Steel Dirt – New Publix Taking Shape

Growing from a field of dirt, a steel and concrete structure is forming the shape of the future of Publix on Back Beach Road.  With the hot summer months over, the crews are thankful to have the bulk of their work during what is arguably one of the best times of year in Panama City Beach.

With the thriving commercial development on Back Beach Road, especially around the area of Beckrich and Alf Coleman, it would seem the area is preparing itself for an influx of new visitors by way of condo rentals, vacation rentals, or new home purchasers in Panama City Beach.  St. Joe is certainly ambitious in their prospective development at the end of Beckrich.  The Breakfast Point subdivision promised to bring thousands of new homes to our area when there are people here to fill them.

The new 5400 square foot Publix will be replacing the old 4500 square foot grocery located at the corner of Beckrich and Middle Beach Road.  The look will be similar to the new Publix on Thomas Drive and the Publix right next to Sandestin.

In addition to the new Publix, a much needed Office Depot will be opening a store in this new shopping complex.

Construction time is around 9 months and the new store should be open by summer 2009.

Real Estate Market Conditions on Panama City Beach – September

September 2008 Report – Panama City Beach

Slightly over 4.5 % of the total Beach inventory for detached single family homes sold in September,  down from slightly over 5% in August. If all things hold steady, there is over 19 months of inventory on the market. As of Oct 04, 2008 there were 750 DSF listed in the Bay County Association of REALTORS® MLS System for Panama City Beach. Out of the 34 homes that sold in September, 9 were foreclosures, 1 was a short sale, 3 were builder sales and the rest were typical sales. September 08 was 17% slower than August of 08 in total DSF’s sold, 34 compared to 41.  The foreclosure rate of sales for detached single family homes on the Beach fell slightly to 26.5% of all the sales for September compared to 30 % in August. The absorption rate decreased slightly from 5% to 4.5% but the overall inventory of DSF also fell from 780 to 750. Out of the 35 homes 1 canal front home sold. There were no other waterfront sales. The average price per square foot was $142, including all 34 homes. However, if we nixed the top and bottom 5 the average price per square foot actually rose to $147.16. The average days on the market for all 34 homes was 206, a 12.5% decrease compared to August, which was 236. As of October 4th there are 66 DSF under contract (about 8.8 %) and 750 listed. This is a 3% improvement over August .  These numbers overall are more positive than negative and reflect a slight strengthening. This is no time for elation but any sign of encouragement is welcomed.

2.6 % of the total Beach inventory of condominiums sold in September. This indicates a 38.5 month inventory of condominiums on the Beach and the statistics are basically the same for gulf front condo’s.  As of October 6th there were 1582 total condominium listings, 1090 of which are gulf front.  Out of the 41 total condominiums that sold in September only 4 were foreclosures (or slightly under 10%), one of which sold at auction, 5 were short sales (about 12 %), the other 78% were conventional sales. If gulf front condo’s were considered alone, all 25 sold for an average of $264.35 per square foot. If all condos are taken into consideration, the average price per square foot slips to $224.42. The average days on market for all condo’s sold is 134 and for gulf front only, 143 . As of October 6th there are 90 condos under contract out of 1582 total for the beach, or slightly over 5.6 %, and out of that there are 40 gulf front out of 1090 listed, a bit less than 3.7%.  The numbers in September trended negative for condos. The absorption rate decreased from 3% to 2.6%, the average price per square foot declined for all condos about 9% and for gulf front 9.25%. There were less than half as many foreclosures sold but a significant growth in short sales or pre-foreclosures. The silver lining is that the overall inventory decreased by 38 units.

No inventory for multi-family homes sold in September. There are 65 active listings and 2 under contract as of October 6th.

About 2.6% of attached family homes sold in September for a total of 7 sales out of 266 listings. This leaves about 38 months of inventory on the market.  There were 3 foreclosures sold out of the 7 and the average days on market was 88. The average price per square foot was $178.52. There are currently 19 units under contract. This sector of the market, though slipping a bit in absorption rate by about 1%, improved strongly in price per square foot, 22.5%, and decreased in average days on market by 26%. That is the bright spot in the market this month. It ought to be noted, however, the product that sold was a newer product across the board than last month’s sold inventory.

Sold Listed Avg DOM Avg Price/SF Mo’s of Inv Abs. Rate Forcl Undr Const
Detached Single Family
34 750 206 147.16 19 4.5% 26.5% 66
Condo’s Total Panama City Beach
41 1582 134 224.42 38.5 2.6% 10% 90
Condo’s Gulf Front Only
25 1090 143 264.35 27.7 3.6% 40
0 65
Attached Single Family
7 266 88 178.52 22.5 2.6% 42% 19

There are some things to keep in mind. One, these are snap shot reports not movies. There can be huge swings month to month which may yield either despair or elation depending on whether there is a sharp increase or decrease.

Second, these reports relate to posted listings and sales in the Bay County Association of REALTORS MLS System. Some sales occur “for sale by owner” or at auction.   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.

Guessing the bottom of the 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 2008 and were the product of  Bay County Association of REALTORS® MLS System.)

Scott Seidler GRI
Prudential   Shimmering Sands Realty

Bed Tax Collections are UP, Business Numbers DOWN

Who said the Summer White Sale wouldn’t work? Well, although I was quite critical of the PCB Summer White Sale, I don’t think I ever said, verbatim, that it flat out would not work. But did it? Well, the answer is actually quite a bit more complex than a simple yes or no. Of course, that’s what makes the answer so much fun.

In a recent article, the News Herald reported that so far this year, compared to the same period last year, the bed tax collections are up 3.5%. This is true, additionally I found from October 2006 to June 2007, the bed tax collections were up to $3,953,245.77 or 11.77%. The 2006 number of $3,537,045.14 is up 3.04% from October 2004 to June 2005, and the 2004 numbers were up 5.94%. And because I always hate reading stuff like this in a paragraph, I’m gonna put it all in a nifty table:

Continue reading “Bed Tax Collections are UP, Business Numbers DOWN”

Quarter 2 Sales Comparison 2002 to 2008

The real estate market is in the toilet, right? Not so much. I mean, compared to 2005 and 2006, prices are low, but compare today’s numbers with numbers from 2002, 2003, or even 2004, and we’re not doing so bad. Sure, the average days on market is way up, but the prices today compared to prices of yester-years are not too bad.

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Florida’s existing housing market shows improving conditions in June 2008

As reported by the FAR:

Many Florida Realtors® statewide noted positive movement in their local housing markets in June, with an upswing in the statewide median price reported for both existing home sales and condominium sales over May 2008, according to the latest housing statistics released by the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR).

The statewide existing-home median price in June was $205,500, up 1 percent from May’s median price of $203,300. The median price of an existing condo last month was $183,700, also up 1 percent from May’s figure of $181,800.

Nationally, existing home sales are expected to show some modest gains in the coming months, with a recovery predicted during the latter part of the year, according to the latest housing outlook from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). “Some markets have seen a doubling in home sales from a year ago, while others are seeing contract signings cut in half,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Price conditions vary tremendously, even within a locality.”

Continue reading “Florida’s existing housing market shows improving conditions in June 2008”