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Palm Beach County Home Sales Continue Rising in January 2021

Palm Beach shoreline
Palm Beach shoreline

MIAMI — Palm Beach County total home sales increased year-over-year in January 2021, fueled by record-low mortgage rates and pent-up demand, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.


Palm Beach County total home sales increased 4.2% year-over-year in January 2021, from 1,989 to 2,073. Palm Beach single-family home sales rose 5.5% year-over-year, from 1,094 to 1,154. Palm Beach existing condo transactions increased 2.7% year-over-year, from 895 to 919.


“Consistently low mortgage rates over the past several months have only fueled already strong demand for Palm Beach real estate,” JTHS-MIAMI President Bill Mate said. “Homebuyers, particularly those from tax-burdened Northeastern states, are purchasing in sunny South Florida and looking for larger spaces for working and schooling from home.”


Lack of inventory in certain price points is impacting sales, particularly for single-family homes. Increased housing starts and more sellers listing properties in 2021 should help alleviate the lack of supply.


Palm Beach Single-Family Luxury Sales Surge 53.9% in January 2021

Palm Beach County single-family luxury ($1-million-and-up) transactions jumped 53.9% year-over-year to 157 sales in January 2021. Palm Beach existing condo luxury ($1-million-and-up) sales increased 42.9% year-over-year to 60 transactions.


Palm Beach single-family homes priced between $400K to $600K surged 42.9% year-over-year to 333 transactions in January 2021. Palm Beach existing condo sales priced between $400K to $600K increased 46.3% to 79 transactions.


Record-low interest rates; a robust S&P 500; the appeal of stable assets in a volatile economy; homebuyers leaving tax-burdened Northeastern states to purchase in Florida (no state income tax); and work-from-home and remote-learning policies have all combined to create a robust market for luxury single-family properties.


Strong Price Appreciation in Palm Beach

Strong demand coupled with limited supply continue to drive price appreciation in Palm Beach.


Palm Beach County single-family home prices increased 16.3% year-over-year in January 2021, increasing from $363,000 to $422,000. Existing condo prices increased 12.3% year-over-year, from $195,000 to $218,900.


Single-Family Home and Condo Dollar Volume Increases

Single-family home dollar volume increased 46.9% year-over-year, from $667.1 million to $979.9 million. Condo dollar volume increased 19.7% year-over-year, from $298 million to $356.6 million.


According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.74% in January, up from 2.68% in December. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%.


Palm Beach Distressed Sales Stay Low, Reflecting Healthy Market

Only 1.6% 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 January 2020.


Total Palm Beach distressed sales decreased 45.9%, from 61 to 33.


Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.4% and 1.2% year-over-year, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in January 2021. Short sale transactions increased 12.5% year-over-year while REOs decreased 54.7%.


Nationally, distressed sales represented less than 1% of sales in January 2021, down from 2% in January 2020.


Palm Beach Real Estate Selling Close to List Price

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 96.7% in January 2021, up 2% from 94.8% last year. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 95.4%, up 1.7% from 93.8% last year.


The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Palm Beach single-family home sales was 27 days, a 48.1% decrease from 52 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for condos was 42 days, down 16% from 50 days.


The median time to sale for single-family homes was 72 days, a 25.8% decrease from 97 days last year. The median number of days to sale for condos was 85 days, a 6.6% decrease from 91 days.


National and State Statistics

Nationally, total existing-home sales transactions completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.6% from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in January. Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 23.7% from a year ago (5.41 million in January 2020).


In January, closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,587, up 18% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 9,608, up 24.6% over January 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.


Nationally, the median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $303,900, up 14.1% from January 2020 ($266,300), as prices increased in every region. January’s national price jump marks 107 straight months of year-over-year gains.


The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $305,000, up 15.1% 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 $230,000, up 15% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.


Palm Beach’s Cash Buyers Top National Figure

Palm Beach cash transactions comprised 44.6% of January 2021 total closed sales, compared to 46.7% last year. The national figure for cash buyers is 19%.


Palm Beach’s high percentage of cash sales reflects South Florida’s ability to attract a diverse number of international homebuyers, who tend to purchase properties in all cash.


Condominiums comprise a large portion of Palm Beach’s cash purchases as 55.6% of condo closings were made in cash in January 2021 compared to 35.9% of single-family home sales.


Seller’s Market for Single-Family Homes and Condos

Inventory of single-family homes decreased 45.7% in January 2021 from 6,347 active listings last year to 3,446 last month. Condominium inventory decreased 18.1% to 5,045 from 6,162 listings during the same period in 2020.


Months supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 46.5% to 2.3 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Inventory for existing condominiums decreased 18.2% to 4.5 months, which indicates a seller’s market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six- and nine-months supply.


Months supply of inventory is down since July 2019 for single-family, reflecting strong demand.


Total active listings at the end of January 2021 decreased 32.1% year-over-year, from 12,509 to 8,491. Active listings remain about 60% below 2008 levels when sales bottomed.


New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 13.3% to 1,853 from 2,137. New listings of condominiums decreased 11.3%, from 2,055 to 1,823.


Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of January amounted to 1.04 million units, down 1.9% from December and down 25.7% from one year ago (1.40 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace, equal to December’s supply and down from the 3.1-month amount recorded in January 2020. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.


To access January 2021 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 101 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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