The Northern Palm Beaches real estate market had a very good 2018. Median prices for single family homes and condos were both up again for the 7th straight year. Last year the increase of that median single family home increased by about 5.5%. The median condo price in 2018 jumped 7.7%. Single family home prices set all time new record prices while condo prices are still 15% short of the 2005/2006 records.
The number of sales was also impressive, especially for condos, where the number of closings last year were the 3rd highest of all time. Back in 2007 an amazing 1,798 condos sold in the Northern Palm Beaches. In 2015 there were 1,382. As of this morning, our local MLS shows 1,361 sales in 2018 and a very strong performance. Single family homes sales for the year stand at 3,005 this morning and will certainly have a few added when brokers clear the New Years web from their minds. Probably won’t match the 2017 total of 3,053 but close enough to say another strong performance.
Sales of million dollar homes remain the strongest segment of this market setting record after record. Homes that closed for a million dollars or more set an all time record high in 2017 and we have smashed that record by over 10%. December luxury sales slowed and not sure how the turmoil on Wall Street has entered into that equation. No doubt that if the volatility continues and stock prices continue to decline it will not be a good year ahead for real estate.
The biggest surprise, as we start the new year, is the depth and breadth of the decline in pending homes sales. In December, the number of homes under contract fell another 15% and the numbers in this category are lower than we have seen in many years. The drop since May is now about 50% and no doubt we will be starting the year with poor sales numbers.
Interest rates remain the wild card but if the economy keeps churning watch for higher Jupiter real estate prices over the next few months. Poor inventory will force those who are buying to pay a bit more. People keep flooding in to the state from higher tax states and the shortage of quality inventory is real. So is the effect higher interest rates play, including preventing many home owners who would like to sell, but do not want to lose the benefits of a fixed long term mortgage at rates significantly lower than those available today.
Seasonal demand should fuel sales, limited inventory should fuel prices but there are potential obstacles. If you are buying, or selling, please interview at least three brokers and choose the one who is going to properly help you meet your goals. Welcome to 2019 and if Paradise Sharks can be of help with any of your real estate needs throughout Palm Beach and Martin Counties please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561.308.0175. With no middlemen, no franchise fees and no broker splits we can do more, for less and that makes us very proud.