MIAMI – (RealEstateRama) — Palm Beach County condominium luxury home sales jumped 28 percent in December as $1-million-and-up homebuyers continue selecting Palm Beach’s incredible live, work and play lifestyle, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.
“We are seeing an uptick in homebuyers leaving high-taxed states to purchase homes in Palm Beach County,” 2019 JTHS-MIAMI President Kim Price said. “Palm Beach is home to exceptional schools, pristine beaches, robust work-life balance and a diversified economy, making it an attractive market for both domestic and foreign buyers.”
Total Home Sales Decrease in December
Consistent with market performance throughout the U.S., higher interest rates resulted in fewer Palm Beach home sales in in December. Now that mortgage rates have declined, home sales are expected to increase in the coming months.
According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.64 percent in December from 4.87 percent in November. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99 percent.
Total Palm Beach County sales decreased 10.3 percent year-over-year in December 2018, from 2,462 to 2,209. The decrease is due to a lack of inventory in lower price points.
Palm Beach single-family home sales decreased 11.4 percent, from 1,387 to 1,229. Condo sales decreased 8.8 percent, from 1,075 to 980. Condo sales had increased in 12 of the last 13 months before December. The decrease in December 2018 is due to a lack of inventory in lower price points.
Total sales volume decreased 11.9 percent to $861.7 million in December 2018. Single-family home dollar volume decreased 15.8 percent from $704.9 million to $593.5 million. Condo dollar volume decreased 2.2 percent from $274.1 million to $268.2million.
Palm Beach Median Prices Continue Rising
Palm Beach County single-family home prices increased 0.9 percent in December 2018, increasing from $341,500 to $344,700. Existing condo prices rose 8.3 percent, from $166,000 to $179,750 in December.
Palm Beach Distressed Sales Continue to Drop, Reflecting Healthy Market
Only 3.5 percent of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed in December 2018, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 3.8 percent in December 2017.
Total Palm Beach distressed sales decreased 17.2 percent year-over-year, from 93 to 77.
Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.4 and 3.1 percent, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in December 2018. Short sale transactions decreased 57.1 percent, from 21 to 9. REOs decreased 5.6 percent, from 72 to 68.
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, a 3.6 percent decrease from 55 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 92 days, a 7.1 percent decrease from 99 days.
The median time to contract for condos was 49 days, a 2.1 percent increase from 48 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date was 88 days, a 3.5 increase from 85 days last year.
The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 94.6 percent. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 94.1 percent.
National and State Statistics
Nationally, total existing-home sales decreased 6.4 percent from November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million in December. Sales are now down 10.3 percent from a year ago (5.56 million in December 2017).
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 20,633 last month, down 9.9 percent compared to December 2017, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide closed condo sales totaled 8,156, down 11.4 percent compared to a year ago.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $253,600, up 2.9 percent from December 2017 ($246,500). December’s price increase marks the 82nd straight month of year-over-year gains.
December marked 84 consecutive months of year-over-year statewide median sale price increases for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $255,000, up 4.2 percent from the previous year. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $185,000, 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 44.5 percent of December 2018 total closed sales, compared to 44.9 percent last year. Palm Beach cash transactions are more than double the national figure (22 percent).
Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach’s cash purchases as 58.8 percent of condo closings were made in cash in December compared to 33.0 percent of single-family home sales.
Seller’s Market for Palm Beach Real Estate
Inventory of single-family homes increased 7.2 percent in December from 6,849 active listings last year to 7,344 in December 2018. Condominium inventory decreased 1.8 percent to 6,214 from 6,327 listings during the same period in 2017.
Months supply of inventory for single-family homes increased 6.3 percent to 5.1 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Existing condominiums have a 5.4-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 December increased 2.9 percent year-over-year, from 13,176 to 13,558.
New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes increased 0.5 percent to 1,482 from 1,475. New listings of condominiums decreased 7.8 percent, from 1,394 to 1,285.
Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of December decreased to 1.55 million, down from 1.74 million existing homes available for sale in November. This represents an increase from 1.46 million a year ago, however. Unsold inventory is at a3.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.9 last month and up from 3.2 months a year ago.
To access December 2018 Palm Beach County Statistical Reports, visit http://www.SFMarketIntel.com
Note: Statistics in this news release may vary depending on reporting dates. MIAMI reports exact statistics directly from its MLS system.