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Palm Beach County Home Sales Post Another Month of Double-Digit Gains; Luxury Home Sales Jump 264.5% Year-over-Year

Palm Beach shoreline
Palm Beach shoreline

MIAMI — Palm Beach County real estate posted another double-digit month of total home sales in April 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.

 

Palm Beach County total home sales surged 95.2% year-over-year, from 2,052 to 4,006. Palm Beach County single-family home transactions rose 67%, from 1,191 to 1,989. Palm Beach existing condo sales increased 134.3%, from 861 to 2,017.

 

“Palm Beach County home sales are up even if you compare them to two years ago,” JTHS-MIAMI President Bill Mate said. “More homebuyers are entering their prime homebuying years and low mortgage rates have combined to generate robust pent-up demand for Palm Beach real estate.”

 

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. More inventory is expected to come to the market later this year as potential home sellers become more comfortable listing and showing their homes. The falling number of homeowners in mortgage forbearance will also bring about more inventory.

 

Palm Beach County Luxury Sales Jump as Tax-Burdened High-Net-Worth Buyers Relocate

Palm Beach County single-family luxury ($1-million-and-up) transactions jumped 264.5% year-over-year to 339 sales in April 2021. Palm Beach County existing condo luxury ($1-million-and-up) sales increased 264.4% year-over-year to 164 transactions.

 

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

 

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.

 

Palm Beach single-family homes priced between $400K to $600K surged 84% year-over-year to 539 transactions in April 2021. Palm Beach existing condo sales priced between $400K to $600K increased 339.6% to 211 transactions.

 

Palm Beach Homeowners’ Home Equity Surges as Many Pay Lower Mortgage Payments

With interest rates still at record lows, many South Florida homeowners have refinanced their home loans. So not only are many homeowners paying lower mortgage payments today; they are doing so while their wealth (home equity) has significantly increased. Home equity can be tapped for renovations, college loans and more.

 

Palm Beach County single-family median home prices increased 27.7% year-over-year in April 2021, increasing from $365,000 to $466,000. Existing condo median prices increased 23.2% year-over-year, from $195,000 to $240,250.

 

Rising median prices is a trend nationwide as record-low mortgages rates and the increased availability of remote work and education has accelerated the demand for housing. Low inventory relative to high demand leads to prices rising.

 

Should mortgage rates resume their upward climb, home price growth is likely to slow in response. Also, as more sellers list properties in 2021, the increased inventory should ease the growth of median prices.

 

Palm Beach Dollar Volume Totals $2.9 Billion, Showcasing Impact Housing Plays in Economy

While other industries struggled over the past year, housing lifted the economy nationally and locally. For every two homes sold in the U.S., one job is created. Dollar volume showcases the impact housing plays in the local economy.

 

Single-family home dollar volume increased 198.2% year-over-year, from $690.7 million to $2.1 billion. Condo dollar volume increased 188% year-over-year, from $297.7 million to $857.4 million.

 

Lower mortgage rates are making home purchases more affordable. According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.06% in April, down from 3.08% in March. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to remain below 3.5% in 2021.

 

Palm Beach Distressed Sales Stay Low, Reflecting Healthy Market
Only 0.7% of all closed residential sales in Palm Beach County were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 2.2% in April 2020.

 

Total Palm Beach distressed sales decreased 41.3%, from 46 to 27.

 

Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.1% and 0.5% year-over-year, respectively, of total Palm Beach sales in April 2021. Short sale transactions decreased 28.6% year-over-year while REOs decreased 43.6%.

 

Nationally, distressed sales represented less than 1% of sales in April 2021, down from 3% in April 2020.

 

Nationally, distressed sales represented less than 1% of sales in April 2021, down from 3% in April 2020.

 

National, State Housing Demand Robust as More Inventory Expected to Arrive

Nationally, total existing-home sales transactions completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 2.7% from March to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.85 million in April. Sales overall jumped year-over-year, up 33.9% from a year ago (4.37 million in April 2020).

 

Statewide, Closed sales of single-family homes in April totaled 33,264, up 55.4% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 17,330, up 130.9% over April 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 April was $341,600, up 19.1% from April 2020 ($286,800), as every region recorded price increases. This is a record high and marks 110 straight months of year-over-year gains.

 

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $336,525, up 22.4% 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 $250,000, up 19.6% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

 

Seller’s Market for Palm Beach Real Estate

Inventory of single-family homes decreased 52.6% in April 2021 from 6,126 active listings last year to 2,901 last month. Condominium inventory decreased 43.2% to 3,436 from 6,053 listings during the same period in 2020.

 

Months supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 57.1% to 1.8 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Inventory for existing condominiums decreased 49.1% to 2.8 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 April 2021 decreased 47.9% year-over-year, from 12,179 to 6,337.

 

New listings of Palm Beach single-family homes increased 77.8% to 2,248 from 1,264. New listings of condominiums increased 89.2%, from 926 to 1,752.

 

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of April amounted to 1.16 million units, up 10.5% from March’s inventory and down 20.5% from one year ago (1.46 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.4-month supply at the current sales pace, slightly up from March’s 2.1-month supply and down from the 4.0-month supply recorded in April 2020. These numbers continue to represent near-record lows. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.

 

Palm Beach Real Estate Attracting Multiple Bids, Buyers Going Over-List Price

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 98.5% in April 2021, up 2.8% from 95.8% last year. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 96.1%, up 1.9% from 94.3% last year.

 

The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Palm Beach single-family home sales was 13 days, a 55.2% decrease from 29 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for condos was 28 days, down 24.3% from 37 days.

 

The median time to sale for single-family homes was 60 days, a 21.1% decrease from 76 days last year. The median number of days to sale for condos was 72 days, a 15.3% decrease from 85 days.

 

Palm Beach Cash Sales Double National Figure

Cash sales represented 50.9% of Palm Beach closed sales in April 2021, compared to 36.5% in April 2020. About 25 percent of U.S. home sales are made in cash, according to the latest NAR statistics.

 

The high percentage of cash buyers reflects South Florida’s top position as the preeminent American real estate market for foreign buyers, who tend to purchase with all cash as well as some moving from more expensive U.S. markets who can buy more with their profits from real estate sales.

 

Cash sales accounted for 60.1% of all Palm Beach existing condo sales and 41.7% of single-family transactions.

 

To access April 2021 Palm Beach 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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