Palm Beach County mansion sales picked up in January

Feb 21, 2018
Palm Beach County mansion sales rose in January.

Palm Beach County’s typical house sold for $325,000 in January, a 4.8 percent increase from a year ago, the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale said Wednesday.

While the overall market has been in a holding pattern, mansion sales rose sharply. Realtors reported 104 sales of homes priced at more than $1 million in January, a 28 percent spike from January 2017.

Still a seller’s market: Palm Beach County home prices edge up

Jeffrey Levine, a West Palm Beach broker and president-elect of the Realtors association, called the increase “remarkable.”

However, there are still signs of softness in the mansion market. Homes priced at $1 million or more needed 205 days to go to contract, compared to just 32 days for houses priced at $250,000 to $300,000.

And super-luxurious listings can languish for years. For instance, the oceanfront palace at 1071 N. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach has been on the market since March 2015. After three years and four price cuts, it’s listed at $64.9 million.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach County’s condo market perked up in January. The median price jumped to $170,000, up 13 percent from a year ago, and the number of sales rose nearly 8 percent.

Nationally, home prices rose 5.8 percent to a median of $240,500, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. January’s price increase marked the 71st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

But NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun lamented the lack of inventory and price increases that are outpacing wage growth.

“It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth,” Yun said.

Nationally, there’s just a 3.4-month supply of homes for sale, a statistic that reflects a strong sellers’ market. Buyers have an easier time in Palm Beach County, where there’s a 5.3-month inventory of houses for sale and a 6.2-month stockpile of condos and townhouses.

A 6-month supply is generally considered a balanced market, one that favors neither buyers nor sellers.