Delray Beach Real Estate Activity Blows Hurricanes Away

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Local South Florida realtors ponder, “Wilma who?”

While the U.S. Gulf Coast works to recover from the impact of hurricane Katrina, it seems that another storm, hurricane Wilma, is already a distant memory to realtors in at least one South Florida community. Despite being hit hard by one of the largest and most dangerous storms on record, and in contrast to some reports that suggest market cooling, the real estate market in Delray Beach, Florida continues to surge ahead.

“It seems to defy logic,” notes Beverly Sutton who heads up the Sutton Team of Coldwell Banker Realty in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton area. “Contrary to a negative impact that one would expect from a hyperactive hurricane season, we have seen a surge in real estate activity. With the exception of the two to three weeks immediately following Wilma, the Sutton Team has never been busier.”

Sutton attributes the resilience of the local market to a number of factors including buyer demographics, the uniqueness of the Delray Beach area, continued increase in property values and the steady demand for an always hot commodity – South Florida sunshine. In addition, the ease with which a buyer can now do business from a remote location has significantly increased activity. Visits to the Sutton Team website are at a record high.

“Although we also work with many local Floridians, our typical client is a baby boomer from the north who is looking to relocate to or buy a second home in the year-round tropical climate offered by South Florida,” states Sutton. “Buyers usually find us through our website, follow up with a telephone conversation and then make a personal visit to the Delray Beach area for a guided tour of selective properties.”

A boon for both buyers and realtors, the internet has been a true enabler for the real estate industry. “We’re able to do entire transactions via internet, e-mail, phone and fax. It’s no longer mandatory that the buyer be present to complete the transaction,” says Sutton. “Our ability to share information and conduct business via the web has greatly accelerated the transaction cycle and allows the customer to be the first to make an offer on a desirable property without having to physically be there.”

Despite the boost from technology, Sutton stresses that the most important factor for a buyer continues to be ‘location, location, location’ and credits the bulk of the surge in activity to the uniqueness of Delray Beach. “There’s no other place like it in South Florida. It offers the best of all worlds. It’s a village by the sea; it has a small-town appeal, yet it offers some of the best shopping, dining and nightlife available in S. Florida. By day, it’s a quaint little town; by night, it’s South Beach…. without the attitude.”

Twice a winner of the coveted “All America City” designation, Delray Beach is a beach community located on the eastern coast of South Florida, between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton. A city of 60,000 local residents, it is best known for its eclectic restaurants and boutiques, award winning beaches and, more recently, soaring real estate values.

Located in Palm Beach County, where market values have increased an average of more than 30% annually in the last two years, median prices for existing single family homes have climbed into the $400,000 range, per October 2005 data. Recently, ABC’s 20/20 focused on Delray Beach in a segment highlighting the red hot South Florida real estate market.

“The Delray Beach real estate market appears to be stronger than the hurricanes. We’ve seen some new record highs recently, since Wilma,” says Sutton. “We don’t have any reason to believe this will end anytime soon. Baby boomers are on the front edge of hard retirement in 2006 and will continue with that through 2023. Many are seeking to buy near or on the water. That’s a lot of people headed our way, and we’re ready, hurricanes or not.”

About The Sutton Team:

The Sutton Team is a Coldwell Banker realty group focused on the Palm Beach County, FL area. Managed by Beverly Sutton, the team has 30 combined years of experience in commercial and residential real estate. They can be contacted via their website at or by telephone at 561-866-0100. For information about Delray Beach, visit

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Beverly Sutton
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