You may remember in my semi-annual report published in August that the Riviera real estate market in the first half of the year was on a torrid pace with the median price reaching an all-time high. Now that I have compiled the year end numbers, it is apparent that the market cooled off in the second half. However, with a total of 93 sales and a median price of $1,925,000 the Riviera market is still on solid ground. In comparison to 2018 the number of sales decreased slightly while the median price rose a modest 2%. Interestingly, the median price is at the same level it reached in 2017 but is still 5% below the high water mark that it reached three years ago.
In studying the year end numbers there is no question that the Riviera market remains very active and relatively balanced between supply and demand. The low end (up to $2 mil) continues to be the most dynamic segment with a robust 51 sales. The number of sales in the $2 to $3 mil category was down a bit, however there were twice as many sales in the $3 to $4 mil range compared to the last 2 years and a healthy number of sales (4) in the high end. As I suggested in my 2018 year-end report, buyers are well educated and are not chasing overpriced listings. One of the reasons the market contracted a bit in the second half last year is that sellers were overly aggressive with their pricing - particularly in the mid to high end. In fact, there continues to be several active listings above the $3 mil price point that have been lingering on the market for quite some time.
The early signs for the 2020 market look promising. Overall the economy is humming along at a good clip while interest rates are still very attractive with no upward pressure in sight. Additionally, inventory levels in the Riviera market are healthy for this time of year and the sales activity is on a solid pace. Everything appears to be in place for another banner year in the Riviera real estate market, however it is imperative that the level of inventory remains strong and that sellers are realistic when determining the list price of their properties.