Home prices rise 4 percent in July

Home prices in Palm Beach County inched up last month, though buyers are regaining some leverage as more properties hit the market.

The county's median price for existing single-family homes in July was $280,000, a 4 percent increase from a year earlier, the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches said Thursday.

Demand remains strong, with 1,515 homes trading hands, 15 percent higher than a year ago. Cash sales accounted for 42 percent of the market, the lowest level since 2010, the Realtor board said.

While prices are still on the rise, the increases have narrowed considerably in recent months. The gains now are closer to traditional norms, with homes typically appreciating in value at 3 percent to 4 percent annually.

In recent years, buyers have complained about a shortage of available homes, but steady price increases have prompted once-leery homeowners to sell.

There were 7,246 single-family listings at the end of July, a 33 percent increase from the same time last year. The typical Palm Beach County listing sat on the market for 55 days, up from 53 a year earlier, according to the July data.

"If you find a property you like, you should still be prepared to act quickly on it," said Douglas Rill, broker at Century 21 America's Choice in West Palm Beach. "But buyers have more choices, and sellers need to pay attention. The froth has come off the beer, so to speak."

Peowers@tribune.com, 561-243-6529 or Twitter @paulowers

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