Sales of existing Palm Beach County homes were up 24 percent in March compared to the previous month, while median prices inched up 6 percent to $197,000. According to a report released today by the Florida Realtors, Palm Beach County single-family home sales dipped 7 percent in March from the previous year, but prices were still higher than the $190,000 seen in March 2011. Statewide, single-family home sales in March were up nearly 6 percent compared to last year and 30 percent from February. Prices were also up statewide, increasing 10 percent to $139,000 compared to March 2011.
“The data indicates that property prices have hit the bottom, turned the corner and we’re heading uphill. The decrease in inventory and increase in buyers has generated a more competitive marketplace which has positively impacted property values,” said Tim Harris, president-elect of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. Florida’s upbeat home sales news matched national numbers, which showed a 5 percent increase in March compared to last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate in March was 4.48 million. But Wells Fargo advisors called a 2.6 percent drop in March purchases from February “disappointing.”
“Home sales could be held back because of supply factors and not by demand,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “We’re already seeing this in the western states and in South Florida.” Palm Beach County’s supply of single-family homes shrunk to 6.2 months in March from 13.5 months last year. Inventory was down to 5.9 months in March from 10.4 months during the same time in 2011.