Article Courtesy of The Palm Beach Daily News
By Darrell Hofheinz
Published October 27, 2019
A new round of Palm Beach
real estate sales reports shows that
condominium prices rose by more than 20
percent in the third quarter, based on a
This summer saw
high-end deal after high-end deal close in Palm Beach,
bringing the total to about $500 million for single-family
sales recorded at the courthouse in July, August and
September alone, according to an analysis by the Daily News.
But beyond documenting the staggering single-family action,
the third-quarter reports recently released by real estate
agencies that do business on the island also reflected
unusually healthy sales of condominiums — at least in terms
of the dollar amounts the sales generated.
The reports also documented what might be termed a condo
conundrum. The number of apartment sales townwide was down
in the third quarter — by 22 percent — in a year-over-year
comparison, while the average and median prices they fetched
rose by more than 20 percent, according to The Corcoran
Report produced by the Corcoran Group. The median is the
price at which half of the units sold for more and half for
As usual, the individual reports use different sales
criteria and data, so direct comparisons among them aren’t
easy to compute. Some reports look only at data recorded in
the local multiple listing service, which means their
figures don’t include off-market deals.
Prices up in Midtown, South End
The transaction numbers included in The Corcoran Report
reflected a smaller share of condo sales below $1 million
and a simultaneous increase in the share of sales above $3
million, as compared to the third quarter of 2018.
The most expensive Palm Beach Condominium to sell in
the third quarter was a July deal at the Sun & Surf, in which unit
No.502 at 100 Sunrise Ave. fetched $3.5 million. In all, three
condos sold for more than $3 million during July, August and
Brown Harris Stevens’ report documented similar condo numbers. Townwide, the
average price of multifamily units sold in July, August and September rose
from $811,000 in 2018 to $973,000 in 2019, thanks to 16 sales above $1
million, according to Brown Harris Stevens’ analysis.
The three biggest-dollar condo sales in July, August and September were each
documented in the Brown Harris Stevens report and the one released Linda R.
Olsson Inc., Realtor. Two of those big sales were recorded in July at the
Sun & Surf condominium’s two buildings on Sunrise Ave.
Unit No. 502 at 100 Sunrise Ave. changed hands for $3.5 million, with the
local multiple listing service showing agent Fern Fodiman of Sotheby’s
International Realty as the listing agent opposite agent Joanna Meyers of
Christian Angle Real Estate. With direct-ocean views,the apartment has two
bedrooms and 2,244 square feet of total living space, inside and on its
And immediately to the west, Penthouse 6 at 130 Sunrise Ave. traded for $3.2
million, with broker Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate on
the seller’s side and Corcoran Group agents Paulette Koch and Dana Koch
representing the buyer. The three-bedroom unit has 4,049 total square feet.
The last of the biggest condo deals of the quarter took place far across
town on the South End’s Condominium Row. The sale was documented in August
at $3.25 million, when Unit 701 — a renovated three-bedroom apartment with
5,700 total square feet — sold at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd. In that oceanfront
deal at Palm Beach Hampton, agent Scott and Mindy Gordon of Douglas Elliman
Real Estate handled both sides, MLS shows. The sale was the ninth
most-expensive condo listed in MLS to change hands on the South End since
the start of 2017, according to online records.
That two of the three highest-dollar condo sales of the third quarter took
place in Midtown came as no surprise, according to the analysis released by
Sotheby’s International Realty.
“In Palm Beach’s condominium market, the strongest activity was concentrated
(in Midtown), where the total number of units sold was up 13 percent,
combining with a 37 percent rise in the median sale price to drive total
dollar volume 60 percent higher,” wrote broker Debra Reece, who manages
Sotheby’s International Realty’s Palm Beach brokerage.
The South End didn’t fare as well, according to the Sotheby’s analysis:
“South End (condo sales) pulled back during this quarter, although the
median sale price posted a modest 4 percent gain,” Reece wrote.
A third-quarter report prepared by agent Suzanne Frisbie’s sales team at
Premier Estate Properties also noted the “explosive” jump in dollar volume
generated by sales of Midtown condos compared to the same period last year.
The South End, however, saw dollar volume drop by 36 percent in a
year-over-year comparison, the Frisbie report noted.
Slightly slower sales pace
And the report prepared for Douglas Elliman by analyst Jonathan Miller,
meanwhile, said condos townwide generally spent more time on the market
before they sold this summer, compared to the third quarter of last year.
The Elliman Report also included a metric that gives an idea of the pace of
condo sales during the third quarter, which was slightly slower when
compared to the same period of 2018.
“It’s how the market feels, what I call the intersection of supply and
demand,” said Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisal and
Consulting Services in New York City.
For that metric, Miller computed the number of months it would take to sell
all of the multifamily inventory on the market in Palm Beach at any given
moment, based on the current rate of closings. During the third quarter of
2018, Miller reported, it would have taken 11 months to sell everything, but
this summer, that figure rose to 12.2 months.
The complete third-quarter reports — including details about the island’s
single-family sales — are available at: BHSUSA.com/palm-beach,
Inhabit.Corcoran.com, Elliman.com, SothebysHomes.com, LindaOlsson.com and