According to new data from the Miami Association of Realtors, Palm Beach County total home sales, median prices, dollar volume and luxury transactions increased year-over-year in September 2019. Palm Beach County total home sales increased 3.1% year-over-year, from 2,261 to 2,332.
“Palm Beach is becoming more of an established community, and it’s attracting a diversified list of homebuyers,” 2019 JTHS-MIAMI President Kim Price said. “More residents of high-tax states such as New York and California are looking to live here because of Palm Beach’s overall growth as a county, from academic to health care to cultural institutions.”
Palm Beach Single-Family Home Sales Rise Double Digits in September
Palm Beach County single-family home sales rose 10.5%, from 1,227 to 1,356. Palm Beach condo sales decreased 5.6%, from 1,034 to 976. With consumer confidence rising, unemployment low, job creation high and increased migration to Florida, Palm Beach real estate should enjoy steady growth.
Luxury ($1-million-and-up) home sales increased for single-family homes and condos in September 2019. Single-family home luxury sales increased 46.5% to 104 transactions last month. Condo luxury sales increased 12% to 28 transactions.
The increased number of luxury transactions raised the total dollar volume for Palm Beach real estate last month. Single-family home dollar volume rose 31.1%, from $590.1 million to $773.7 million. Condo dollar volume jumped 16.3%, from $259 million to $301.2 million.
According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 3.61% in September, down from 3.62% in August. The average commitment rate across all of 2018 was 4.54%.
Lack of access to mortgage loans continues to inhibit further growth of the existing condominium market. Of the 9,307 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, only 12 are approved for Federal Housing Administration loans, down from 29 last year, according to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA.
A new condo approval process could increase sales in the future. The new guidance, which goes into effect in mid-October, extends certifications from two years to three, allows for single-unit mortgage approvals, provides more flexibility with owner/occupancy ratios, and increases the allowable number of FHA loans in a single project. The changes, many of which MIAMI and NAR has championed, should yield thousands of new homeownership opportunities.
Another Month of Price Appreciation in Palm Beach
Palm Beach County single-family home prices increased 2.9% in September 2019, increasing from $345,000 to $355,000. Existing condo prices increased 7.7%, from $175,000 to $188,500.
Palm Beach Distressed Sales Stay Low, Reflecting Healthy Market
Only 2.8% of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 3.5% in September 2019.
Total Miami distressed sales decreased 16.5%, from 79 to 66.
Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.6% and 2.2%, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in September 2019. Short sale transactions increased 50% year-over-year while REOs decreased 26.1% percent.
Nationally, distressed sales represented 2% of sales in September, unchanged from August but down from 3% in September 2018.
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 53 days, an 8.2% increase from 49 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 98 days, an 8.9% percent increase from 90 days.
The median time to contract for condos was 59 days, a 11.3% increase from 53 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date increased 7.6% to 99 days.
The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 95%. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 94.3%.
Palm Beach Cash Buyers Represent Double the National Figure
Palm Beach cash transactions comprised 39.4% of September 2019 total closed sales, compared to 42.7% last year. Palm Beach cash transactions are double the national figure (17%).
Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach cash purchases as 52.9% of condo closings were made in cash in September compared to 29.6% of single-family home sales.
Seller’s Market for Palm Beach Real Estate
Inventory of single-family homes 8.7% in September from 6,726 active listings last year to 6,144 last month. Condominium inventory decreased 5.7% to 5,357 from 5,678 listings during the same period in 2018.
Months supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 6.5% to 4.3 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Existing condominiums have a 4.8-month supply, which also indicates a seller’s market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six- and nine-months supply.
Total active listings at the end of September decreased 7.3% year-over-year, from 12,404 to 11,501.
New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 11.1% percent to 1,622 from 1,824. New listings of condominiums decreased 6.2%, from 1,499 to 1,406.
Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of September sat at 1.83 million, approximately equal to the amount of existing-homes available for sale in August, but a 2.7% decrease from 1.88 million one year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.0 months in August and down from the 4.4-month figure recorded in September 2018.