Looking for a sunny oasis to call home? Moving to West Palm Beach in south Florida just might be worth considering! Nestled along Florida’s east coast, the subtropical city is a hotbed for the arts, outdoor activities, and of course, stunning beaches. But what could you expect if you wanted to move there now? Let’s take a look at West Palm Beach’s housing market to find out!
Why West Palm Beach?
West Palm Beach, Florida is one of the larger cities along the east coast of south Florida, comparable to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. For those looking to make this coastal treasure their home, West Palm Beach is full of attractions to explore during the day and a bustling atmosphere at night. If you need some sun, head east and you’ll hit a beautiful beach. If you want to enjoy some boutique shopping or a night on the town, visit Clematis Street. Art lovers will be spellbound by the Norton Museum of Art, featuring many exquisite collections.
In 2020, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity projected Palm Beach County job growth to increase 13.2% overall. If you work in entertainment or hospitality industries, the outlook is especially strong; performing arts and spectator sports jobs are expected to enjoy a whopping 49% growth, while the leisure and hospitality industry looks to grow 31.3%.
As with many Florida locales, the cost of living in West Palm Beach is slightly higher than the national average; however, it’s not as high as other major cities in South Florida, keeping it a more moderately priced option for those wanting both beaches and urban amenities.
If you’ve got kids, the school system in the area offers a range of options. In addition to the vast range of public, private and charter schools, West Palm Beach is also the home to Dreyfoos School of the Arts, which provides an arts-centered education along with a rigorous academic program.
Like most of the country, the area around West Palm Beach is still in a hot seller’s market. West Palm Beach has an extremely active real estate market, and people are flocking to the area (and Florida, in general) thanks to the growing prevalence of remote work options and to take advantage of real estate investment opportunities. Overall, according to the latest local market report from May, “closed sales increased 90.7% to 1,890 and median sale price rose 30.1% to $475,000 year-over-year.”
New listings are also up 8.6% year-over-year, but it’s important to remember that a 2020 comparison is more like apples and oranges since this time last year was at or near the peak of the pandemic for many areas. Looking at month-over-month metrics, new listings decreased 8% from April to May, while pending monthly sales (the number of listings that went under contract), up 16% year-over-year, went down 19.5%
Why You Should Start the Purchase Process Now
If you’re serious about moving to West Palm Beach, you just might be in luck — the market is starting to cool down in the area as more new inventory becomes available, and it’s expected that price growth will thus slow down, if not halt altogether, as demand is tempered.
Cooling market aside, Florida’s seasonality may also factor into your purchase. Timing the housing market is never an exact science, but Florida’s typical home sale cycle sees lower prices in the heart of winter months than in the summer months. Couple that with the outlook of relaxed demand, now is the perfect time to start your research, find a local agent, and figuring out your financing and budgets so you’re ready to purchase and then move at an ideal time.
What to Prepare for
You’ll need to act quickly if you’re buying in the West Palm Beach area. May’s market report noted the area’s median time to contract fell to just 11 days, a major difference when compared to last year’s 37 days. It’s important to keep in mind that Palm Beach County has a wide span of non-luxury and luxury properties alike, with some properties boasting multi-million dollar price tags. Depending on what you’re looking for, the area boasts opportunity to find a home that will fit within just about anyone’s budget.
Find Your West Palm Beach Dream Home
With almost 4,700 home listings in West Palm Beach on Homes.com, the perfect home is waiting for you to start your search. Browse anything from simple bungalows to luxury mansions, and be sure to save the ones you love the most! In the meantime, if you’re unsure of how to begin the homebuying process, visit the Homes.com “How to Buy” page, a one-stop resource that walks you through everything from financing to connecting with the right agent, to sitting at the closing table. Happy house hunting!