Martin County Total Home Sales Rise 22.8% in 1Q 2021; Single-Family Luxury Transactions Jump 190.6%

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Martin County continued its trend of double-digit total home sales in 1Q 2021 as pent-up demand and record-low mortgage rates fueled transactions, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.

JTHS-MIAMI President Bill Mate

JTHS-MIAMI President Bill Mate

“Known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, Stuart and Martin County offer an award-winning small-town Florida lifestyle with proximity to the water and the big cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale"

Martin County continued its trend of double-digit total home sales in 1Q 2021 as pent-up demand and record-low mortgage rates fueled transactions, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.

Martin County total home sales increased 22.8% year-over-year, from 804 to 987. Martin single-family home transactions rose 26.5%, from 536 to 678. Martin single-family homes have now posted year-over-year sales gains in six of the last eight quarters. Martin existing condo sales increased 15.3%, from 268 to 309.

“Known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, Stuart and Martin County offer an award-winning small-town Florida lifestyle with proximity to the water and the big cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale,” JTHS-MIAMI President Bill Mate said. “Record-low mortgage rates and high demand continue to fuel Martin County home sales.”

Lack of inventory in certain price points is impacting sales, particularly for single-family homes. Increased housing starts and more sellers listing properties in 2021 should help alleviate the lack of supply.

Martin County Luxury Sales Jump 190.6% as Tax-Burdened High-Net-Worth Buyers Relocate
Martin County single-family home luxury ($1-million-and-up) transactions surged 190.6% year-over-year to 93 transactions in 1Q 2021. Martin County condo luxury sales increased 125% to 9 transactions in 1Q 2021.

Record-low interest rates; a record-high S&P 500; the appeal of stable assets in a volatile economy; homebuyers leaving tax-burdened Northeastern and West Coast states to purchase in Florida (no state income tax); and work-from-home and remote-learning policies have all combined to create a robust market for luxury single-family properties.

Martin Homeowners’ Home Equity Surges as Many Pay Lower Mortgage Payments
With interest rates still at record lows, many South Florida homeowners have refinanced their home loans. So not only are many homeowners paying lower mortgage payments today; they are doing so while their wealth (home equity) has significantly increased. Home equity can be tapped for renovations, college loans and more.

Martin County single-family home median prices rose 19.9% year-over-year, from $377,500 to $452,500. Martin County existing condo median prices rose 24.6% year-over-year, from $167,500 to $208,750.

Rising median prices is a trend nationwide as record-low mortgages rates and the increased availability of remote work and education has accelerated the demand for housing. Low inventory relative to high demand leads to prices rising.

Should mortgage rates resume their upward climb, home price growth is likely to slow in response. Also, as more sellers list properties in 2021, the increased inventory should ease the growth of median prices.

Martin Dollar Volume Totals $5.3 Billion, Showcasing Impact Housing Plays in Economy
While other industries struggled over the past year, housing lifted the economy nationally and locally. For every two homes sold in the U.S., one job is created. Palm Beach dollar volume showcases the impact housing plays in the local economy.

Martin single-family home dollar volume rose 82.3%, from $288.5 million to $525.9 million. Martin existing condo dollar volume increased 24.6% to $86.8 million.

Non-distressed sales comprised about 99.95% of all closed residential sales in 1Q 2021 vs. 97.8% in 1Q 2020. Only .05% of all closed residential sales in Martin were distressed in 1Q 2021,
including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 2.2% in 1Q 2020.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 0% and 0.5%, respectively, of Martin sales in 1Q 2021. Short sale transactions decreased 100% year-over-year while REOs fell 64.3%.

