Eleven homes in West Boca and southwest Delray sold in October for prices ranging from $710,000 to $1,240,000. All eleven were in four neighborhoods – Delray Lakes Estates, The Oaks, The Bridges and Seven Bridges. The market in this range may be heating up as most of the homes sold in two months or less.
Delray Lakes Estates
Two homes sold on Sawpine Road in Delray Lakes Estates, which is on the south side of Atlantic just west of the Turnpike. The community has a manned entrance and is in the process of adding a new gate.
8476 Sawpine Road was the highest price this month at $1,240,000. Built in 2015 the home has five bedrooms and five and half baths in 4600 square feet of living space on two floors, with a small attached guest house. It sits on a one acre lot with a gorgeous pool and its own tennis court. The backyard looks out to a canal and undeveloped land.
A few doors down 8538 Sawpine sold what looks like a bargain at $805,000. Built in 1989 the house has 5 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths in 4300 square feet, all on one floor.
17603 Middle Lake Drive sold for $1,237,000. The house has 5 beds with 5 1/2 baths in 4900 square feet on two floors. It’s on a cul de sac, one of the nicest lots in the community, with a wraparound lake view.
17838 Cadena Drive sold for $1.08 million with 5 beds, and 6 1/2 baths in 4900 square feet. It’s not a particularly special lot, with the backyard up against Lyons Road and not far from Clint Moore, but it sold in just 3 days.
The lone straggler on the market was 8879 Sydney Harbor Circle, which sat on the market for several months listed too high, starting at $1.45M, later reduced to $1.3M. It was recently relisted for just under $1.2M and then sold in 20 days for $1.15M. It’s not a big house for The Bridges with 3 beds and 3 1/2 baths in 3350 square feet, with nothing particularly special about the lot.
16566 Sagamore Bridge Way sold for $820K with 4 beds and 3 1/2 baths in 3000 square feet with a lake view and a small backyard pool. On paper it looks like the buyers got a lot more for their money.
8153 Hutchinson Court sold for $780K with 5 bedrooms and 5 baths in 4300 square feet. It’s located at the start of a cul de sac but the lot is not any bigger and there’s nothing special in the backyard.
8980 Little Falls Way sold for $742,500 with 4 beds and 4 baths in 3500 square feet. It was oddly listed by a Broward-based Realtor through the Miami Realtors MLS. The listing used low resolution photos and was very short on detail. It’s possible that the owner and Realtor were related.
16538 Gateway Bridge Drive sold for $710K with 4 beds and 3 baths in 2500 square feet, one of the smallest models in The Bridges.
Two very similar new homes sold in the Greenwich section of Seven Bridges for nearly identical prices. Both sold for about $1.06 million. 16323 Pantheon Pass and 16383 Pantheon Pass each have 5 bedrooms and 6 baths in 4735 square feet.
Looking at first quarter transactions in The Bridges (Lyons Road north of Clint Moore), we are seeing home sales struggle at best. Nearly new homes sold for little increase and in some cases at a substantial loss. Meanwhile the builder sold three homes at relatively low prices, undercutting existing homes.
Our data show 11 transactions in The Bridges in the first three months of the year. At the low end, 16903 Bridge Crossing Circle sold for just under $640K, barely over the original purchase price of $639K in August of 2014. The house has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths in 2600 square feet of space, one of the smallest homes in the neighborhood. It took 8 months to sell.
8159 Hutchinson Court sold at a loss, $714K down from $750K in 2015. The house has 4 bedrooms and 4 baths in 3500 sqft. This one took over a year to sell.
Some homes did show price increases. 8190 Banpo Bridge Way sold for $955K, up from $850K in 2015, though the house was marketed as “loaded with costly upgrades”. It has 4 bedrooms and 5 baths in 3800 sqft.
16659 Ambassador Bridge Road went up to $976K from $849K in 2014. The house has 4 bedrooms and 5 baths in 3900 square feet
Three homes next to each other on Lewis River Road were sold by the builder. 8526 Lewis River Road sold for $899K with 4 bedrooms, 4.1 baths in 4200 sqft.
8520 Lewis River Road sold for $988K with 5200 square feet. And 8532 Lewis River Road sold for only $899K at roughly the same size – that’s only $173 per square foot and seems well below market value.
These may have been the among the last new homes sold. The satellite image shows two of them (8520 and 8526) as a parking lot, and perhaps 8532 was a model home.
Only one home sold for over $1M. 8776 Sydney Harbor Circle sold for $1.135M. The house has 5 bedrooms and 7 1/2 baths in 5300 square feet. The lot doesn’t appear to have anything special about it. The buyer is the CFO of a “small cap” publicly traded technology company and may have paid for substantial upgrades.
With new large homes in The Bridges selling this low, we expect continued pressure on home prices in the low seven figures in nearby neighborhoods like The Oaks and that may filter down to neighborhoods with homes in the high six figures like Saturnia.
The Bridges and Seven Bridges are bright spots on the real estate market for 2016. Our analysis of MLS data shows that prices are rising in those two communities.
A great example of this is the house at 8200 Lost Creek Lane in the east end of The Bridges. It sold new for $812K in 2014 and sold again in 2016 for $1.1M, an increase of nearly $300,000. Upgrades explain some of the differences (the 2016 listing included a golf cart and furniture) but it doesn’t look like $300K in added value.
Overall the average price for the 49 transactions in 2016 was just under $1.1M, up from $985K for 36 transactions in 2015 and $936K average of 19 transactions in 2014. Measured in dollars per square foot, the average for 2016 was $252/sq.ft., up from $241 in 2015 and $225 in 2014.
2016 was also the first time an MLS sale in The Bridges exceeded $2M. 16840 Crown Bridge Drive sold for $2.4M, up from its $1.9M sale price (not through MLS) in 2014.
It should be noted that a pool was added before the current sale, which is mentioned in the listing and shows up on the latest Google Maps satellite image (apparently taken within the past few weeks).
Transactions in 2016 ranged from $660K for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house (2500 square feet) up to the $2.4M. Of the 49 MLS transactions, 29 were under $1M and 20 were over $1M.
Another good example to understand price changes is 8652 Lewis River Road. The house sold in 2015 listed with four bedrooms for $870K. A year later it sold for $960K (up $90,000). The 2016 listing included five bedrooms and noted $135K in upgrades. It is unclear how much of the upgrades, if any, were included in the 2015 listing which indicated “top of the line” upgrades already.
On the numbers alone it appears that transaction prices are up in The Bridges and Seven Bridges. A source tells us that new home sales are slowing in Seven Bridges but we can’t confirm that and it certainly seems like volume is up.
Both developments are gated communities from GL Homes, one of the leading builders in the area (also active in other parts of Florida). New homes there include impact glass, natural gas connections, and lawn care provided by the association. Reported HOA fees range from near $400/month up to the mid-$500s. They are located just north of the Boca/Delray line.
Seven Bridges is newer and has an additional gate on US-441. The main gate is on the west side of Lyons Road. Across Lyons is the main gate for The Bridges, which extends to the Turnpike. Stone Creek Ranch and Mizner Country Club are to the north. The Oaks is a little south of Seven Bridges.
Real estate trends in West Boca
We’ve been looking at recent real estate trends in West Boca. We started with neighborhoods, discussing Boca Falls in one article and Boca Isles in another.
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: