Home prices surged higher in May across South Florida as buyers face the familiar problem of limited listings.
The median price for existing, single-family homes last month was $335,000 for both Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to local Realtor board figures released Wednesday. In each case, the median rose about 8 percent from May 2016.
Miami-Dade County’s median price increased 11 percent to $325,000.
This is the highest median in Broward since late 2007 and the highest in Palm Beach County since early 2008.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors said May’s median price for all housing types set a new peak at $252,800.
“Home prices keep chugging along at a pace that is not sustainable in the long run,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said in a statement. “Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”
Robust demand for low- and mid-priced homes has powered the housing recovery for the past five years, and it continues to raise prices across South Florida, real estate observers said.
Milly Taylor, an agent for Keyes Co. in Palm Beach County, said homes priced under $400,000 in Wellington and Lake Worth draw immediate interest after hitting the market.
“Sometimes it’s three and four showings in a day, one right after another,” Taylor said.
“We need more good, sellable inventory,” said Terry Story, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Palm Beach and Broward. “That’s the bottom line.”
Broward has a four-month supply of single-family homes, meaning that’s how long it would take to sell all the properties if no more were listed for sale.
A six-month supply is considered the ideal balance between buyers and sellers.
Palm Beach County has a 4.9-month supply of homes.
Limited new construction and a shift in the housing stock toward more single-family rentals are among the reasons why listings remain low in many markets across the country, according to the Zillow real estate website.
In some cases, owners aren’t putting their homes on the market because they wouldn’t be able to find another place fast enough.
Single-family home sales in Palm Beach County rose 4 percent in May from a year ago. In Miami-Dade, sales increased 10 percent.
Broward sales dropped 9 percent, likely the result of the county’s unusually low number of properties for sale, agents say.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with demand,” said Jim Heidisch, broker at Campbell & Rosemurgy in Pompano Beach. “It’s more supply-side. Buyers are out there, but a lot of them aren’t settling. They know what they want, and they’ll wait.”
Sales and prices were up in the existing condominium market in May. Broward’s median price jumped 12 percent to $159,000, while Palm Beach County’s rose 9 percent to $179,500.
The median means half the properties sold for more and half for less.
Statewide, the median price for single-family homes last month was $239,000, 8 percent higher than a year earlier, according to Florida Realtors.
The trade group said statewide sales of 27,850 single-family homes and 11,538 condos were the most recorded in a single month.
Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said in a statement that the housing market appears likely to benefit sellers for the foreseeable future.
“As long as the economy continues to chug along as it has, I see no reason for this widespread demand to fall off — nor for the pendulum to meaningfully swing back in favor of buyers — any time soon,” she said.
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