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Palm Beach County Luxury Home Sales Rise in August

Palm Beach
Palm Beach

MIAMI — Palm Beach County total luxury home sales ($1-million-and-up) increased in August 2019, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.

Palm Beach County total luxury home sales increased 7.4 percent, from 135 to 145. Palm Beach single-family home luxury sales increased 3.8% to 109. Palm Beach condo luxury transactions increased 20% to 36.

“With high taxes and regulation in places like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, more northern home buyers are moving to South Florida, where there is no state income tax and it’s cheaper to buy and maintain a home,” 2019 JTHS-MIAMI President Kim Price said.

Total Home Sales Decrease in August
Palm Beach County total home sales decreased 2.4% year-over-year, from 2,774 to 2,707. Lack of inventory in lower price points contributed to the decline in transactions. With consumer confidence rising, unemployment low, job creation high and increased migration to Florida, Palm Beach real estate should enjoy steady growth.

Palm Beach single-family home sales decreased 0.6%, from 1,576 to 1,566. Palm Beach condo sales decreased 4.8%, from 1,198 to 1,141.

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.

Single-family home dollar volume increased 1.5%, from $789.7 million to $801.7 million. Condo dollar volume increased 12.3%, from $326.2 million to $366.2 million.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 3.62% in August, down from 3.77% in July. The average commitment rate across all of 2018 was 4.54%.

Palm Beach Single-Family Home Median Prices Continue Rising 
Palm Beach County single-family home prices increased 4.4%, from $340,000 to $355,000. Existing condo prices decreased 1.4%, from $185,000 to $182,500.

Palm Beach Distressed Sales Comprise Just 3.0% of Total Sales 
Only 3.0% of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed in August 2019, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 2.9% in August 2018.

Total Palm Beach distressed sales decreased 1.2% year-over-year, from 83 to 82.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.5% and 2.5%, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in August 2019. Short sale transactions decreased 35% percent, from 20 to 13. REOs increased 9.5%, from 63 to 69.

Nationally, distressed sales represented 2% of sales in August, unchanged from July, but down from 3% in August 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 48 days, a 2.1% increase from 47 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 91 days, a 3.4% increase from 88 days.

The median time to contract for condos was 58 days, up 26.1% from 46 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date was 97 days, a 9% increase from 89 days last year.

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 94.9%. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 94.2%.

National and State Statistics 
Nationally, total existing-home sales rose 1.3% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million in August. Overall sales are up 2.6% from a year ago (5.35 million in August 2018).

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 27,107 last month, up 3.2% from August 2018, according to Florida Realtors. Florida’s condo-townhouse market totaled 10,062, down 2.9% compared to a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $278,200, up 4.7% from August 2018 ($265,600). August’s price increase marks the 90th straight month of year-over-year gains.

In August, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for 92 months in a row. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $265,000, up 4.2% 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 $190,000, up 2.7% 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 38.9% of August 2019 total closed sales, compared to 42.5% 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 52.9% of condo closings were made in cash in August compared to 28.7% of single-family home sales.

Seller’s Market for Palm Beach Single-Family Homes and Condos
Inventory of single-family homes decreased 6.2% in August from 6,622 active listings last year to 6,210 in August 2019. Condominium inventory decreased 5.2% to 5,275 from 5,564 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 4.7-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 August decreased 5.8% year-over-year, from 12,186 to 11,485. New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 13.7% to 1,663 from 1,926. New listings of condominiums decreased 12% to 1,360 from 1,545.

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of August decreased to 1.86 million, down from 1.90 million existing-homes available for sale in July and marking a 2.6% decrease from 1.91 million one year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.2 months in July and from the 4.3-month figure recorded in August 2018.

To access August 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, Broward-MIAMI, 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 215 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is


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