Is the Gulf Front Condo Market at the Bottom?
As a real estate professional who specializes in Gulf Front Condos in Panama City Beach, I get asked all the time for my opinions about the current market. Are condo prices going to drop anymore? When are prices going to start going back up? Are short sales and foreclosures still dominating the market? Should I buy now or wait a little longer?
In my opinion, I think now is a great time to buy. I know what you’re thinking. “Of course he’s going to say ‘buy now’, he’s a real estate agent and he just wants to make a sale.” Not so fast, I like to base my opinions on facts and not just good old fashioned optimism. So here are the facts.
The Bay County Multiple Listing Service (MLS) shows that there were 44 gulf front condos in Panama City Beach sold in January of 2011. In Jan. of 2012 that number was up to 47. It’s a slight increase of almost 7% I know, but let’s look a little deeper. The average sales price in Jan. of 2011 was $183,509. In Jan. of 2012 the average was $217,436. That’s nearly a 20% increase in sale price in just one year.
Are you thinking that 2012’s average sales price must have been skewed by the sale of a huge, really high priced penthouse? Think again. The highest priced sale in Jan. 2011 was $600,000. The highest priced sale in Jan. 2012 was $540,000. Even if that weren’t the case, we can level the playing field by looking at the average price per square foot. In Jan. 2011 this was $164.27/Sq.Ft. In Jan. 2012 it was $183.93/Sq.Ft. That’s a 12% increase.
Are foreclosures and short sales still dominating the market? Yes and no. In Jan. 2012, 36% of sales were either foreclosures or short sales. While that’s still a considerable percentage, it’s actually down from 45.5% in Jan. 2011. If you are the type of person that likes to see these numbers in a neat and clean format (like me) here’s a handy table.
Gulf Front Condo Sales Comparison
|Jan. 2011||Jan. 2012||% Change|
|Average Price / Sq.Ft.||$164.27||$183.93||11.97%|
|% Foreclosure/Short Sale||45.50%||36%||-20.88%|
|Listing $ vs. Sold $ Variance||-7.85%||-4.48%||-42.93%|
The bottom line is that nobody has a crystal ball. Any investment carries inherent risk. The savvy investor looks at the big picture. Does the picture of today’s condo market in Panama City Beach look like we’re at a snow capped peak or are we somewhere near the bottom in the foothills?
If you are interested in finding out more about Gulf Front Condos in Panama City Beach, please contact me, Opey Russ Broker-Associate at Beach Beach Real Estate, at 850-699-1996.