Palm Beach County Housing Market Approaching Peak in Cycle
Currently, housing in Palm Beach County, based on data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), is 18.11 percent above its long-term pricing trend.
Palm Beach County appears to be approaching the peak of its current housing market cycle, according to a market analysis of Palm Beach County housing from faculty at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University.
The current Housing Price Index (HPI) score for the county is 311.32, which is slightly below the peak achieved for the county in the second quarter of 2006 of 318.31. Housing Price Indexes are similar to stock indexes such as the S&P 500 Index and The Dow Jones Industrial Average and allow for the tracking of price changes. Residential property price appreciation for the county in the first quarter of 2019 was just .15 percent, while the prior two quarters were 1.35 percent and 2.79 percent, respectively.
“Housing prices move in a cycle and slowing property appreciation rates typically indicate that a market is approaching the peak of a cycle,” said Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D., a real estate economist with FAU’s College of Business.
Currently, housing in Palm Beach County, based on data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), is 18.11 percent above its long-term pricing trend. While this level of overpricing seems substantial, it is significantly less than the degree of overpricing experienced in the county in 2006, when overpricing reached 66.59 percent above its long-term trend.
Other evidence supporting the possibility of a housing slowdown comes from the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, which is currently indicating moderate downward pressure on the demand for homeownership in the county.
“The downward pressure on the demand for ownership is clearly translating into slowing property prices across the county,” said Eli Beracha, Ph.D., real estate economist with the Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU.
Johnson and Beracha both agree that the county seems to be at an inflection point in its housing market and what happens next is hard to predict. However, both feel that strong employment, low mortgage rates and the rapid influx in population should serve to moderate the impact of the approaching housing slowdown.