Real Estate Market Report – March 2018

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Real Estate Market Report March 2018The Real Estate Market for Palm Beach County single-family homes shows Closed Sales as being flat year-over-year, at about 1,700 transactions for the month. The closed sales figure, which is the number of actual transactions that exchanged hands during the month, has been swinging rather wildly since September of 2017, when Hurricane Irma’s winds tore through the County.

Generally, sales transaction dip from October to January, and begin to pick up steam heading into the summer. But not this year.

Overshadowing that random noise, however, is Median Sales Price, which for another month is hovering at an all-time high of $348,000, a 7% increase from a year ago.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, we need only to remind ourselves that our Market Report for March 2017 showed median sales price leapt 9%, with homes in the $199,000 – $249,000 price range leading the charge. Homes were selling for a median sales price of $295,000 just two years ago.

We have to ask ourselves – is an 18% appreciation over two years signify a bubble soon to burst, or a new normal?

Our argument, as you know, is new normal. And it will continue to rise next month, too.

Pending Sales and New Listings, and Looking Ahead

Pending Sales for March 2018 is down 3% for the second month in a row, signaling some apparent friction between buyers and sellers as we close out the first quarter of the new year. In fact, pending sales have been sliding since summer of 2017, prior to the hurricane.

Why? It’s possible that potential sellers feel they want to hold out to see how high prices will continue to go. We’ve also seen evidence that with prices continuing to appreciate, sellers are feeling emboldened – and going under contract for a sales price that won’t square with the appraised value.

Also, of course, some buyers are becoming discouraged, and are dropping out of the market. leading to less sales under contract as prices rise.

New Listings are keeping pace with both closed sales and new pending sales, with 2,278 listings hitting the market during March 2018. A handful of those, of course, are ours 😎

But the point is that balance is important, because supply needs to keep up with demand to maintain market equilibrium. That’s why I’m not worried about a price bubble – because buyers are creating demand, and sellers are responding. The market is working.

March 2018 Single-Family Real Estate Market Stats

Closed Sales 1,669 1,676 0.4%
Median Sales Price $348,000 $325,000 7.1%
New Pending Sales 2,072 2,134 -2.9%
Active Listings 7,333 7,655 -4.2%

*Source: RAPB+GFLR Single-Family Home Market Report

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