September’s monthly survey of home prices in South Florida was a tale of three counties – each housing market telling a completely different story.
After following largely similar trends of mostly upward pricing for more then 18 months, real estate prices in Palm Beach, Broward and St. Lucie counties trended in sharply divergent paths.
Home and condo prices in Palm Beach County
In Palm Beach County, the median price for a condominium or townhouse jumped 6% to $246,500 after dipping almost 2.5% in August, reported Broward, Palm Beach and St. Lucie Realtors.
Home prices:Palm Beach County median home price drops first time in 18 months. Can you afford to buy now?
The rent’s too high:Why apartments are so costly in Palm Beach County
Conversely, the median price for a single-family home fell 2% to $469,900. That represents two straight months of decline after hitting an all-time high in July of $500,000.
September’s decrease means home prices have fallen more than 6% in 60 days.
“Adding to the excitement of the Palm Beach County housing market are the historically low interest rates,” Karen Johnson, president of Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie Realtors said in a prepared statement. “The sky is the limit for South Florida with buyers continuing to move to the area as new infrastructure and construction opportunities arise.”
Sales volume for homes countywide decreased slightly to $1.2 billion in September from $1.3 billion in August. The total number of homes sold fell to 1,450 in September from 1,624 in August.
The percentage of buyers who paid cash plummeted in September by 16%, and the percentage of the listing price sellers received fell to 99.3% from 100%.
Inventory remains low at a 1.4 month supply – still well below the 5.5-month supply indicated for a healthy market.
Condo sales in Palm Beach County told a slightly different story. Inventory decreased to a 1.4-month supply from a 1.5 month supply, and the percentage of cash sales fell by just under 3%.
Condo sellers in September received an average of 97.9% of the listing price, up slightly from 97.7% in August.
Real estate trends across the state: Broward and St. Lucie counties
Broward County saw a different trend altogether, with median home prices increasing to $499,450 in September from $495,000 in August.
The median home price in Broward is now 6% higher than it is in Palm Beach County and 33% higher than in St. Lucie County.
What kind of house can you buy for $250,000 or less in Florida?:The range may surprise you
Sellers in Broward County are still receiving an average of 100% of listing prices, but the percentage of cash sales declined by 12%.
Moving in the opposite direction of homes, the median price of condos in Broward County dropped to $213,000 in September from $220,000 in August. The dollar volume of condos sold plummeted by almost 18% in September, while inventory remains low at a two-month supply.
St. Lucie County was the only county of the three that saw increases in both single-family and condo prices. Median home prices went up by more than 3.5% in September and now ring in at $357,579.
“St. Lucie County kicked off the fall season with a home buying frenzy in September,” said Johnson in a statement. “Homes are flying off the MLS after an astonishing rate of only 9 median days on market.”
The total dollar value of homes sold in September jumped by 13%. Cash sales increased by 7.4%, while inventory remained low at a 1.2-month supply.
In the greatest increase of all three counties, the median price of condos in St. Lucie rocketed almost 14% to $247,700.
That means condo prices in St. Lucie County now exceed those of both Broward and Palm Beach counties.