Real Estate Market Conditions on Panama City Beach

August 2008 Report – Panama City Beach

Slightly over 5% of the total Beach inventory for Detached Single Family Homes sold in August, 2008. If all things hold steady, there is slightly over 19 months of inventory on the market. As of Sept 08, 2008 there were 780 DSF listed in the Bay County Association of REALTORS® MLS System for Panama City Beach. Out of the 41 homes that sold in August, 12 were foreclosures, 1 was a short sale and the rest were typical sales. The foreclosure rate of sales for detached single-family homes on the Beach is slightly under 30% of all the sales for August 2008. Out of the 41 homes, 1 Gulf front home sold, 1 Bay front home sold, and 4 canal front homes sold. The average price per square foot was $173.48, including all 41 homes, however if we nixed the top and bottom 5 the average price per square foot leveled off at $143. The average days on the market for all 41 homes were 236. As of September 08 there are 43 DSF under contract (about 5.5%) and 780 listed.

Slightly over 3% of the total Beach inventory for condominiums sold in August 2008. This indicates a 33 month inventory of condominiums on the Beach and the statistic is basically the same for Gulf front condo’s. As of September 08 there were 1620 total condominium listings, 1106 of which are Gulf front.  Out of the 53 total condominiums that sold in August 2008 only 9 were foreclosures or slightly under 17%. If Gulf front condos were considered alone, all 37 sold for an average of $285.72 per square foot. If all condo’s are taken into consideration, the average price per square foot slips to $246.20. There is no significant difference of average days on the market between Gulf front and non-Gulf front, both being about 166 days. As of September 08 there are 83 condos under contract out of 1620, or slightly over 5%, and out of that there are 43 Gulf front out of 1106 listed, a bit less than 4%.

About 6.5% of the total Beach inventory for Multi Family Homes sold in August 2008, leaving approximately 15 months of inventory listed. There are 62 active listings, four of which sold in August. Of the four, one was a foreclosure (25%). Two of the four units were very old and in disrepair. This should be considered when acknowledging the average price per square foot at $74.32. There is only 1 unit currently under contract and the average days on market is 134.

About 3.5% of Attached Family Homes sold in August for a total of 10 sales out of 279 listings. There were no foreclosures involved and the average days on the market was nearly a year– 341 days. The average price per square foot was $138.80. There are currently 19 units under contract.

Sold Listed Avg DOM Avg $/sf Mos of Invtry Absbptn Rt Forclosure Undr Cntrct
DSF – August 2008
41 780 236 143 19 5% 30% 43
Condo – August 2008 (All)
53 1620 166 246 33 3% 17% 33
Condo – August 2008 (Gulf Front)
37 1106 166 286 33 3% 0 43
Multi-Family – Beach
4 62 134 74.32 15 6.5% 25% 1
Attached Single Family – Beach
10 279 341 138.8 28.5 3.5% 0 19

There are some things to keep in mind. The average days on market for a property to sell is based upon a selling price that is competitive with the average sale price per square foot of the units that have sold. One must even fine tune it further because the average sales price per square foot that sold ought to be more tailor fit for a particular property based on age, condition, and location.

Buyers should note that there are far more seller- sold deals moving in this market than there are foreclosures. It would be foolish to simply look at foreclosures as de facto, the best deal of all. Many sellers are equally or perhaps more motivated than many of the banks that own property.

All of us need to realize that there is simply far too much inventory on the market and both REALTORS® and sellers would do the market a favor if they could pull inventory that is simply overpriced. The only way value will build again is when the absorption rate improves and inventory decreases. If you’re overpriced now you have very little chance of moving your property. In this market, one should sell only if one must, it is not a wise time to sell if it is discretionary. Buyers should be strongly encouraged by these market conditions to buy.

Guessing the bottom of the real estate market is like guessing the bottom of the stock market. We have been in a three year price correction. Our airport is well underway, we have had major improvements, businesses have come to our area, our property taxes have been lowered, Lord willing we will escape hurricane season with little damage, our election cycle will be soon over, the dollar is beginning to strengthen once again, even insurance rates have been eased in most cases, interest rates are near historical lows and the war is seeming a bit more victorious than defeatist in the most recent months.

All these positives must weigh in against the challenges that we have faced both locally and nationally and we all hope, with good reason, that in fairly short order the momentum will shift and affect our market positively.   (The statistics provided above were all true as of September 08, 2008 and were the product of the Bay County Association of REALTORS® MLS System.)

Scott Seidler GRI
Prudential   Shimmering Sands Realty

14 thoughts on “Real Estate Market Conditions on Panama City Beach

  1. Scott, you are definitely correct in saying that there is far too much inventory on the market. For the most part what is selling now is properties owned by people who are hurting financially and Real Estate Owned (REO) by banks. Unless you are willing to sell at their prices your property should not be on the market. Listing a property at a higher price will not sell and it has the effect of pushing prices lower by creating a glut on the market.

    There are events on the horizon that will help our market in the future. Wait until they have time to have a positive effect on the market to list your property unless you absolutely must sell at a low price.


  2. Christina,

    The Gulf front home should not be looked at from a price per square foot. It was a 1940’s home, 809 sq ft. It should be looked at from a land value perspective. The lot size was 45 wide by 140 deep or 6525 sq ft that sold for 850k. The Bay front home should be considered at price per sq ft. It sold at $400 per sq ft and it was a large 4500 sq ft home on a nice size 136 x 83 lot totaling 11288 sq ft built in 1999. Smaller homes would have stronger per sq ft value if equal in quality and lot size and bay exposure.


  3. We are in a great buyers market. I owned my beach place for the first full summer this year and covered all my expenses for the year and more off the summer rentals.

    A quality buy right now will easily pay its own way and be a great long term investment.

    Be bold when others are timid, and cash out when Time magazine says buy.



  4. Do your due diligence.

    But when you purchase, think about what you want for a vacation. Nice view (low floor), easy access (no parking deck across the street), etc. A 3 bedroom is a huge bonus because of less competition. There are a tremendous number of 2/2 condos for rent.

    I am not familiar enough with the market to recommend specific buildings. While price is important, look long and hard at the building, condo placement in the building, elevator/stair access, storage, parking, view, amenities, etc.



  5. I would think the Lake Town Wharf forclosure altered your numbers significantly, would you agree? I’m anxious to hear what Sam of Condo Trends take is on it.


  6. Ron,

    Not one of the 53 condos that sold in August were Lake Town Wharf.Lake Town Wharf did not contribute anything to these statistics. These statitics do not include units that may have sold FSBO or perhaps inventory that a developer may have sold and not documented in the MLS, so there could have been sales there in August but they are simply not included in the article. I hope this helps to clarify.


  7. Scott

    Good article and informative too. Keep up the good work and we will hope the market (as it has in the past) turns around, soon. What we need is a catalyst (an indicator) to get us to realize the market is indeed turning around. It may be the end of this election season, or it may be the price of gas going down. Either way, we (as professionals) need to be prepared when it does. Now is the tme for Realtors to update their educations and, to clean up the existing properties that cannot be taken off the market. Clean up the signs, fill flyer boxes, get rid of all those phone books in the front yard, etc. look forward to you next edition.


  8. Great article, thanks for the effort that you put into gathering data and writing the informative piece. It is a GREAT time to buy real estate! We all must work hard to remain positive, realistic and hopeful- thanks again!


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