Waterfront Properties Predicts Return to Sellers’ Market

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While the weather in South Florida cools down, property sales heat up.

Frenchman's Reserve in Palm Beach Gardens

Property values in Palm Beach County are on the rise.

Realtors at Waterfront Properties and Club Communities said the statistics signal a shift to a sellers’ market and an industry that is heating up.

A promising report released by the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches shows single-family home prices on the rise.

During September, the latest month for which figures are available, the median price of homes for sale in Palm Beach County shot up 25 percent and came in at just below $225,000. That’s in comparison to September of 2011, when the median price sat at $180,000.

Realtors at Waterfront Properties and Club Communities said the statistics signal a shift to a sellers’ market and an industry that is heating up.

“The weather might have cooled down, but the housing industry continues to heat up in Palm Beach County,” said David Abernathy, business manager of the Jupiter-based brokerage. “Some of the most-valued real estate on the market is attracting buyers from all over the country.”

A median-price rise also is being seen statewide, as year-over-year transaction figures point to a 7-percent increase. Palm Beach County’s year-over-year increase is 5 percent.

Another reason the market is moving into the sellers’ domain is inventory. In September, there was a 4.7-month supply of Palm Beach County homes for sale. In September of 2011, there was a 10.7-month supply on the market.

Nationwide, home sales were up 11 percent in September, compared with September of 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors. The association also reported the median selling price of a single-family home in the country is up 11.3 percent, to $183,900.

Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, said the housing market finally is experiencing a “genuine recovery.”

Another key indicator of the recovery is the amount of time a home for sale stays on the market. Nationally, it is less than one month.

Helping turn the housing market in the right direction are mortgage-interest rates, which are at historic lows. In September, the rate dropped to 3.37 percent, compared with 3.6 percent in August and 4.11 percent one year ago.

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Rob Thomson
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