September 2017: Sales Slump Across Emerald Coast

Beyond the single bright spot of condo and townhome sales across the Emerald Coast, residential real estate sales fell in September when compared to the same time last year. Condo sales were up 30 percent in Walton County, which helped boost the overall Emerald Coast number to an increase of nearly 27 percent but elsewhere, sales were down. October may not look much brighter as pending sales were generally lower than last year across the board. 

What happened and what does it mean going into winter? September hurricanes certainly didn’t help the Emerald Coast real estate market even though we weren’t directly impacted like other parts of the state and the Gulf Coast region. Not enough new inventory coming on the market is also a factor. As inventory continues to shrink, buyers have less options to choose from and may decide to wait a little longer before buying.  

Single Family Home Sales

Emerald Coast

  • Closed sales decreased 3.1% 
  • Pending sales decreased 12.3% 
  • Median prices increased8% 
  • Inventory decreased 10.2%
  • Months supply decreased 16.7% to 4.5 months of inventory

Okaloosa County

  • Closed sales decreased 0.3%
  • Pending sales decreased 10.7%
  • Median prices decreased 3.1%
  • Inventory decreased 9.8%
  • Months supply decreased 17.1% to 3.4 months of inventory

Walton County

  • Closed sales decreased 4.7% 
  • Pending sales decreased 0.5%
  • Median prices increased 17.6% 
  • Inventory decreased 7.8%
  • Months supply decreased 13.9% to 6.2 months of inventory

Townhouse and Condo Sales

Emerald Coast

  • Closed sales increased 26.9%
  • Pending sales decreased 7.9%
  • Median prices decreased 4.2%
  • Inventory decreased 20.1%
  • Months supply decreased 32.3% to 6.5 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 9.0 months of inventory 

Walton County

  • Closed sales increased 30% 
  • Pending sales decreased 39.5% 
  • Median prices decreased 4.4% 
  • Inventory decreased 10.2% 
  • Months decreased 23% to 7.7 months of inventory 

A few things to remember…

Inventory continues to decrease year over year. Inventory is at it’s lowest level in more than five years when current reporting began. Other than single family homes in Okaloosa County, inventory levels are at or near healthy numbers. But some price points and some areas may not have enough inventory to keep up with demand which can result in new listings in desirable areas being sold quicker. This will also lead to a slow-down in sales as well as median price increases until new listings hit the market in greater numbers.

Pending sales were down in September when compared to last year. While it’s easy to imagine pending sales are an indication of the next month’s success (or failure), this isn’t always the case. If you recall, the August pending numbers were very high, but that clearly didn’t guarantee a high volume of sales in September. It will be interesting to see what happens in October.

Median prices were up and down across the Emerald Coast. Part of this is due to the type of inventory available for buyers and the types of buyers in the market. Investors will choose the lower priced properties while residential buyers may have to pay higher for the home they want due to lack of competition. Overall, prices are higher than in the past and values continue to increase over time. 

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.

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