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Martin County Total Home Sales Increase in February 2021; Luxury Sales Surge Year-over-Year

Martin County

MIAMI — Martin County total home sales increased in February 2021 as pent-up demand and record-low mortgage rates continue fueling transactions, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.

 

Total home sales in Martin County, located north of West Palm Beach and home to the county seat of Stuart, increased 21.6% year-over-year in February 2021, from 255 to 310. Martin single-family home sales increased 21.8% year-over-year, from 170 to 207. Martin existing condo transactions increased 21.2% year-over-year, from 85 to 103.

 

“Stuart and Martin County real estate has now seen five consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year home sales increases,” JTHS-MIAMI President Bill Mate said. “Homebuyers, particularly those from tax-burdened Northeastern states, want to live a sunny healthy lifestyle with no state income tax.”

 

The demand for South Florida real estate is evident in median time to contact. Martin County single-family homes are going under contact in 34 days, 33.3% faster than a year ago (51 days). Martin condos are going under contract 49 days, 2.1% slower than a year ago (48 days).

 

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.

 

Martin County Luxury Single-Family Home Sales Surge 118.2% in February 2021

Martin County single-family luxury ($1-million-and-up) transactions jumped 118.2% year-over-year to 24 sales in February 2021. Martin existing condo luxury ($1-million-and-up) sales stayed the same with zero transactions.

 

Luxury months of supply continues to trend downward for all property types, month-over-month, and year-over-year.

 

Martin single-family homes priced between $400K to $600K increased 43.6% year-over-year to 56 transactions in February 2021. Martin existing condo sales priced between $400K to $600K increased 60% to 8 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 Martin

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

 

Martin County single-family home prices increased 12.9% year-over-year in February 2021, increasing from $372,000 to $419,900. Existing condo prices increased 30.3% year-over-year, from $160,000 to $208,500.

 

Single-Family Home and Condo Dollar Volume Increases

Single-family home dollar volume increased 39.3% year-over-year, from $106.9 million to $148.9 million. Condo dollar volume increased 40.6% year-over-year, from $18.2 million to $25.6 million.

 

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.81 in February, up from 2.74% in January. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%.

 

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 13 are approved for Federal Housing Administration loans, down from 29 last year, according to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA.

 

A better condo approval process is expected to increase sales. The guidance, which went 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 have championed, are expected to generate increased homeownership opportunities.

 

Martin Distressed Sales Stay Low, Reflecting Healthy Market

Only 0.6% of all closed residential sales in Martin were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 2.7% in February 2020.

 

Total Martin distressed sales decreased 71.4%, from 7 to 2.

 

Short sales and REOs accounted for 0% and 0.6% year-over-year, respectively, of total Martin sales in February 2021. Short sale transactions decreased 100% year-over-year while REOs decreased 60%.

 

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

 

Martin Real Estate Selling Close to List Price

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 96.3% in February 2021, up 1% from 95.3% last year. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 96.2%, up 0.7% from 95.5% last year.

 

The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Martin single-family home sales was 34 days, a 33.3% decrease from 51 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for condos was 49 days, up 2.1% from 48 days.

 

The median time to sale for single-family homes was 81days, a 10% decrease from 90 days last year. The median number of days to sale for condos was 86 days, a 2.3% decrease from 88 days.

 

National and State Statistics

Nationally, total existing-home sales transactions completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 6.6% from January to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million in February. Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 9.1% from a year ago (5.70 million in February 2020).

 

In February, statewide home sales totaled 23,947, up 15.7% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 11,379, up 28.7% over February 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 February was $313,000, up 15.8% from February 2020 ($270,400), as prices rose in every region. February’s national price jump marks 108 straight months of year-over-year gains.

 

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $314,900, up 16.6% 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 $233,240, up 16.6% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

 

Martin’s Cash Buyers Top National Figure

Martin cash transactions comprised 47.1% of February 2021 total closed sales, compared to 49.4% last year. The national figure for cash buyers is 22%.

 

Condominiums comprise a large portion of Martin’s cash purchases as 65% of condo closings were made in cash in February 2021 compared to 38.2% of single-family home sales.

 

Seller’s Market for Single-Family Homes, Condos

Inventory of single-family homes decreased 62.1% in February 2021 from 923 active listings last year to 350 last month. Condominium inventory decreased 38.7% from 411 listings to 252 during the same period in 2020.

 

Months supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 67.4% to 1.5 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Inventory for existing condominiums decreased 44.4% to 2.5 months, which indicates a buyer’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 February 2021 decreased 54.9% year-over-year, from 1,334 to 602. Active listings remain about 60% below 2008 levels when sales bottomed.

 

New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes decreased 7.7% to 304 from 251. New listings of condominiums decreased 5.9%, from 135 to 127.

 

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of February amounted to 1.03 million units, equal to January’s inventory and down 29.5% from one year ago (1.46 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.0-month supply at the current sales pace, slightly up from January’s 1.9-month supply and down from the 3.1-month amount recorded in February 2020. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.

 

To access February 2021 Martin County Statistical Reports, visit http://www.SFMarketIntel.com

 

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 www.MiamiRealtors.com

 

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