January 2016: A Slow Start for Real Estate in the New Year

The news for real estate sales along the Emerald Coast was not great for January. Both single family home and townhouses/condo sales were down, as were pending sales and median prices. In some parts of Okaloosa County, we may be looking at what happens when the inventory shrinks too low. It’s a seller’s market but there may not be enough inventory to satisfy buyer demand. All data is a comparison of January 2016 to January 2015.

 

               Single Family Home Sales

 

Emerald Coast

  • Closed sales decreased 10.4%
  • Pending sales decreased 5%
  • Median prices decreased 9.6%
  • Inventory decreased 9.5%
  • Months supply decreased 20.4% to 5.7 months of inventory

 

Okaloosa County

  • Closed sales decreased 8.7%
  • Pending sales decreased 3%
  • Median prices decreased 3.9%
  • Inventory decreased 10.5%
  • Months supply decreased 22.1% to 4.7 months of inventory

 

Walton County

  • Closed sales decreased 3.8%
  • Pending sales decreased 13%
  • Median prices decreased 20.9%
  • Inventory decreased 7.6%
  • Months supply decreased 18.3% to 6.9 months of inventory

 

               Townhouse and Condo Sales

 

Emerald Coast

  • Closed sales decreased 13.4%
  • Pending sales decreased 23.9%
  • Median prices decreased 2.7%
  • Inventory increased 3.4%
  • Months supply decreased 7.7% to 9 months of inventory

 

Okaloosa County

  • Closed sales increased 6.3%
  • Pending sales decreased 24.4%
  • Median prices decreased 8.9%
  • Inventory decreased 1.6%
  • Months supply decreased6% to 9.8 months of inventory

 

Walton County

  • Closed sales decreased 33.3%
  • Pending sales decreased 36.4%
  • Median prices increased 28.7%
  • Inventory increased 1.3%
  • Months supply decreased 8% to 7.9 months of inventory

 

 

A few things to remember…

 

Single family homes along the Emerald Coast are either in a seller’s market or close to it. A healthy real estate market – where neither the buyer nor seller have an advantage – is between six and eight months. Townhouses and condos are in the upper levels with Okaloosa close to 10 months of inventory. Below six months means that inventory is scarce and can drive up prices. Above 8 months means there is too much inventory which can drive prices down.

 

With pending sales so far down when compared to January last year, it won’t be surprising is February and possibly March sales are a little sluggish when compared to 2015 levels. There are plenty of factors that play a part in housing sales: inventory, financing, and new rules for closings are just a few.

 

It’s best to look at the data as part of an on-going trend. One month does not dictate the entire market. If you view the data collected since 2011 for the Emerald Coast, Okaloosa County, and Walton County as a whole, you can get a good feel for what’s happening in the local housing market. Overall, the market has improved greatly.

 

All sales data is from the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors® (ECAR) Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is compiled by Florida Realtors®, the state association for Florida. The Emerald Coast statistics cover both Okaloosa and Walton counties as well as surrounding areas based on the listings entered into the MLS by ECAR MLS participants.

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