September 2010 SoWal Real Estate Summary
October 6, 2010 by Murray Balkcom
It would be short of me to cover real estate without talking about why people want to be at the beaches in South Walton.
The cool weather blew in out of the north just in time for Fall at the beaches in South Walton.
Most vacationers have returned to work and school, leaving the most beautiful time of the year in SoWal to the locals and the occasional visitors.
Many people come to the beaches of South Walton for their summer vacations, but for many of us locals, we embrace the incredible weather of October. The emerald-green gulf water sparkles with clarity, almost like looking at water through a glass Coca-Cola bottle.
High temperatures are in the lower 80′s, with lows down into the 50′s, giving you a chance to open those windows and doors and reconnect with the beauties of nature. (Some of you homeowners in WaterColor, WaterSound, Rosemary Beach, Seaside, etc, will be lucky enough to enjoy it when you come for Homeowner’s Weekend this month.)
Wildflowers are beginning their Fall bloom here in Northwest Florida and can be see around the coastal dune lakes, state parks, forests, and scenic roadsides. It is all of these things that make people fall in love with South Walton and buy property here at the beach.
WHERE MONEY IS BEING SPENT
Look at the chart below based on Realtor reported sales, and you will get a quick glance of where money is being spent. Homes (detached) continue to dominate the market. With so much current interest being in homes, it may be a good time to start thinking about out-of-mind residential homesites, town homes, or condos. There are some great values currently on the market.
PENDING SALES ARE UP
With the exception of the oil spill scare (Deep Water Horizon) months of May, June and July, pending sales are up each month in 2010, compared to 2009. Late July, when the rig was capped, confidence grew as did the number of contracts being written. In fact, Emerald Coast Association of Realtors reports that South Walton pending sales for Homes, Condos & Town Homes increased 67% from June to July. Since that low in June, monthly pending sales have increased each month through September. Comparing Sept to that low month of June, we ended September with 128% more pending sales. Comparing Sept 2010 to Sept 2009, we saw an increase of 13% in the number of properties going under contract. The graph below shows those numbers.
WILL PENDING SALES LEAD TO CLOSED SALES?
Pending sales do not always lead to closed sales, but they are a good indicator of what we may see in the way of closed sales in the future. With many properties being listed as short sales, we are seeing closing periods being extended. I’ve seen short sales which close in as little as three months from the contract date, and I’ve seen other which take 12+ months to close. With September closed sales declining in September, I suspect that many are due to longer closing periods. We will certainly continue to monitor the activity as we progress through Fall. With so many pending sales, we can only guess that we may also see an increase in closed sales during the next few months.
If you, or someone you know, are interested in buying or selling property in South Walton, please contact Murray Balkcom, GRI, Realtor with The Premier Property Group, or go to dreamBIGproperties.com and search for properties on your own to get an overview of the market and currently listed properties.
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All sales data referenced above is provided by Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and is thought to be accurate but not guaranteed.
Murray Balkcom is a licensed Realtor with The Premier Property Group, serving South Walton, including Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest, WaterSound, Seagrove, Seaside, WaterColor, Grayton Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Dune Allen, and Point Washington.