As discussed in prior reports, risks to economic momentum, whether they be (i) stock market volatility, (ii) divisive political climates, (iii) interest rate fears or (iv) global concerns, all tend to influence our society’s animal spirits. Stymied by an uncertain mid-term election and ensuing turbulent political environment, added to national and international economic fears, December’s stock market recorded the worst performance since the Great Depression. These factors contributed to a widely mixed Palm Beach real estate market performance for Q4 2018 when compared to Q4 2017, as the below metrics will suggest. Interestingly, when Q4 2018 is compared to Q4 2016, which presented a similar climate of uncertainty due to the presidential election, metrics reflected a more similar narrative. Regardless, 2018 was still, year-over-year, a record for Palm Beach single family residential real estate, surpassing year-end 2017 totals in dollar volume, transaction volume, and percentage of high-end sales (up 3% in +$10MM and up 15% in +$20MM).

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