January 2011 SoWal Real Estate Report

February 16, 2011 by Murray Balkcom

On January 11, I reported that both the number of sales AND the median sold price for homes in Rosemary Beach  actually increased in 2010.

That wasn’t the case for the overall market in SoWal. But let's look at some other positive changes. How did real estate sales move in January?

Let’s begin by looking at condos in South Walton. Since mid 2009, we have seen some stabilization in the number of condos sold in South Walton, especially when you look at the six-month moving average.

In addition, since July 2010, the median sold prices of condos in South Walton have trended upward about 19% during that time. Again I ask, are we possibly seeing a  turn in the market?  


Shifting the focus to homes (detached) for a moment, with December 2010 sales in South Walton being much higher than anticipated, we find that the number of sales in Jan 2011 has decreased quite a bit, compared to

December. However, we get a more accurate picture of the market when we look how Jan home sales in 2011 compare to January sales in previous months, and some of the numbers are looking great. The quantity of home sales in Jan 2011 is 83% higher than those sold in Jan 2007.

The median sold price of homes sold during January in South Walton has decreased steadily since 2007.  (Median sold price and quantity sold have an inverse relationship.) Sold dollar volume remains fairly steady during that same period.

In recent history, home sales have dominated the South Walton market, followed by condos, residential lots, then town homes, in regards to quantity of sales. In January 2011, it seems that condo sales are closing that gap. There are some incredible prices on condos right now, and cash buyers are snapping them up quickly, targeting the suppressed market.

When we look at the big picture of the market in South Walton, combining homes, condos and town homes, we see that in January 2011 was the strongest January since 2005, for quantity of sales. That is a powerful market indicator.  January 2011 saw a 29% increase of sales compared to the previous January.

Another indicator of potential future sales are pending properties. Using that combined category of homes, condos, and town homes, compared to Jan 2010, the quantity of pending sales in Jan 2011 has increased 67%. I thought December 2010 had a high number of pending sales with 133 reported to ECAR. However, in January 2011, that number spiked to the highest we’ve seen in the last year, with 192 reported pending sales. That is a 44% increase in pending sales in just one typically slow month.

Will the sales in 2011 be as strong as the market indicators are leading us to believe? Stay tuned — anything can happen.


Murray Balkcom's picture

A licensed realtor and outdoor enthusiast. 

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