Home Sales in Palm Beach Gardens Jump 27%
As we “sprung forward” last weekend the nice sunny skies lasting later in the day are a perfect reminder that spring home buying season is upon us once again. For the first time in over 6 years we are in a position where interest rates are at historic low rates, housing inventories are at multi-year lows and many economists are finally calling the bottom of the great real estate bubble.
There is no doubt that the foundation for potential price increases is stronger than we have seen for a very long time. Indexes that track sales of previously owned homes continue to rise on a national level and again strengthens the potential for prices to once again be on the rise. As we all know, real estate is very local in nature so let’s evaluate how sales looked in the local markets during the month of February.
#1 Hobe Sound –
#2 Jupiter –
#3 Palm Beach Gardens – up 27%
#4 Tequesta – down 44%
#4 North Palm Beach – down 44%
#6 Juno Beach – down 57%
When looking at the breakdown of local sales during the month of February the one word that comes to mind is bizarre. The smallest change in any municipality was 27% with three communities way ahead of January’s numbers and three reporting sales way below. The average difference in sales in the month over month reporting cycle was over a 43% change. When you balance out the highs and lows the “average” difference over the 30 day period was a more modest 5% change. The lack of quality inventory coupled with the low interest rates and pent up demand is the main factor in a rather strange month.
Starting off this month’s update with the bottom three performers had me a bit down but now we switch gears with our 3rd place performer of Palm Beach Gardens who has put a smile on my face with a solid increase of 27% over January figures. In February 61 properties closed escrow compared to 48 in January and a big step in the right direction. This showing puts us just below the 12 month average which stands at 68.5 but well ahead of the 52 units sold in February of last year.
While sales pace showing improvement, prices realized were heavily weighted under the $500,000 price point with 82% of all sales below this benchmark. The luxury home market accounted for 18% with 5 sales between $500,000 and $750,000 and 6 sales above the $1,000,000 mark. The chart below shows the percentage of sales by price category for the month of January.
With the vast majority of sales falling below $500,000 we should expect a little weakness in the month median numbers and that is exactly what we got. We saw the median sales price in Palm Beach Gardens fall to $305,000 from the $362,500 we saw in January. With this showing we fell behind the 12-month average of $336,042 but managed to eclipse the median price form January 20111 which stood at $275,000. While the increase in sales was a great sign certainly a bit disappointing when it comes to prices realized. The chart below shows median prices on a monthly basis over the previous 12 month period.
So another month rolls by with more questions than answers but the signs still point to the local real estate markets continuing to recover with a few more bumps in the road but the economy seems to have the shock absorbers needed to handle whatever is thrown it’s way and with spring buying season staring us in the face it should be continued good times ahead.