Sizzling real estate market on the Panhandle’s gulf coast
Paradise is affordable right now, and many are struggling to buy their little piece of it.
New home sales on the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast are as hot as beach goers in mid-August.
According to the Central Panhandle Association of Realtors (CPAR), the multiple listing service for five Florida Panhandle counties – Bay, Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington – the volume of residential real estate sales on June 7 was $ 1.99 billion. Sales for June are already 60.8 percent higher than last year, and the month still has three weeks to go.
The March figures show that residential properties with closed sales in Bay County alone were $ 255 million, up 100.8 percent from March 2020, up nearly five percent year over year.
Housing offers have only been on the market for an average of 21 days. Many of the houses will be sold as soon as they are listed.
CPAR President Amanda Corbin said, “People make the offers before they come into town because if they can drive or fly here, the property is gone. So I recommend all my people to make the offer and then come because if they don’t, they’ll have lost it before they could even get in the car. “
She told of a buyer who that day made an offer that was more than $ 5,000 above the asking price for a home once it went on the market. When the broker wrote the offer and presented it to the seller, he had already sold the property well above the offer price. This broker’s buyer wasn’t even in the running.
CPAR CEO Debbie Ashbrook said that this strong demand is due to several factors.
Interest rates are very low and will stay low. And although prices in the panhandle are rising, prices on houses are still good compared to many other beach areas.
Panhandle residents, devastated by Hurricane Michael a few years ago, are getting their insurance money and are looking for new, larger homes.
Also because of Hurricane Michael, Tyndall AFB is rebuilding and growing, which further increases the demand for new homes.
The Florida Panhandle is rated by several rating groups as a top location for vacation investments. Ashbrook said the region’s ability to attract tourists is also attracting property investment funds in addition to tourism dollars.
Ashbrook said with the pandemic that people have realized they can work remotely and come from other places to live and work on the beach.
She said the pandemic has also created a demand for smaller cities and rural areas.
“Because they can work remotely, a lot of people move here from states like New York and California. I have no intention of including politics, but I think because we have a governor who has reopened our state, you could say they come here for his leadership in the state, ”she said.
The lack of stocks is driving prices even further. There are only 630 homes in the market in Bay County. That is 71.1 percent less than in the previous year.
Builders try to keep up with demand but are held back by a lack of building materials. The increased cost of these supplies also drives up the cost.