September 2016: Single Family Home Sales Remain Steady, Condo Sales Struggle

For another month, single family home sales across the Emerald Coast were up in September 2016 when compared to last year. Okaloosa County saw a double digit increase year over year, while Walton County saw modest sales growth but lower pending sales.

Across the Emerald Coast, condo and townhome sales were down in the double digits, but Walton County saw the biggest drop. Pending sales in Walton County were higher than usual which is a good sign for October sales. Median prices were strong and increased substantially in Okaloosa County.

Single Family Home Sales

Emerald Coast

  • Closed sales increased 9.3%
  • Pending sales increased 0.7%
  • Median prices increased 4.3%
  • Inventory decreased 11.1%
  • Months supply decreased 15.6% to 5.4 months of inventory

Okaloosa County

  • Closed sales increased 14%
  • Pending sales increased 0.3%
  • Median prices increased 15.4%
  • Inventory decreased 19.7%
  • Months supply decreased 21.2% to 4.1 months of inventory

Walton County

  • Closed sales increased 2.4%
  • Pending sales decreased 4.5%
  • Median prices decreased 1.3%
  • Inventory decreased 0.6%
  • Months supply decreased 7.7% to 7.2 months of inventory

Townhouse and Condo Sales

Emerald Coast

  • Closed sales decreased 26.4%
  • Pending sales decreased 4.7%
  • Median prices increased 10.7%
  • Inventory decreased 6.3%
  • Months supply decreased 1% to 9.6 months of inventory

Okaloosa County

  • Closed sales decreased 9.3%
  • Pending sales increased 7.6%
  • Median prices increased 48.7%
  • Inventory decreased 21.3%
  • Months supply decreased 20.4% to 9 months of inventory

Walton County

  • Closed sales decreased 42.5%
  • Pending sales increased 67.1%
  • Median prices increased 1.9%
  • Inventory increased 2.4%
  • Months supply increased 25% to 10 months of inventory

A few things to remember…

Median prices are on the rise across the Emerald Coast even with the small blips like Walton County single family home price decrease this month. As an overall trend, prices are increasing – which is true for both the state and national real estate markets. Of note, the median price for condos and townhomes in Okaloosa County was $305,500 in September, the highest median price on current record. Sales may be slowing down for condos and townhouses, but those that sell are for higher prices than a year ago.

Single family homes along the Emerald Coast are either in a seller’s market or close to it. Condos and townhomes on the Emerald Coast have a much higher inventory which gives buyers more options and can, if demand and inventory aren’t a match, slow down sales. A healthy real estate market – where neither the buyer nor seller have an advantage – is between six and eight months. As condo and townhome sales have decreased in Walton County and new listings continue to enter the market, inventory will continue to go up, creating a buyer’s market and making it more difficult for sellers to be noticed.

Pending sales are an indication of the immediate future of the real estate market – typically the next month’s sales. These numbers are not a guarantee of future sales as not all pending sales make it to the closing table, and those that do may take more than 30 days to complete. In August, Walton County saw double digit pending sale increases over the year before but that growth did not translate into higher sales in September. Pending sales are higher this month than in September last year, as well, but we will have to wait and see what that means for October sales.

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 2012 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.

Comments

  1. Would you say that this is basically going on around the country? I’m thinking about buying a new home, but I’m not sure that I have the right kind of knowledge to make such a purchase. If the reports around the nation are similar, then maybe it is time for me to buy a new house. Do you have any other real estate buying tips?

  2. It’s nice to know that the prices of single family homes are steady right now. I’m going to have to get one very soon, so I’ll start looking around. I’ll see what my wife thinks about which home I get!

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