August Home Sales in Palm Beach Gardens Drop 1%
Fall is in the air and this morning the air was a bit lighter and fresher pointing towards the wonderful weather we have ahead of us. Certainly a couple more months of what has been a quiet hurricane season and we pray that trend continues. The big news in the real estate world is the Fed delaying it’s original plan to start phasing out their bond purchase program which has kept interest rates ridiculously low for so long. Evidently, they do not see the overall economic recovery showing the strength they had hoped and rates dropped immediately and significantly on the news. To us it would appear than any impact on the delayed pullback for now would be favorable to the market but not overly so.
While we are seeing the local real estate sales cool slightly more can be blamed on the lack of well priced quality inventory than anything else. Demand has remained high even with rates jumping up from their all time lows but the respite from the Fed is certainly very welcomed news for many. With over 50% of local sales closing for cash all signs point to the market remaining robust for now. Those planning to borrow for purchases should move as quickly as they can as rates will not stay this low forever.
The turning point in our markets came when investors recognized how much cheaper it was to purchase many property classes in Palm Beach County when compared to renting and they jumped in with both feet well over two years ago. That fervor remains rampant but appears to be in the latter stages. There is no doubt that the last couple months of summer we had a general slow down in the real estate market but again much of that was inventory driven and it will be interesting to see how the upcoming season plays out.
Prices continue to rise although we are starting to see some evening off after what have been tremendous gains over the past 12 to 18 months in many neighborhoods. With steady demand, limited inventory both in re-sale and new construction expect more increases but the weakness in the overall national economy should hold back any big gains. However with everyone seeming to want a home in south Florida these days it is hard to gauge.
Once again it is time to take a deeper look in to sales levels of single family homes in the north county region. Home sales in Palm Beach Gardens and the neighboring communities started to level off in July so let’s see what transpired during the month ended September 1st.
North Palm Beach –
Palm Beach Gardens – down 1%
Jupiter – down 8%
Hobe Sound – down 10%
Last month in this column we reported that 60% of our reporting communities showed weaker sales with a spread of 77% between the best and worst performing municipalities. This month we again have 60% of our communities showing a decline in sales but this month the spread at 72.5% while still huge is mainly due to a big jump in sales in one of our smaller markets. Inventory is the key and shows why neighboring markets can differ so vastly in sales numbers. Like the weather in south Florida one neighborhood may be completely different than another just a couple miles away.
We next move in this months report with home sales in Palm Beach Gardens that dropped 1% on the heels of last month’s big decrease of 26%. During the month of August a total of 94 Palm Beach Gardens single family homes sold compared with 95 during the previous month. With this showing we stayed just ahead of the 12 month average sales volume which currently stands at 90.42. On a “seasonal” note home sales in Palm Beach Gardens stayed above the 85 sales we had in the same month in 2012.
As we saw sales volume fall in Palm Beach Gardens we saw the heaviest activity in homes priced between $150,001 and $500,000 with 66 sales representing 70% of the market. With this showing the median sales price dropped measurably to $337,500 down 18% from last months number of $410,000. We also fell below the 12 month average which now stands at $355,208. From a “seasonal” perspective we were just below the median sales price from August of last year which came in at $350,000. Below are the charts showing the percentage of single family home sales in each category for the month of August as well as median prices over the past 12 months in Palm Beach Gardens.
Soon our winter visitors will be here and the big question is will there be more homes available for them to purchase? Fins up until October………..