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Palm Beach County Total Home Sale Rise Double Digits in January 2020

Palm Beach shoreline
Palm Beach shoreline

MIAMI — Palm Beach County total home sales, dollar volume and luxury ($1-million-and-up) transactions surged double digits year-over-year in January 2020, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.


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.


“Palm Beach real estate surged in January 2020,” JTHS-MIAMI President David Abernathy said. “Luxury home sales jumped double digits as homebuyers from tax-burdened states continue purchasing real estate in Palm Beach County.”


Palm Beach County Total Home Sales Rise 25.1%
Total Palm Beach County home sales increased 25.1% year-over-year, from 1,590 to 1,989. Palm Beach single-family home sales jumped 29.3%, from 846 to 1,094. Palm Beach condo sales increased 20.3%, from 744 to 895.


A rise in mid-market and luxury transactions fueled the rise in total home sales.


In the mid-market, Palm Beach County single-family homes priced between $300K to $400K saw a rise of 40.2% in transactions to 272 sales. Palm Beach condos priced between $300K to $400K registered a 57.7% rise in sales to 82 transactions.


In the luxury market, Palm Beach single-family homes priced above $1 million rose 52.2% to 102 transactions. Palm Beach condos priced above $1 million increased 61.5% to 42 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 increased 39.6%, from $477.8 million to $667.1 million. Condo dollar volume increased 47.5%, from $202 million to $298 million.


According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 3.62% in January, down from 3.72% in December. One year ago, the commitment rate was 4.46%.


A new condo approval process could increase sales in the future. The new guidance, which goes into effect in October 2019, 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 6.8% in January 2020, increasing from $340,000 to $363,000. Existing condo prices increased 11.4%, from $175,000 to $195,000.


Palm Beach Distressed Sales Stay Low, Reflecting Healthy Market
Only 3.1% of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 4.2% in January 2020.


Total Palm Beach distressed sales decreased 7.6%, from 66 to 61.


Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.4% and 2.7%, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in January 2020. Short sale transactions decreased 38.5% year-over-year while REOs stayed even.


Nationally, distressed sales represented 2% of sales in January, unchanged from December 2019 and down from January 2019.


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 7.1% decrease from 56 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family homes was 97 days, even from last year.


The median time to contract for condos was 50 days, a 20.6% decrease from 63 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for condos was 91 days, a 8.1% decrease from 99 days.


The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 94.8%. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 93.8%.


National and State Statistics
Nationally, total existing-home sales transactions decreased 1.3% from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in January. However, for the second straight month, overall sales substantially increased year-over-year, up 9.6% from a year ago (4.98 million in January 2019).


Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,298 last month, up 17.9% from January 2019, according to Florida Realtors. Florida’s condo-townhouse market totaled 7,714, up 14.5% from the level 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 January was $266,300, up 6.8% from January 2019 ($249,400), as prices increased in every region. December’s price increase marks 95 straight months of year-over-year gains.


Statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties in January rose year-over-year for 97 consecutive months. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $265,000, up 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 $200,000, up 9.6% 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 46.7% of January 2020 total closed sales, compared to 48.4% last year. Palm Beach cash transactions are more than double the national figure (21%).


Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach cash purchases as 58.1% of condo closings were made in cash in January compared to 37.4% of single-family home sales.


Seller’s Market for Palm Beach Real Estate
Inventory of single-family homes decreased 21.3% in January from 8,069 active listings last year to 6,37 last month. Condominium inventory decreased 10.3% to 6,162 from 6,868 listings during the same period in 2019.


Months supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 23.2% to 4.3 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 supply.


Total active listings at the end of December decreased 16.3% year-over-year, from 14,937to 12,509.


New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 12.5% to 2,137 from 2,442. New listings of condominiums decreased 2.7%, from 2,112to 2,055.


Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of January totaled 1.42 million units, up 2.2% from December, but down 10.7% from one year ago (1.59 million). The housing inventory level for January is the lowest level since 1999. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from the 3.0-month figure recorded in December and down from the 3.8-month figure recorded in January 2019.


To access January 2020 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 100 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 222 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is



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