Real estate trends in West Boca
For this article we’re taking a different approach. We looked at large houses, over 6000 square feet, and we included southwest Delray Beach because the market is similar. These “McMansions” sales were clustered in a fairly small area as shown on the map below:
Transactions in this class consistently average over $2 million, and around $300 per square foot of living space. When starting to review this we separated houses into two groups – inside and outside a membership club. Some of the most common membership clubs in our data include St. Andrews Country Club, Mizner Country Club, Boca West, Polo Club, Addison Reserve and Woodfield Country Club. Top neighborhoods that do not require membership include Long Lake Estates, The Oaks, The Bridges, Azura, Stone Creek Ranch, and Le Lac.
We do not see a big difference in values between these two groups. At this end of the market country club memberships do not seem to have much impact on real estate prices. Either way the neighborhoods are exclusive.
It’s also hard to identify clear trends because the individual homes tend to be more unique. At the low end some houses sold for as little as $1 million at $150/sq.ft. or less, while two houses went in the $600/sq.ft. area and the most expensive went for nearly $10M and over $900/sq.ft.
Still, here’s what we see:
- Large home sales increased dramatically in total numbers. There were 23 such transactions in the first half of 2014, 17 in the second half of 2014, and that rose to 35 transactions in the first half of 2015. There was a particularly big turnover of homes in St. Andrews.
- The total size of the market also increased, from $57M in the first half of 2014 to $76M in the first half of this year. In 2014 the value was driven by a few very high-end homes. In 2015 it’s the total volume that’s driving things.
- Average prices dropped. In both the first and second half of 2014 the average transaction was close to $2.5 million. In the first half of 2015 the average transaction was under $2.2 million. The average in 2014 was around $320/sq.ft. and that dropped to $290/sq.ft.
The biggest lesson we see in all of this is for sellers. If you have a large house there is a very wide spread in prices. This is driven by the features of the house and by finding the right buyer both for that house and for the community. The most patient sellers get more value by holding out for that buyer, but may wait a year, two years or even longer to get a sale done.
Our spreadsheet for this analysis is below: