Will Gulf Front Condo Prices Continue to Fall?

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 marketAre 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
January 2011 vs. January 2012

Jan. 2011 Jan. 2012 % Change
Total Sales 44 47 6.82%
Average Price $183,509 $217,436 18.49%
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.

Panama City Beach 2010 Real Estate Market Summary

This article is part of our Real Estate category where we talk a bit about real estate in the Panama City Beach area. This post originally appeared on Blog.PanamaBeachRealty.com which often talks about real estate market conditions in Panama City Beach.

Initially, the 2010 Panama City Beach real estate market was stronger than in 2009. However, potential buyers became worried about the possibility of the Deep Horizon Oil spill, so sales declined in April and remained depressed until September. When purchasers realized that the spill would not affect the area, September 2010 sales volume increased. This still was not enough to return to 2009 levels.

Continue reading “Panama City Beach 2010 Real Estate Market Summary”

The BP Effect – Real Estate Suffers 45% Losses

The BP Effect series is brought to you by attorneys Reich & Binstock and Seeger Weiss LLP, which are helping businesses in Panama City Beach recover losses sustained directly and indirectly from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. They can help your business too,

We just talked about how the oil spill impacted real estate at an individual Realtor level.  Karen Smith with Beachy Beach real estate was rocking hard at the first part of this year with record breaking sales numbers when everything dropped off in May.  For her, the BP Effect was dramatic, and real.  When the leak was fixed, it was like her business just “turned back on.”  There was a stark contrast between her August and September sales numbers.

The real estate industry as a whole on Panama City Beach has a similar story to be told.  This story is told by the sales numbers.  This second installment of a two part “mini-series” is going to be sort of a conversation-in-post look at what happened over the summer and in year’s past.

Continue reading “The BP Effect – Real Estate Suffers 45% Losses”

How to Deal with Multiple offers on a Short Sale

There have been more questions than answers this week. Among other, people have asked: What do those zeroed out items mean in a contract and are you sure you can not take multiple offers on a short sale??? Since we do not have time enough to answer the first one lets talk about some more questions that I continue to get about Short sales. All of my customers and myself agree that the short sale is certainly not a short process and there continues to be so much confusion on how to handle them between the buyer and the seller.

Continue reading “How to Deal with Multiple offers on a Short Sale”

4 Reasons Why Listing Your Home with a Realtor Works

I love my job and I think that is in part because of all the great people I get to work with. Active working Realtors are some of the hardest working most energetic people I have ever met. They love to share their knowledge of Real Estate with their customers and thankfully with each other. I enjoy working with my other Realtor buddies and so respect what they do so I wanted you to know what your Realtor can do for you.

Many people try to sell their homes themselves and that is certainly an option that all of us have, however when doing so you miss a valuable selling tool. According to the National Association of Realtors more than half of all home sales involve a listing agent and a buyers agent. The majority of those sales are made possible because of the all powerful MLS system that is blasted out to countless Realtors and people and reaches many web sites and locations across the United States. To add to that, many Realtors are a part of advertising campaigns through magazines and sites such and Homes and Land further putting your listing in front of even more people. Statistics show that nine out of 10 people use a real estate agent in their search for a home and adding to that, internet has risen as a mega tool from only 2% of buyers in 1995 to 79% in 2006 so you can imagine what the stats say now.

The MLS system is great but would be lacking without all the buzz that Realtors create when we are out and about sharing with each other. Realtors are really my best customers. One of my favorite sales happened when I was NOT WORKING. I went to Carrabbas and saw one of my favorite Realtors (you know who you are) waiting tables and I just happened to mention that I had a great listing with exceptional rental dollars generated. Ward had just the right buyer in mind!!! Needless to say that was an unexpected treat but that happens all the time. Listing with a Realtor is like the gift that keeps on giving. When you employ a Realtor to market your property you can get a lot of bang for your buck.

