Home Sales in North Palm Beach Up 25%
Welcome to March! The winds of change in the South Florida real estate market continue to blow and lately we are experiencing some big gusts indeed. So much data to dissect and try to comprehend but at first glance January home sales in North Palm Beach and other municipalities in the Northern Palm Beach County region were weak; very weak.
Two days ago the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales rose in January for the 21st consecutive month of year over year gains. These homes come out of “inventory” which is still the biggest challenge Realtors® face today as well priced homes are as rare as a three toed sloth in many neighborhoods. Markets have changed from buyers being in control to seller’s in charge with buyers having to face the reality that prices are higher.
New home sales are perhaps the biggest winner in the current market as buyers flock to their model homes frustrated at the resale selection available to them. Look around and see the new construction that has been missing from the landscape for so long. Stop in any new home community and look at the crowds and the “sold” signs. It really is amazing and an important ingredient in the data we are releasing today.
Interest rates have leveled off after the recent quarter point jump to the upside with the Fed continuing to tell us they are going to keep them low. How long their program of buying our own debt can keep them there remains to be seen but rates are still an amazing value for those able to find a home they will be happy in for 10 to 15 years or longer. This is an important factor for anyone to consider as rates much, much higher are certainly not that hard to fathom in the landscape ahead.
Last month in this column we reported sales were down or unchanged in 80% of our reporting municipalities and that was a good sales month compared to what we experienced in January. The sharp decline does not appear to be demand related as it seems there are buyers on every corner waiting for the right opportunity. The lack of quality inventory is a major culprit and new home sales also playing a role. Most new home sales do not show up in MLS data so while there were sales they do not get included in MLS numbers. So let’s take a look at home sales in North Palm Beach and the surrounding communities for the month of January and see what has happened since our last report.
North Palm Beach – up 25%
Palm Beach Gardens – down 20%
Jupiter – down 31%
Hobe Sound – down 34%
Tequesta – down 53%
With pending sales on the rise we should see higher sales numbers ahead but that was not the case in January. The average number of sales from our reporting municipalities fell a very significant 22.6% from the previous month while the median sales level dropped 31%. Can inventory be the only problem or is there other debris flying around in the winds of change? Each property is different and both buyers and sellers must have a complete understanding of the metrics surrounding each particular parcel to make well informed decisions in today’s market.
We move next in months report to home sales in North Palm Beach that bucked the trend and rose by 25% but it was on the heals of the most dismal sales moth they had seen in about 2 years so nothing to shout about. During the month of January a total of 5 North Palm Beach single family homes sold compared with 4 during the previous month. With this showing we fell well below the 12 month average sales volume which currently stands at 10.58. On a “seasonal” note home sales in North Palm Beach ended far below the 9 sales we had in the same month in 2012.
As we saw sales volume increase in North Palm Beach we saw the heaviest sales activity in homes priced between $0 and $150,000 and between $300,001 and $500,000 with 4 sales representing 80% of the market. With this showing the median sales price increased by 14% to $355,000 from the $310,500 reported a month ago. We also stayed slightly above the 12 month average which now stands at $346,542. From a “seasonal” perspective we zoomed far ahead of the median sales price in January of last year which stood at $210,00. Below are the charts showing the percentage of single family home sales in each category for the month of December as well as median prices over the past 12 months in North Palm Beach.
Another very, very interesting month and another reason why those of us who make our living helping others figure out the right housing moves to make love what we do.
Until next month…………