Lower mortgage rates made home purchases more affordable in 2021. According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% for 1Q 2021, down from the 3.51% average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

Martin Hot Markets: Palm City Ranks a Top Draw for Single-Family, Condos
Months’ supply of inventory is a strong indicator of real estate activity. A look at Martin County neighborhoods with the lowest months of supply of inventory (at least 35 new pending sales) in 1Q 2021:

Single-Family Homes
1.    Jensen Beach, a north Martin County community on the Martin-St. Lucie line, had 1.2 months supply
2.    Palm City, a north Martin County community on the Martin-St. Lucie line, had 1.3 months supply
3.    Hobe Sound, a south Martin County community west of Jupiter Island, had 1.5 months supply
4.    Stuart, a north Martin County city east of Palm City, had 1.7 months supply
5.    Port Salerno, a central Martin County community south of Stuart, had 2.1 months supply

Condominiums
1.    Palm City, a north Martin County community on the Martin-St. Lucie line, had 1.3 months supply
2.    Port Salerno, a central Martin County community south of Stuart, had 1.6 months supply
3.    North River Shores, a northern Martin County community north of Stuart, had 1.9 months supply
4.    Jensen Beach, a north Martin County community on the Martin-St. Lucie line, had 2.1 months supply
5.    Hobe Sound, a south Martin County community west of Jupiter Island, had 2.6 months supply

Robust Demand for Housing Statewide, Nationally Fueling Double-Digit Increase in Sales
Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 78,353 in 1Q 2021, up 19.4% from the 1Q 2020 level. In Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 37,505 during 1Q 2021, up 37% compared to 1Q 2020, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2021 was $317,500, up 17.6% from the same time a year ago. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $235,422, up 14.8% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Nationally, the median existing-home sales price rose 16.2% on a year-over-year basis to $319,200, a record high since 1989. All regions recorded double-digit year-over-year price growth, with the Northeast seeing a 22.1% increase, followed by the West (18.0%), South (15.0%) and Midwest (14.4%).

Seller’s Market for Martin County Real Estate
At the current sales pace, the number of active listings represents 1.5 months of inventory for single-family homes (seller’s market) and 2 months for condominiums (seller’s). A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months of supply inventory.

Martin real estate had 551 active listings in 1Q 2021, a 60.8% decrease from the 1,407 listings at the same time last year. The inventory for single-family homes decreased 64.9%, from 969 to 340. Martin existing condo inventory decreased 51.8%, from 438 to 211.

Martin County Real Estate Attracting Multiple Bids, Buyers Going Over-List Price
With low inventory, particularly for single-family homes, Martin County properties are attracting multiple bids and buyers going over-list price. The median percent of original list price received was 96.9% for single-family homes and 95.6% for condos in 1Q 2021.

The median time to contract for single-family home listings was 26 days, a 49% drop from 51 days in 1Q 2020. The median time to contract for existing condos was 39 days, a 18.8% drop from 48 days in 1Q 2020.

The median time to sale for single-family homes decreased 24.2%, from 95 days to 72. The median time to sale for existing condos decreased 10.9%, from 90 to 81.

Martin Cash Sales Double National Figure: South Florida Top Market for Global Buyers
Cash sales represented 48.8% of Martin closed sales in 1Q 2021, compared to 50.6% in 1Q 2020. About 20 percent of U.S. home sales are made in cash, according to the latest NAR statistics.

The high percentage of cash buyers reflects South Florida’s top position as the preeminent American real estate market for foreign buyers, who tend to purchase with all cash as well as some moving from more expensive U.S. markets who are able to buy more with their profits from real estate sales.

Cash sales accounted for 60.2% of all Martin existing condo sales and 43.7% of single-family transactions.

1Q 2021 Martin County Statistical Reports — visit SFMarketIntel.com

Note: Statistics in this news release may vary depending on reporting dates. MIAMI reports exact statistics directly from its MLS system.

About the MIAMI Association of Realtors
The MIAMI Association of Realtors was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 101 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward-MIAMI Association of Realtors, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound (JTHS-MIAMI) Council, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Council and the award-winning International Council, it represents 52,000 total real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S. and has official partnerships with 223 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is http://www.MiamiRealtors.com

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Chris Umpierre
@MiamiRealtors
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