One of the most pertinent tangible things that your Realtor will do when listing your home is to give you up-to-date information on what is happening in your market and the price, financing and condition of competing homes. You need this information so you can sell your house at the best price and as quickly as possible. Your Realtor has vast knowledge of market values in your community and that is vital today in selling your home. Remember it does not matter what something is listed for what matters is what it is selling for.

Advertising your property is more than throwing a sign up and your Realtor will know how and where to advertise your property. There a is a misconception that you just have to advertise and that sells the Real Estate. The National Association of Realtors indicate that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts.

Your Realtor has spent years of training and learning how to market and sell what may be your biggest investment ever. There is so much more to Real Estate than making a sale; there are procedures for closing the deal that your Realtor will know how to guide you through. Zig Ziglar always said you have to close the deal to be a salesman, so with that in mind call your favorite Realtor and close that deal. Thanks to all my sweet Realtor friends out there for all your knowledge and guidance. . . you really are some of the best customers ever. And again, you know who you are!

Let's Clear the Confusion – Home Buyer Tax Credit

I always share as I write that I am not an expert and I do not even play one on TV so I want to make some of last weeks article a little more clear if I can. As my husband says, “lets see if we can make this as clear as mud” There is still confusion surrounding the tax Credit with the emphasis on CREDIT and not deduction. Please take my limited knowledge and run straight to your banker and your favorite Realtor and see what you can come up with. I have borrowed some examples that may apply to you and have consulted again with my banker friends that are wiser than me.

  • A refundable credit means that if you pay less than $8,000 in federal income taxes, then the government will write you a check for the difference
  • In the case that you owe $4,000 in income taxes at the end of the year you would pay nothing to the IRS and and receive a $4,000 payment from the government.
  • If you are due to receive a $1,000 tax refund from the government, your refund would grow to a whopping $9,000. ($1,000 plus $8,000 from the home buyer tax credit)
  • If your final tax liability is $6,000, but you’ve underpaid through your payroll witholding by $1,000. Normally, you would have to write the IRS a $1,000 check. This time, the first $1,000 of the tax credit pays your bill, and you get the remaining $7,000 as a refund.

Additionally, there are income restrictions: To qualify, buyers must make less than $75,000 for singles or $150,000 for couples. (Higher-income buyers may receive a partial credit.)

This is short and sweet this week so you will have time to run on down and get all your ducks in a row so you can get that house. I like to think of this as a little house warming present. Some of my buyers are looking at it as a discount so to speak on their home and with money being tight that is a welcome and one more reason to purchase their first home. I will leave you with some resources that may help you clear up the process and navigate you to a successful purchase.

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit information from the IRS.

State Housing Agencies with programs that provide short-term loans that may be used to fund a downpayment in conjunction with the tax credit.

Buying and Owning a Home Freddie Mac

Buying a Home Department of Housing and Urban Development

Buying and Owning a Home Freddie Mac

Buying a Home Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Home Buying Process Federal Housing Administration

FHA Loans Federal Housing Administration

Homeownership Resources Fannie Mae

NOTE: Please know that much of this knowledge is general in nature and your local lender will let you know what is available in your location.

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

Q2 Condo and Home Sales Numbers for the Beach and Bay County

According to the Panama City MLS 209 condos sold Quarter 2 on Panama City Beach, that is 42% of 2006’s numbers from the same period. Of course, one has to note that in 2006, most of the sales were from pre-construction closings and most of the numbers from 2008, if not all, are from Realtors beating the streets without quarter million dollar marketing campaigns behind them- not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

In Q2 2008, there were 107 single family homes sold on the beach with exactly 350 single family homes sold in all of Bay County. In Q2 2006, there were 497 condos and 127 homes sold on the beach with 514 homes sold in all of Bay County. The first two months of Q2 2006 condo sales held 403 of the 497 total sales during that period. During the same period in 2007, there were 237 condos sold on the beach, 245 condos sold in all of Bay County, 126 homes sold on the beach and 486 homes sold in all of Bay County.

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