Florida Mass Scale Tourism Going Forward…
Florida’s mass scale tourism, which profits off packing people into beaches, theme parks, cruise ships and airports, means the Sunshine State is among the hardest hit by a contagious virus that thrives on the social connections and personal contacts Sunshine State travel produces.
Nationwide, the pandemic will create $1.2 trillion in economic losses this year. About $520 billion are in direct travel spending, meaning travel and tourism has taken the brunt of the virus.
So far, Florida is the sixth-hardest hit state by COVID-19′s impact on tourism, according to a study by WalletHub. And the tourism and retail industries have the most jobs at-risk when it comes to dealing with the public, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
In Palm Beach County, tourism is the county’s second largest industry, second only to agriculture.
Whenever government leaders fully relax restrictions on social gatherings, experts agree tourism will rebound, but in a much different way.
“We will re-emerge as a completely different industry than we were,” said Peter Ricci, director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
Modifications for social distancing, face masks, and the heavy use of technology likely are among the changes in place for an indefinite period of time, creating constant reminders that life is different. Amid the coronavirus crisis, May was a surprisingly busy month for Palm Beach real estate, as a new sales report released by Tina Fanjul Associates shows. The number of new single-family contracts jumped 400% in a year-over-year comparison of data from the local multiple listing service.
Anyone who has been watching real estate in Palm Beach over the past several weeks has seen the number of new contracts — and closed sales — attest to the remarkable vibrancy of the market in chaotic times. Real estate agents and brokers barely have had time to keep their sales tallies updated, even as the country grapples with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the widespread social unrest that followed the Memorial Day death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. But as far as the island’s real estate went, the month of May delivered numbers that were nothing short of startling, with contract after contract being inked for properties town wide.
As one broker said in an informal conversation with the Daily News: “It’s like we took two-and-a-half months out of the calendar, and now we’re back to the height of the season.” The busy market was driven, in large part, by out-of-town buyers from areas hard hit by the coronavirus crisis seeking homes in Palm Beach, multiple brokers have reported.
The May sales data was documented in a monthly sales report released late last week by Tina Fanjul Associates. The longtime independent real estate agency in Palm Beach is headed by broker Tina Fanjul and President Crista Ryan. The Palm Beach market “remained strong through May with a large increase in under contract single-family homes in both the North End and the Estate Section,” noted the report, which used figures from the Palm Beach Board of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service as its basis. In all, May’s single-family closed sales totaled $111.75 million, the report showed.
Here are some insights about how Palm Beach real estate performed last month, courtesy of Tina Fanjul Associates’ report.
Palm Beach saw more new single-family listings in May compared to a year ago, “signaling strong seller confidence in finding a buyer late in our season,” the report said.
There was a 400% year-over-year increase in single-family properties that landed under contract on the North End. And in the Estate Section, the number of homes that went under contract doubled, compared to May 2019.
Town-wide dollar sales in the single-family category, the report said, remained “relatively unchanged” in a year-over-year comparison — with the exception of an ocean-to-lake “outlier sale” on Billionaires Row at 1820 S. Ocean Blvd., which closed last month for $46.75 million. As previously reported by the Daily News, broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates had the listing for that property and agent Alan Quartucci of Brown Harris Stevens acted for the buyer, the MLS shows.
The steady sales numbers indicate “a continued strong market despite national setbacks” realted to the coronavirus crisiss, the report said.
May also saw no steep, across-the-board price discounts for MLS-listed single-family properties that changed hands. Overall, properties sold for between 5% and 10% percent of their MLS asking prices, the report said.
On the condominium and co-op scene, shoppers in May encountered a 130% increase in new listings for so-called “in-town” units — those in Midtown and the near North End — compared to a year ago. Prices ranged from $475,000 to $18.75 million. And the number of condo units that went under contract matched figures from May 2019.
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