SoWal Home Prices on the Rise

October 19, 2011 by Jennifer Howard

Good news based on recent figures from Metro Market Trends - the price of new homes and condominiums rose in Okaloosa and Walton counties last month as compared to prices a year ago.

In Walton County, the average price of a single-family home jumped nearly $20,000, from $413,483 to 433,016. In Okaloosa, the average price for a single-family home went from $215,472 in 2010 to $219,251 in 2011.

An interesting fact is illustrated in these numbers: Walton County, particularly south of Choctawhatchee Bay,  has substantially higher average home sales prices than its neighboring counties.  Why?  We have a real estate shortage created by good planning in South Walton.

The four-story height limit restricts the number of available housing units.  The plenitude of homes and high-rise condos in Okaloosa County in fact lowered the value.  The state’s purchase of almost 58,000 acres of undeveloped land and placing it in a conservation preserve in effect took about 1/3 of all land off the market.  Consequently, property values are higher in South Walton.

Back to the initial set of data: if you are looking for a home today vs. a year ago, the numbers show you can expect to pay more for a single-family home.  Although most analysts never again expect to see the crazy run-up in home prices that we saw in 2004/2005, delaying a purchase means you will likely pay more.

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