Palm Beach County home sales, prices stay strong


Palm Beach County, Fla., home prices remained near post-crash highs in July, a reality that poses challenges for would-be buyers like Deanne Lenowitz.

Lenowitz and her family are shopping for a home priced at less than $300,000, a search that has proven frustrating.

Palm Beach, Fla.

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Lenowitz spent the weekend touring eight homes and even made an offer on a townhouse in Boynton Beach. But amid intense competition, she didn’t win the property.

“It’s slim pickings,” Lenowitz said. “You’re not getting much for your money.”

The median price of Palm Beach County houses sold by Realtors last month was $355,013, up 1.4% from July 2018, but a bit below May’s high point of $364,900.

There’s intense demand for houses priced at $250,000 to $300,000, the range where Lenowitz is shopping. Houses in that category sold in just 30 days, according to a report released Wednesday by the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale.

Townhouses and condos in the $250,000 to $300,000 range needed just 36 days to sell.

The mansion market, on the other hand, saw long marketing times. Houses priced at $1 million or more needed 159 days to sell, up sharply from a year ago, Realtors said. For $1 million condos, marketing times were more than 200 days.

Realtors recorded 1,775 sales last month, up nearly 16 percent from July 2018. Low mortgage rates and a strong job market have created tailwinds for home sales.

Palm Beach County’s townhouse and condo market showed stronger price growth. The median price was $185,000 in July, up 4.5% form a year earlier.

There was a 4.5-month supply of houses for sale last month, down from a 4.7-month supply in July 2018.

While Lenowitz bemoans the lack of entry-level homes in Palm Beach County, she benefited from what’s still a seller’s market.

Lenowitz and her husband quickly sold their house in suburban Boynton Beach. They decided they wanted less space and a smaller mortgage payment as they approach retirement.

“When you’re going into the next phase of your life,” she said, “you don’t necessarily want a mortgage.”

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