South Florida Real Estate Market Report: Q1 2019

Last year, buyers came into the 1st Qtr. market at a higher level than usual following the news of impending tax reforms. This quarter, buyer motivation was less urgent.

In the Town of Palm Beach, total sales were down 8% compared to First Quarter 2018. A 28% decrease in single-family homes outweighed level condo and co-op sales activity during First Quarter 2019. One reason why there was a significant year-over year decline in sales was due to the relatively high number of transactions that occurred during First Quarter 2018 compared to prior quarters following federal tax reform.

The year-over-year decline in average price for single-family homes was driven by a decline in the number of single-family sales above $5M during First Quarter 2019. Median sale price rose 1% year-over-year compared to First Quarter 2018. Days on market fell 27%, as the majority of single-family homes sold within a year and only three properties were on the market for over one year.

Condo and co-op closed sales activity was strong during First Quarter 2019 across the Town of Palm Beach. However, condo and co-op price metrics showed declining trends versus First Quarter 2018. Average sale price declined 19% due to a shift in market share toward sales below $1M and the median sale price fell 13% driven by the decline in sales over $2M. Homes were on the market for a shorter period of time during First Quarter 2019, down 8% year-over-year to 126 days.

In the North End, single-family home sales experienced three fewer sales compared to First Quarter 2018. Average sale price decreased 35% mostly due to no sales above $5M during First Quarter 2019 compared to last year where six sales occurred above $5M in First Quarter 2019. Days on market decreased by 40% because only one property was on the market for over one year

In Town, sales showed varied activity by product type during First Quarter 2019, with single-family sales declining 46% and condo/ co-op sales increasing 7%. Average price of single-family home sales decreased 19%. Condo and co-op median price decreased 24% year-over-year during First Quarter 2019 while the average sale price declined 15%. The average price decline was driven by the lack of sales above $5M compared to last year. Days on market decreased 38% for single-family homes but increased 4% for condos/co-ops versus First Quarter 2018.

The Estate Section experienced three fewer single-family sales than First Quarter 2018. Due to just three sales during the Fourth Quarter 2018, price metrics were skewed versus last quarter. Notably, both First Quarter 2019 and 2018 experienced a sale above $15M.

Condo and co-op sales in The South End fell 4% versus last year. The average and median price figures decreased for The South End as the number of sales under $300K increased during First Quarter 2019. Days on market declined year-over-year due to the majority of homes selling in fewer than three months.