January 2016

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Real Estate Market Update - January 2016We are summarizing the local real estate market update for January 2016 in Palm Beach County. Overall, the numbers are solid, and the housing market continues to grow as buyers flock to available properties while new listings trickle in.

Real estate market: single-family homes

In Palm Beach County, the real estate market remained healthy through January 2016. It’s still a seller’s market, indicated by a metric economists use called Months Supply of Inventory – or, simply put, the number of months it would take to deplete the market of all the homes currently listed for sale. A number above 5.5 months represents a buyer’s market; below is a seller’s market. The Months Supply of Inventory in January 2016 was exactly 5 months, indicating that we are still in a seller’s market.

Elsewhere, median prices for home sold in Palm Beach County during the month of January grew. The median sale price is a more accurate metric to use over average sale price, as it eliminates the outliers (the multi-million dollar sales) that throw the number. For January 2016, median sale price was $285,000, a normalization from December 2015’s figure of $305,000.

Cash sales show a decreasing trend as the year progresses. That’s something buyers can take note of. Take a look at the chart below. You’ll see that during the months of January through March, the number of cash deals that take place peaks for the year. From March through December, there’s a steady decline in the number of cash transactions. This makes sense. Investors are looking to offload their sitting cash into properties early in the year, and then have less to spend as the year goes on. Buyers who are interested in purchasing with cash (we have had many of them through the years!) may want to wait until summer time to do so, when the number of cash transactions are historically the lowest.

Chart of cash transactions in Palm Beach County
Cash transactions are historically low in the summer

As for inventory of single-family homes, supply in Palm Beach County continues to remain tight. January is historically a busy month for new listings, as homeowners come out of the holidays feeling renewed and ready to make big changes in their lives. Since at least 2012, every January on record has seen more new listings than the January before. In addition, January is also the month with the most new listings since 2012.

Real estate market: condos and townhomes

In the Palm Beach County real estate market for condos and townhomes, closed sales were down about 10%, and cash sales were down more than 18%. New pending sales are at historic lows for the last few years, indicating that the market is having trouble attracting new buyers. To make matters worse, inventory in the condo and townhome market is high, and January 2016 saw a flood of new inventory over December 2015.

The good news for owners: sale price to listing price matches that of the county’s single-family home counterpart at $0.92 on the $1.00. Also, sales that are happening are happening quickly – median days on the market were 14% lower than January 2015, and the trend continues month-over-month for the last few years. That means that buyers who are serious about buying a condo or a townhome are doing it, and they are doing it quickly.

Is now a good time to sell your home?

We believe now is a great time to sell your home – depending on who you hire as your listing agent. In this market, agents cannot sit by idly. Some agents subscribe to the “list it and forget it” theory on selling homes – but not us. In this market, seller’s agents need to be proactive in identifying qualified buyers for their properties. If you’re ready to sell your home (not just list it), call 561-500-LIST to speak with one of our agents!

Local Housing Market Data in Palm Beach County

Here is your local real estate housing market data year-over-year January 2015 to January 2016:

SINGLE-FAMILY HOME JANUARY 2016 JANUARY 2015 PERCENT CHANGE
Closed Sales 1,111 1,037 7.1%
Median Sales Price $285,000 $273,750 4%
Days On Market 44 52 15.4%
Active Listings 7,670 7,828 2%
List to Sale Price 93.3 92.9 0.4%

*Data provided by Realtor’s Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB)

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