The typical Palm Beach County house sold by an agent traded for $364,000 in December, up from $350,000 in November. That represents a jump of 5.6% from a year earlier, according to the Broward, Palm Beaches and St. Lucie Realtors.

The typical Palm Beach County house sold by an agent traded for $364,000 in December, up from $350,000 in November. That represents a jump of 5.6% from a year earlier, according to the Broward, Palm Beaches and St. Lucie Realtors.

Meanwhile, home sales rose to 1,420, a 15.5% spike from December 2018, Realtors said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale has fallen sharply. There were 15% fewer homes on the market at the end of 2019 compared to the end of 2020.

In a time of record-low unemployment, record-high stock prices and microscopic mortgage rates, the housing market has stood out as an economic soft spot. However, low loan rates mean buyers’ dollars go farther. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said last week that the average cost of a 30-year mortgage was 3.65%.

Nationally, the median sales price jumped 7.6% compared with December 2018, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. NAR said low mortgage rates and tight inventories are boosting the market — perhaps too much.

“Price appreciation has rapidly accelerated, and areas that are relatively unaffordable or declining in affordability are starting to experience slower job growth,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “The hope is for price appreciation to slow in line with wage growth, which is about 3%.”

Borrow $300,000 at 3.65%, and the monthly payment is $1,372. Taking a loan for the same sum at last January’s rate of 4.45% meant a monthly payment of $1,511.

That’s a big reason year-over-year home sales look so robust. Statewide, single-family sales soared 24% from December 2018 to December 2019.

“Why such a big jump?“ asked Brad O’Connor, chief economist for the Florida Realtors. ”Well, part of it is explained by the fact that sales were unusually weak at the end of 2018, driven in part by a sharp increase in the average 30-year mortgage rate.”

Palm Beach County home prices remain well below their record highs. In November 2005, the median house price hit an all-time high of $421,500.

jostrowski@pbpost.com

@bio561



Source link