March 2017

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Real Estate Market Report - March 2017The real estate market in Palm Beach County is beginning to awake from its winter slumber. Almost all indicators in our March 2017 Market Report point to a housing market that is extremely active, as the South Florida “season” comes to an end, and we begin our march (no pun intended!) towards summer.

Closed Sales came roaring back from a sluggish December, with 10% more homes closing over March 2016. That’s good news for both buyers and sellers – closed sales is an indicator of willingness of both sides of the transaction to come together for the good of the deal. Everyone wants to get to the closing table, which is a good sign for market equilibrium and balance.

Dollar Volume spiked in March 2017 to more than $865 million. Now, if you read these market reports with any regularity, you might notice that we do not mention dollar volume too often. The reason is because dollar volume is the sum of all sold prices combined, and therefore it’s vulnerable to manipulation by a couple of big mansions selling (which usually happens around this time of the year, and indeed – the number of homes sold in the $1 million and up price range took a healthy leap last month.) But a 21% spike, as it was in March 2017, is more than that. It’s a sign that residential real estate is changing hands at a feverish pace, which is a good thing.

Median Sale Price also took a hop and a skip to 9% year-over-year for March 2017 to $325,000. Median sale prices have been hovering between $285,000 and $325,000 since about 2015, so this isn’t particularly significant, save for the fact that we are on the high end of spectrum. That may spook some buyers, but it shouldn’t – the overall 10-year trajectory is that home prices will continue to rise, and rise, and rise.

Interesting, Cash Sales are back. You may remember our April 2016 Market Report in which we explained how investors like to come in around the first few months of the year and put their cash to work buying residential real estate property all over. As the year progresses, the cash sales taper off. Well, cash is back – to the tune of a 12.5% jump over this time last year.

The Real Estate Market for March 2017, Overall

Here’s the real story of the real estate market in March 2017: Activity is bustling, and this is only the beginning. Historically, the market for residential single-family homes in Palm Beach County begins to heat up right about now, and holds on right through August.

Inventory will get sopped up, cash deals will continue to undermine buyers in the $200,000-$300,000 home price range, and median home prices will continue to rise. If you are a active home buyer in the market today, we suggest you “wrap it up”, so to speak. Over the next few months, competition for homes is going to increase, and inventory will get squeezed. It will be a frustrating time to be in the market.

March 2017 Single-Family Real Estate Market Stats

Closed Sales 1,676 1,520 10.3%
Median Sales Price $325,000 $298,450 8.9%
New Pending Sales 2,134 2,068 3.2%
Active Listings 7,655 7,687 0.4%

*Source: RAPB, March 2017 Single-Family Home Market Report

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