Palm Beach, Florida, Luxury Market Ended 2017 on High Note

Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida

Prices for luxury property in Palm Beach, Florida, soared during the last three months of 2017, according to a Douglas Elliman report released Thursday.

Luxury condos and single-family homes—defined by Douglas Elliman as the top 10% of sales— in the oceanfront market had a median sales price of $15.21 million, the highest of the eight South Florida areas analyzed in the report. The figure was a 97.6% rise from the third quarter of 2017 and a surge of 162.4% from the same period last year. The report did not separate the prices for luxury condos and luxury single-family homes in Palm Beach.

“The final quarter of 2017 for Palm Beach was the strongest quarter for that market in 2017,” Jonathan Miller, chief executive of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report, told Mansion Global.

“The high-end market woke up,” Mr. Miller said. “The reason was not so much that buyers returned but that sellers got in sync with actual market conditions.”

The uptick in luxury activity is not unique to Palm Beach, Mr. Miller said. The same is being seen in other markets around the country, like Manhattan and Greenwich, Connecticut. Though it is “much more in your face in Palm Beach,” he said.

The findings were echoed by Corcoran’s Palm Beach market report for the fourth quarter, also released Thursday, which found that the median closed sales price of all single-family homes in the South Florida enclave rose 92% compared to a year ago, with all properties sold at or above $2.4 million. The report did not highlight luxury.

Other South Florida markets experienced a boost, too.

The median price of luxury single-family homes in the city of Boca Raton—north of Miami—reached $2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 52.7% year-on-year, and 44.9% from the previous quarter, according to the Douglas Elliman report.

In Wellington, west of Palm Beach, the median price of luxury condominiums was up 27.8% year-on-year and 29% from quarter three, to $677,500, the report said. Mainland Miami saw luxury condo prices rise too, up to $845,000, an increase of 30.5% from 2016 and up 22.2% from quarter three 2017.

Not all South Florida markets experienced the surge though. While luxury single-family homes in Boca Raton saw prices increase, luxury condos in the area saw median prices fall 25% from the same period in 2016 and down 8.3% from quarter three, to $825,000, according to the report. Luxury single-family homes in Jupiter fell 12.4% year-on-year to $1.55 million, but rose 3.7% from quarter three.

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