Friday, 10 February 2012

Local real estate prices slip in January

Metro Market Trends recently released its January real estate sales reports for Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties. With the exception of single-family home sales in Walton County, prices for homes, condominiums and townhomes were down across the board in January.

Judi Rutland, president of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, does not expect prices to keep falling much longer.

“My thinking is that if we are actually hovering at the bottom, at some point we are going to start seeing, and we have in some market types, an uptick,” Rutland said. “It’s a good sign and it tells us we’re going to get hopefully to a more normal market, but we don’t know what that shadow foreclosure product is going to be yet.”

In Okaloosa County, 175 homes were sold in January at an average price of $201,882. While the number of homes sold was up one house from 174 sold in January 2011, the average price was 12.6 percent lower.

Condominium and townhome sales were up 16 percent in January with 94 units sold, but the average sales price of $201,964 was 27.6 percent lower than 2011.

Santa Rosa County had 163 single-family homes sold last month, a decrease of 18.5 percent. The average sales price also fell by 10.73 percent, from $177,153 in January 2011 to $158,147 last month. Only nine condo/townhomes were sold in January, which was drop from 10 sold last year. The average price of $226,766 was down 4.14 percent.

Although the average price for a single-family home in Walton County increased 9.42 percent from January 2011’s $400,410 to last month’s $438,122, the number of homes sold was down 1.72 percent, with 114 homes were sold.

That trend was reversed with the condos and townhomes. The number of units sold increased from 72 last year to 76 last month, but the average price of $255,381 was down 3.14 percent from last year.

Rutland said she has seen a change in her typical clients because of the state of the real estate market.

“The profile of the buyer that I’m seeing today, outside of the military buyer, is the second-home buyer,” Rutland said. “They are the younger end of the baby boomers, highly conservative, don’t make a quick decision in purchasing, have cash or the ability to get to their cash, and they are looking along multiple coastlines.

“In the past, you used to see people buying because they wanted to rent as well,” Rutland added. “The homebuyer that I’m seeing today, rental is secondary to owning a true second home.”


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