statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $182,500, up 2.8 percent over the year-ago figure.

Palm Beach Cash Buyers Represent More than Double the National Figure

Palm Beach cash transactions comprised 48.4 percent of January 2019 total closed sales, compared to 49.1 percent last year. Palm Beach cash transactions are more than double the national figure (23 percent).

Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach's cash purchases as 59.9 percent of condo closings were made in cash in December compared to 38.2 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 9.3 percent in January from 7,383 active listings last year to 8,069 in January 2018. Condominium inventory increased 1.4 percent to 6,868 from 6,772 listings during the same period in 2017.

Months supply of inventory for single-family homes increased 9.8 percent to 5.6 months, which indicates a seller's market. Existing condominiums have a 6.0-month supply, which also indicates a seller's market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months of supply.

Total active listings at the end of January increased 5.5 percent year-over-year, from 14,155 to 14,937.

New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes increased 4.2 percent to 2,442 from 2,344. New listings of condominiums decreased 0.2 percent, from 2,116 to 2,112.

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of January increased to 1.59 million, up from 1.53 million existing homes available for sale in December and represents an increase from 1.52 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.7 months in December and from 3.4 months in January 2018.


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