West Palm Beach: Once-hot market still in cooling stage
There are, however, some signs that the worst might be in the past. Condo sales, which make up
With a year's supply of homes and condos sitting on the market, the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area of Florida has a ways to go before it can recover from the excesses of the real estate boom. The feverish buying and building spree peaked in the summer of 2005, and the market is still cooling.
There are, however, some signs that the worst might be in the past. Condo sales, which make up about 45 percent of this market, rose 11 percent in May, while prices dipped just 1 percent, compared with May of last year. That's much better than condo activity for all of Florida; statewide, condo sales plunged by 28 percent, and prices fell 4 percent over the same period.
For single-family homes in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area, sales were down sharply and prices, slightly. But the Florida statewide numbers were even worse (see chart).
"The inventories (in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton) are at an all-time high," says Clark Toole, CEO of Coldwell Banker's Florida operations. "Things are selling, but they have to be priced correctly, and that may be something that was a 2003 price."
At the same time, homes priced above $1 million in the area are "holding their own," he says. "People in that category may not be affected by, say, rising gas prices."
The most expensive
By Robert Stevens, Affordable Aerial Photography
Donald Trump is trying to sell his 6.5-acre estate, with nearly 500 feet along the beach. The property, which he bought in 2004 for $41.2 million, has been extensively remodeled.
Price: $125 million
Bathrooms: 15 full, 8 half baths
Size: 67,000 square feet
Features: Main residence (61,000 square feet) has onyx floors, ocean views, six guest suites, staff quarters, grand ballroom, media room, wine bistro and art gallery. The 100-foot swimming pool has a 2-bedroom/2-bath "poolside retreat." Theres also a 2-bedroom/2-bath guesthouse, and a coach house, circa 1930, which has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths.
This single-story Mediterranean- style house, built in 1994, is on the market.
Size: 2,812 square feet
Features: Roman tub, walk-in closets, breakfast area, snack bar, two-car garage, patio