Staggering Palm Beach real estate sales totaled as much as $ 2.7 billion in the first half of the year, according to new quarterly sales reports released by agencies doing business on the island.
Global sales of single-family properties, condominiums and co-op units in April, May and June exceeded $ 1.5 billion, setting a new quarterly sales record, according to the report prepared by the Corcoran Group.
These second quarter numbers followed first quarter figures which were also extraordinary. In January, February and March, aggregate sales reached $ 1.2 million, said The Corcoran Report, which analyzes reported sales in the Multiple Listing Service as well as out-of-market transactions recorded at the County Courthouse in Palm Beach.
Some of the other second quarter reports only looked at MLS data, so apple-to-apple comparisons are difficult.
But the general trends hold true in all analyzes, especially in year-to-year comparisons. Reports show that a sellers’ market retreated in the second quarter, with record price and sales volume increases and record declines in home inventories.
“Not only has demand been intense, but Palm Beach continues to post significant gains in median and average single-family home prices compared to last year, largely due to strong activity in the very high. of the market, ”said John Corcoran. Hackett, whose duties as senior general manager for South Florida include overseeing the Palm Beach office.
Broker Linda Olsson of Linda R. Olsson, Realtor, Inc., who has been selling real estate in Palm Beach for over 30 years, succinctly summarized the state of the market in an emailed note accompanying her second quarter report : “We are living in a real estate market like no other.
Over $ 20 million in sales each
Real estate watchers say several factors have helped fuel the continuing wave of buyers, not the least of which is Florida’s relatively low taxes. But the coronavirus pandemic has also taught many shoppers that they can work from home anywhere – and Palm Beach’s pleasant climate and residences with plenty of outdoor space have become undeniable draws.
“The connection between work and home is infinitely longer now, especially for the wealthy,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., the New York-based company that prepares sales in the real estate markets served by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, including Palm Beach.
The number of second-quarter single-family home sales jumped 112% in a year-over-year analysis – from 41 last year to 87 this year – to mark the highest quarterly number on record, according to the Corcoran report. By comparison, according to the report, the first quarter of this year saw 69 sales.
And prices for single-family properties in the second quarter also rose, according to reports, although median and average prices were skewed by an unusually high number of closings above $ 20 million, including two recorded June sales. to $ 95 million and $ 110 million. . The median is the price at which half of the properties sold for more and half for less.
The median price of second-quarter single-family home sales rose 16% from the previous year to $ 8 million, according to the report by Douglas Elliman, who only analyzed sales of listed properties. MLS.
On the condo scene
Condo sales and co-op transactions have also seen a significant jump, the Elliman report noted. The number of second-quarter condo sales in MLS climbed nearly 270%, from 52 a year ago to 192 this year – the highest number on record, according to the Elliman report.
When accounting for non-market sales, the Corcoran report showed an even larger percentage increase in second-quarter condo sales to 367%, from 61 in 2020 to 285 in the quarter just ended.
The surge in multi-family sales reflects a sharp change from the second quarter of last year, when the condominium market was just starting to recover from the sharp slowdown triggered by the first months of the pandemic.
A year later, as buyers scoured the available inventory of condos and co-ops, the median price in the second quarter rose 7.6% to just under $ 1 million, according to analysis by Elliman.
Suzanne Frisbie, who heads the Frisbie Real Estate group at Corcoran, released her own analysis of second quarter sales in Palm Beach, analyzing MLS and off-market transactions.
In Midtown, second-quarter condo sales jumped 140% year-over-year, generating volume of about $ 176 million, according to Frisbie’s report. And South End sales rose 382%, ending the quarter with record revenue of $ 158 million.
Condominium buyers, the numbers show, have also signed contracts for smaller apartments, reflected by a decrease in the square footage of units sold, Miller said, citing figures from the Elliman report.
“The average condo sale size fell 7.9%, so we saw smaller sales (units) in the second quarter,” Miller said.
Frisbie noted that in April, May and June saw 46 single-family home closings registered at $ 10 million or more, more than double the number of sales in that price category a year ago.
And by the end of June, the dollar volume generated by single-family home sales had already exceeded, by 8%, the year-end totals reported for all of last year, according to the Frisbie report.
Median single-detached home sales prices jumped 22%, according to the Frisbie report, to $ 8.25 million, setting another high in the second quarter.
A report analyzing MLS data released by Tina Fanjul Associates looked at sales of single-family homes in different parts of the city: In the North End, the number of transactions in the second quarter increased by 82% compared to the same period. last year, while sales in the area between Worth Avenue and Sloans Curve increased by 112%.
Unprecedented home and apartment sales pushed inventory levels to unprecedented levels at the end of the second quarter, the reports agreed. So the challenge for brokers and agents now is to help their clients find homes and condos to buy and to persuade more sellers to join the market.
“There’s just no other way to put it. The Palm Beach market is booming, ”said Hackett of Corcoran.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.