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Palm Beach Home Sales, Median Sale Prices Rise in May

Palm Beach shoreline
Palm Beach shoreline


MIAMI — Palm Beach County total home sales and median sale prices increased year-over-year in May as more northern home buyers take advantage of ultra-low mortgage rates and Florida’s no state income tax, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.

Palm Beach total home sales increased 3.9%, from 3,197 to 3,323. Palm Beach single-family home sales increased 8.7%, from 1,721 to 1,870. Palm Beach condo sales decreased 1.6%, from 1,476 to 1,453.

“Palm Beach is much more than beaches and sunshine; Palm Beach has grown its academic, health care and cultural institutions,” 2019 JTHS-MIAMI President Kim Price said. “Homebuyers from high-tax states such as New York and California are looking to live here because of our overall lifestyle.”

Total Home Sales Increase in May
Palm Beach total home sales increased 3.9%, from 3,197 to 3,323. Palm Beach single-family home sales increased 8.7%, from 1,721 to 1,870. Palm Beach condo sales decreased 1.6%, from 1,476 to 1,453.

Total sales volume increased 4.65%, from $1.45 billion to $1.52 billion. Single-family home dollar volume increased 14.6%, from 965.3 million to $1.1 billion. Condo dollar volume decreased 15.6%, from $488.6 million to $412.5 million.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.07% in May, down from 4.14% in April. The average commitment rate across all of 2018 was 4.54%. Mortgage interest rates have been declining sharply since late last year.

Palm Beach Single-Family Home Median Prices Continue Rising
Palm Beach County single-family home prices increased 3.1%, from $354,000 to $364,900. Existing condo prices increased 5.2%, from $175,900 to $185,000.

Palm Beach Distressed Sales Comprise Just 2.6% of Total Sales
Only 2.6% of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed in May 2019, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 2.6% in May 2018.

Total Palm Beach distressed sales increased 4.8% year-over-year, from 84 to 88.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.5 and 2.1%, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in May 2019. Short sale transactions decreased 19% percent, from 21 to 17. REOs increased 12.7%, from 63 to 71.

Nationally, distressed sales represented 2% of sales in May, down from 3% in April and from 3% in May 2018. Less than 1% of May 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 52 days, a 6.1% increase from 49 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 97 days, a 4.3% increase from 93 days.

The median time to contract for condos was 56 days, a 9.8% increase from 51 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date was 98 days, a 6.5% increase from 92 days last year.

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 94.6%. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 93.6%.

National and State Statistics
Nationally, total existing-home sales jumped 2.5% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million in May. Total sales, however, are down 1.1% from a year ago (5.40 million in May 2018).

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 30,742 last month, up 9.6% over May 2018, according to Florida Realtors. Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market in May, statewide closed sales totaled 12,217, up 1.6% compared to a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $277,700, up 4.8% from May 2018 ($265,100). May’s price increase marks the 87th straight month of year-over-year gains.

In May, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for the 89th consecutive month. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $266,000, up 4.3% 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 $195,000, up 3.7% 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 44.2% of May 2019 total closed sales, compared to 45.2% last year. Palm Beach cash transactions are more than double the national figure (19 percent).

Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach’s cash purchases as 57.8% of condo closings were made in cash in May compared to 33.6% of single-family home sales.

Seller’s Market for Palm Beach Single-Family Homes and Condos
Inventory of single-family homes increased 3.9 percent in May from 7,233 active listings last year to 7,515 in May 2019. Condominium inventory decreased 1.5 percent to 6,400 from 6,495 listings during the same period in 2018.

Months supply of inventory for single-family homes increased 4.1% percent to 5.1 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Existing condominiums have a 5.5-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 May increased 0.87% year-over-year, from 13,200 to 13,315.
New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 0.3% to 2,139 from 2,145. New listings of condominiums decreased 2.0% to 1,600 from 1,633.

Nationally, total housing inventory at the May increased to 1.92 million, up from 1.83 million existing homes available for sale in April and a 2.7% increase from 1.87 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, up from both the 4.2 month supply in April and from 4.2 months in May 2018.

To access May 2019 Palm Beach County Statistical Reports, visit

Note: Statistics in this news release may vary depending on reporting dates. MIAMI reports exact statistics directly from its MLS system.

About the MIAMI Association of Realtors

The MIAMI Association of Realtors was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 99 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward-MIAMI Association of Realtors, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound (JTHS-MIAMI) Council, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Council and the award-winning International Council, it represents 47,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S. and has official partnerships with 214 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is


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