June Home Sales in Palm Beach Gardens up Another 5%
Single family home sales were all over the board in the north county region with towns like Jupiter having another record sales month while in the neighboring village of Tequesta sales dropped significantly for the second straight month to the lowest levels we have seen in four months. No doubt the limited inventory of well priced homes is affecting sales volume but overall it was another strong month in the local real estate market.
New home sales have been brisk and we must keep in mind that many sales in new home communities do not show up in our Multiple Listing Service. Take a trip to communities like DiVosta’s Windsor Park or Lennar’s Rialto and you will find very limited inventory of available lots and long built times. As demand from buyers continues expect home prices to continue to climb in the area. June new home sales jumped to their fastest pace in over 5 years on a national level and prices continue to climb.
Interest rates finally stopped going up and appear to have settled into a range that is still historically low. Many feel the new rates will help cool off future gains in pricing but it all will come down to demand and the overall economic picture not only locally, but also at the national and international level. The north Palm Beach County region is not longer “our little secret” and future demand from the baby boomers and international buyers should spell a very solid future for the area.
There are still plenty of homes on the market and those that are priced aggressively and have been well taken care of will be getting multiple offers in a short span of time. Many sellers have priced “above the market” which is a reasonable strategy when prices are going up and buyers have not yet been deterred locally as pending sales, those homes already under contract waiting to close, remain solid. Demand is high and with an economy that appears to be mending, albeit slowly, one wonders where the future supply will come from to meet demand. Large investor groups are betting big money on higher prices and snapping up tens of thousands of homes across the country. Just one organization, the Blackstone Group, has purchased 30,000 homes through their subsidiary Invitation Homes. Their stated intent is to rent them for at least 5 years and I can tell you their projections are for prices heading higher during that time frame. You will find this group, and others very active in Palm Beach County. Invitation Homes has alone purchased over 50 properties in the county using one name IH2 Property. These purchases are substantial and in just one local subdivision, Evergrene in Palm Beach Gardens, Blackstone has purchased at least 4 homes over the past few months.
So as we do each month it is time to see where sales levels of single family homes have been on a local level. Home sales in Palm Beach Gardens and the surrounding communities have been extremely strong so let’s analyze what happened during the month ended July 1st.
Palm Beach Gardens – up 5%
Hobe Sound – down 17%
North Palm Beach – down 21%
Tequesta – down 26%
Last month in this column we reported that 60% of our reporting communities showed stronger sales and this was a weaker showing that the 80% in our May report. This month things changed with 60% of our communities showing a decline in sales and this time some of those drops were significant. During the month ending July 1st we saw the average number of sales decreasing by 10.6% with a median decrease of 17%. It should be pointed out that our two largest communities had solid months with strong sales but there is no doubt that inventory and interest rates are having their effect. We next move in this months report to home sales in Palm Beach Gardens that improved by 5% on the heels of last month’s increase of 10%. This marks the 5th straight month of improved sales which is truly remarkable. During the month of June a total of 121 Palm Beach Gardens single family homes sold compared with 115 during the previous month. With this showing we remained far ahead of the 12 month average sales volume which currently stands at 88.83. On a “seasonal” note home sales in Palm Beach Gardens also ended up ahead of the 113 sales we had in the same month in 2012.
As we saw sales volume increase in Palm Beach Gardens we saw the heaviest activity in homes priced between $150,001 and $500,000 with 78 sales representing 64% of the market. Also strong were homes with sales prices above a million dollars with 12 sales and 10% of the market. With this showing the median sales price still fell to $365,000 from last months number of $400,000. We remained just above the 12 month average which now stands at $349,583 From a “seasonal” perspective we remained just above the median sales price from June of last year which came in at $334,000 Below are the charts showing the percentage of single family home sales in each category for the month of June as well as median prices over the past 12 months in Palm Beach Gardens
As we head into the height of the 2013 storm season batten down the hatches. Fins up until August………..