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Palm Beach Single-Family Home Median Prices Increase in October

Palm Beach
Palm Beach

MIAMI — Palm Beach County single-family home median prices increased year-over-year in October 2019, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.


Palm Beach County single-family home median prices rose 3.3%, from $347,500 to $359,000. Palm Beach continues in a seller’s market (inventory below 6 months of supply) with months of supply trending downward, a sign of the high demand for Palm Beach real estate.


“Homebuyers are not just buying homes in Palm Beach County; they’re moving their businesses here,” 2019 JTHS-MIAMI President Kim Price said. “The IRS tax overhaul passed by Congress in 2017 has led to more residents of high-tax states such as New York and California purchasing Palm Beach real estate.”


Palm Beach County Total Home Sales Decline in October
Total Palm Beach County home sales declined 4.8%, from 2,533 to 2,412. Palm Beach single-family home sales decreased 6.2%, from 1,459 to 1,369. Palm Beach condo sales decreased 2.9%, from 1,074 to 1,043.


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.


Single-family home dollar volume decreased 10.8%, from $795 million to $709.3 million. Condo dollar volume decreased 0.3%, from $285 million to $284 million.


According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.69% in October, up from 3.61% in September. 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 3.3% in October 2019, increasing from $347,500 to $359,000. Existing condo prices decreased 7%, from $185,000 to $172,000.


Palm Beach Distressed Sales Stay Low, Reflecting Healthy Market
Only 3.9% of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 3.1% in October 2019.


Total Palm Beach distressed sales increased 20.3%, from 79 to 95.


Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.7% and 3.2%, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in October 2019. Short sale transactions increased 6.25% year-over-year while REOs decreased 23.8% percent.


Nationally, distressed sales represented 2% of sales in October, unchanged from September but down from 3% in October 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 54 days, a 3.8% increase from 52 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 95 days, a 2.2% percent increase from 93 days.


The median time to contract for condos was 57 days, a 9.6% increase from 52 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date increased 4.2% to 99 days.


The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 95.1%. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 93.8%.


National and State Statistics
Nationally, total existing-home sales transactions increased 1.9% from September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in October. Despite lingering regional variances, overall sales are up 4.6% from a year ago (5.22 million in October 2018).


Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 23,440 last month, up 5.2% from October 2018, according to Florida Realtors. Florida’s condo-townhouse market totaled 9,226, relatively the same level (down 0.5%) as a year ago. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.


The national median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $270,900, up 6.2% from October 2018 ($255,100), as prices rose in all regions. October’s price increase marks 92 straight months of year-over-year gains.


Statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties in October rose year-over-year for 94 months in a row. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $263,000, up 3.6% 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 $190,500, up 5.8% 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 42.8% of October 2019 total closed sales, compared to 43.9% last year. Palm Beach cash transactions are double the national figure (19%).


Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach cash purchases as 57.2% of condo closings were made in cash in October compared to 31.8% of single-family home sales.


Seller’s Market for Palm Beach Real Estate
Inventory of single-family homes decreased 9.7% in October from 7,112 active listings last year to 6,420 last month. Condominium inventory decreased 4.7% to 5,743 from 6,027 listings during the same period in 2018.


Months supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 6.3% to 4.5 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Existing condominiums have a 5.2-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 October decreased 7.4% year-over-year, from 13,139 to 12,163.


New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 1.1% percent to 2,104 from 2,127. New listings of condominiums increased 0.4%, from 1,815 to 1,822.


Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of October sat at 1.77 million units, down approximately 2.7% from September and 4.3% from one year ago (1.85 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.1 months in September and from the 4.3-month figure recorded in October 2018.


To access October 2019 Palm Beach 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 52,000 total 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 221 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is



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