Coronavirus and Real Estate Transactions

The coronavirus is causing all sorts of issues with in process real estate transactions. Everything from physical & engineering inspections, title review and transaction financing is running into delays, if not outright being cancelled.

The term “force majeure” is now becoming more apparent in real estate contracts, allowing for extensions and / or terminations of agreements for unforeseeable circumstances or “acts of God”. 

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Housing and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The housing market statistics for February 2020 were recently published and it showed that the market continues to remain strong with not only price appreciation, but increasing sales volume.  Existing-home sales improved by 6.5% (year-over-year) which was the strongest amount for the month of February since 2007.

The market across four counties in the greater South Florida area also remained quite strong with gains in the number of homes sold as well as the median prices for both single family homes and townhomes / condominiums.  The following table highlights the individual county statistics as of the end of February 2020 (year-over-year). 

 FOR FEBRUARY 2020 (Year-Over-Year)
 No. SFR SalesSFR Median PriceNo. Th/Co SalesTh/Co Median Price
Palm Beach County12.30%6.80%12.50%3.30%
Martin County1.20%13.80%21.40%3.20%
Miami-Dade County9.80%7.20%4.70%2.00%
Broward County7.00%10.00%3.80%12.80%

As of mid-March 2020 with the coronavirus in full swing, a number of states now have ‘Shelter in Place’ orders and significant restrictions on businesses across the state of Florida.  This will of course have massive implications on the economy as a whole, but how specifically will it impact the housing market?

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Top Home Sales Prices for 2019 – Featured Palm Beach County Towns & Cities

Residential real estate in Palm Beach County experienced another outstanding year during 2019.  Although home sales across all price points were strong, the luxury home market was one of the biggest beneficiaries of price appreciation.

The following is a summary of the five highest priced home sales for featured Palm Beach County area towns and cities and is based on information obtained from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). 

Data for each area is based on that provided by the listing real estate agent and while deemed reliable, it is not always 100% accurate. In addition, there may be home sales that occurred during the year there were conducted outside of the MLS service; those individual homes sales will be shown in our analysis below.

 

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Mirasol – Real Estate Market Update for Year End 2019

Mirasol is one of the finest golf and country club communities in Palm Beach Gardens and throughout the northern Palm Beaches. Due to the high overall quality of the community and the popularity of the club, home sales have remained strong over the past several years.  As a whole, Mirasol has a fairly wide range of price points starting from around $400,000’s and exceeding $4 million.  

Over the past five years the housing market in Mirasol has continued to strengthen with respect to price appreciation. This was due to increasing buyer demand, limited inventory levels and historically low interest rates. Similar to that experienced across most luxury home communities in 2019, home sellers in Mirasol were able to take advantage of the strong market as median prices increased by more than 10% year-over-year.  It should be noted, however, that the number of individual home sales declined from 2018 by more than 18%.

Overall how did the real estate market in Mirasol perform in 2019?  Continue reading to learn more.

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PGA National – Real Estate Market Update for Year End 2019

PGA National is one of the more mature golf and country club communities in Palm Beach Gardens and throughout the northern Palm Beaches.  As a result, inventory turnover is lower than other communities in the area which leads to greater overall market stability.

During the past five years the housing market in PGA National has continued to improve with strong sales trends and home appreciation across virtually all price points. This was due to increasing buyer demand, limited inventory levels and historically low interest rates.  As a result, home sellers were able to take advantage of the strong market as priced continued to rise.

How did the real estate market in PGA National perform in 2019?  Continue reading to learn more.

PGA National Real Estate Market – Results for 2019

According to data provided by the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there were 368 individual home sales in PGA National for the year 2019 representing a combined sale value of more than $140 million.  

The 2019 results were an improvement over what was experienced in 2018 with 346 individual home sales representing a combined sale value of approximately $129 million.

To put the results for 2018 and 2019 in prospective, there were 172 homes that sold in PGA National during 2010 with a combined sale value of approximately $50.5 million.  Therefore, the market activity has virtually doubled during the decade with respect to both the number of sales as well as the overall volume.

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The Current State of the Housing Market

Nationwide Housing

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sale transactions on a nationwide basis rose in October by 1.9% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.46 units. Year-over-year sales were up by 4.6% from 5.22 million units in October 2018.  The nationwide median existing home price across all housing types for October was $270,900, up 6.2% from October 2018.  Prices rose in all regions and this month’s price increase marks 92 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory was down approximately 2.7% from September 2019 to 1.77 million units.  Unsold inventory equates to a 3.9-month supply at the current sales rate which is down from 4.1 months as reported for the month of September.
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Real Estate Market Update for October 2019

Due to a combination of low interest rates, low unemployment and increasing wages, the real estate market continues to show strong buyer demand and consistent price growth.  On a nationwide basis as well as within Palm Beach County, foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to decline indicating a strong and healthy real estate market.

Commercial Real Estate

The national commercial real estate market also remains strong with low vacancy rates, increasing rent growth and declining capitalization rates.  According to Real Capital Analytics, cap rates averaged 6.1% in July and August 2019 (properties above $2.5 million).

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Inherited Property Real Estate Services – Case Study

Three Property Residential Portfolio – Delray Beach, Florida

This case consisted of a portfolio of three residential properties that was left in trust to two individual heirs, both of which were not local to the South Florida area.  Quantum Realty Advisors, Inc. (“Quantum”) was referred to the heirs by the estate’s elder law attorney as well as a real estate attorney who assisted with the case.  Quantum provided full service management and assisted the estate with the marketing & sale of all three properties.

At the commencement of this assignment, our team did a comprehensive assessment of the condition and marketability of all three properties. Each property was evaluated on an individual basis to determine its strengths and weaknesses how best to position the home to be sold for the maximum value possible. A written report of our findings was provided to the heirs along with a our opinion of value as well as recommendations on how best to proceed with the marketing and sale of the properties.

Prior to beginning any marketing efforts, our team coordinated cleaning and staging of the single family home as well as spoke with the individual tenants for the investment property in an effort to determine how best to show the property to prospective purchasers.

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