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Palm Beach County Total Home Sales and Prices Rise in 1Q 2020; 1Q Market Performance Reflects Solid Market Fundamentals and Robust Demand

David Abernathy Elected to Lead JTHS-MIAMI REALTORS
David Abernathy Elected to Lead JTHS-MIAMI REALTORS

MIAMI — Palm Beach County total home sales increased year-over-year in 1Q 2020, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.


Palm Beach County total home sales increased 11.9% year-over-year, from 6,316 to 7,073. Palm Beach single-family home sales rose 12%, from 3,465 to 3,881. Palm Beach existing condo sales increased 12%, from 2,851 to 3,192.


“Palm Beach County real estate posted continued its recent market trend with another strong month in March,” JTHS-MIAMI President David Abernathy said. “The robust fundamentals of the South Florida housing market in the first quarter are already minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on sales activity and demand.”


Total Palm Beach County Sales Volume Jump in 1Q 2020
Palm Beach County single-family home dollar volume rose 25.1%, from $1.9 billion to $2.4 billion. Palm Beach condo dollar volume increased 22.7%, from $889.9 million to $1.1 billion.


Non-distressed sales comprised about 97.4% of all closed residential sales in 1Q 2020 vs. 96.2% in 1Q 2019. Only 2.6% of all closed residential sales in Broward were distressed in 1Q 2020, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 3.8% in 1Q 2019.


Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.4 and 2.2%, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in 1Q 2020. Short sale transactions decreased 24.3% year-over-year while REOs fell 22%.


Mid-Market and Luxury Sales Fuel 1Q Transaction Growth
Palm Beach single-family homes priced between $400K to $600K increased 17.2% year-over-year to 873 transactions in 1Q 2020. Palm Beach condo sales priced between $300K to $400K rose 27.3% year-over-year to 289 transactions in 1Q 2020.


Palm Beach single-family home luxury ($1 million and up) transactions increased 29.1% to 346 sales in 1Q 2020. Palm Beach condo luxury transactions increased 40.9% to 162 sales in 1Q 2020.


Lower mortgage rates made home purchases more affordable in both 2019 and in the first quarter of 2020. The 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.57% in the first quarter of 2020, down from 4.62% one year ago. The average monthly mortgage payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment was $995, down from $1,048 a year ago. This is equivalent to 15% of the median family income of $79,662, down from 16.1% one year ago. (Housing expenses are considered a cost burden if the cost is more than 30% of income.)


Palm Beach County Median Prices Rise
The median price for single-family homes in Palm Beach County increased to $365,000 in 1Q 2020, a 5.8% jump from $345,000 in the same period last year. The median price for existing condominiums increased 9% year-over-year from $175,000 to $190,750.


The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2020 was $270,000, up 6.7% from the same time a year ago, according to data from the Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $205,000, up 10.5% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.


Nationwide, median single-family home prices increased year-over-year in 96% of measured markets in the first quarter, with 174 of 181 metropolitan statistical areas1 showing sales price gains. That is an increase from the 94% share seen in the fourth quarter of 2019. The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter of 2020 was $274,600, up 7.7% from the first quarter of 2019 ($254,900).


Hot Markets Overview Reveals Strong Demand and Limited Supply in Many Local Areas
Months’ supply of inventory is a strong indicator of real estate activity. Top Palm Beach County neighborhoods with the lowest months of supply of inventory (at least 100 new pending sales) in 1Q 2020:


Single-Family Homes

  1. Royal Palm Beach, a north Palm Beach community north of Wellington, had 2.6 months supply
  2. The Acreage, a north Palm Beach community west of West Palm Beach, had 2.6 months supply
  3. Boynton Beach, a southeastern Palm Beach community north of Delray Beach 2.7
  4. Jupiter, a north Palm Beach community north of Palm Beach Gardens, had 3.2 months supply
  5. Lake Worth, a north Palm Beach community south of West Palm Beach, had 3.8 months supply



  1. Greenacres, a north Palm Beach community west of Lake Worth, had 3.2 months supply
  2. Palm Beach Gardens, a north Palm Beach community north of West Palm Beach, had 4.1 months supply
  3. Boynton Beach, a southeastern Palm Beach community north of Delray Beach, had 4.8 months supply
  4. Delray Beach, a south Palm Beach community north of Boca Raton, had 5.1 months supply
  5. Boca Raton, a south Palm Beach community along the Palm Beach-Broward line, had 6.5 months supply


State Home Sales in 1Q 2020

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 65,602 in 1Q 2020, up 10.2% from the 1Q 2019 level. Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 27,379 during 1Q 2020, up 9.3% compared to 1Q 2019. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.


Buyer’s Market for Single-Family Homes and Condos
At the current sales pace, the number of active listings represents 4.2 months of inventory for single-family homes and 5.4 for condominiums. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months of supply inventory.


Palm Beach real estate had 12,466 active listings in 1Q 2020, a 15.3% decrease from the 14,715 listings at the same time last year. The inventory for single-family homes decreased 21.3%, from 7,959 to 6,265. Palm Beach existing condo inventory decreased 8.2%, from 6,756 to 6,201.


Palm Beach Homes Selling Close to List Price
The median percent of original list price received was 95% for single-family homes and 94% for condos in 1Q 2020.


The median time to contract for single-family home listings was 53 days, a 11.7% decrease from 60 days in 1Q 2019. The median time to contract for existing condos was 97 days, a 3% decrease from 100 days in 1Q 2019.


The median time to sale for single-family homes decreased 4.2%, from 96 days to 92. The median time to sale for existing condos decreased 3%, from 100 to 97.


Palm Beach Cash Sales Almost Double National Figure
Cash sales represented 45.9% of Palm Beach closed sales in 1Q 2020, compared to 47% in 1Q 2019.


About 20 percent of U.S. home properties are made in cash, according to the latest NAR statistics. The high percentage of cash buyers reflects Miami’s top position as the preeminent American real estate market for foreign buyers, who tend to purchase with all cash.


Cash sales accounted for 59.1% of all Palm Beach existing condo sales and 34.9% of single-family transactions.


1Q 2020 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 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 223 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is



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