Palm Beach County’s median house price jumps to $320,000
REAL ESTATE By Jeff Ostrowski - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer 1


As homes continue to claw back value lost in the real estate crash, Palm Beach County house prices last month climbed to their highest level in eight years.

The county’s median house price rose to $320,000 in June, up sharply from May’s median of $311,000, the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches said Thursday. Prices increased 5.6 percent from June 2015 to June 2016.

“Prices appear to have taken a leap from where they started in January, at $284,500,” said Judy Ramella, an agent and president of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches.

Condo prices, on the other hand, cooled a bit. The median condo price in Palm Beach County dipped to $161,500 in June, down from $165,500 in May. However, condo prices are up nearly 9 percent over the past year.

The region’s housing market has been characterized by tight inventories and robust price gains.

+Palm Beach County’s median house price jumps to $320,000 photo
Rising prices could dampen the housing market. (Getty Images)
“Activity is strong right now,” said Jackie Ellis, owner of Keller Williams offices in Boynton Beach and Boca Raton. “June, July and August are always our busiest months. The real story will be what happens in September, when school starts and people aren’t out there buying.”

Palm Beach County home prices have yet to return to the values reached during the real estate bubble. In 2005, the median house price topped $400,000.

Still, values have bounced back — and Ellis said rising prices threaten to create a drag on the housing market. She predicted home sales will stall after the summer selling season.

“We are seeing a slowdown,” Ellis said. “The listings that we think should be flying off the shelf have not been flying off the shelf.”

Other highlights from Palm Beach County’s numbers:

Total sales volume fell a bit: House sales in June totaled $918 million, the highest monthly total since June 2015’s $941 million.
Mansion sellers play the waiting game: The typical house spent 43 days on the market before going under contract. For homes priced at under $50,000, median time to contract was just 15 days. For houses priced at $1 million or more, the typical marketing time was 140 days.
In the condo market, cash is still king: Fully 58 percent of condos and townhouses sold last month went to buyers without mortgages. For houses, just 32 percent of sales were for cash.
More leverage for condo buyers: Condos sold last month for 93 percent of list price, the lowest level in at least a year. Houses, on the other hand, fetched 94.9 percent of the asking price

Nationally, home prices set a new record in June. The median price for existing homes sold last month rose to $247,700, topping May’s record price of $238,900, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

The price increase was driven in part by rock-bottom mortgage rates. Those rates fell even farther in July, after Britain’s surprise vote to leave the European Union.

Jaya Jacobs

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