State of Real Estate in Scenic 30A's Major Towns

April 2, 2014 by Linda Miller

I was showing property last weekend when the Buyer asked me, “Well, are we back to 2005 prices?” He had been suffering from “analysis paralysis” since we looked about 18 months ago, and now he realized that prices are up and inventory is down from when he looked before.  That’s what happens when you wait & worry…so, now he is ready to buy and we wrote an offer that day. 

Those 18 months gave the average price plenty of time to rise 17% and the inventory to go down 42%. He had 84 homes & condos to choose from when we looked in July of 2012 and last week we only had 49 to choose from.

Being the number cruncher that I am, I decided to research his question  with stats from our multiple listing service to see just what exactly is happening in South Walton real estate by the numbers. Compared to 2005, the market on Scenic Highway 30A is back! There were 30% more transactions in 2013 than in 2005, and the total volume exceeded 2005 by $18 million, but the average sale was down 20%. The average home price on Scenic 30A last year was $731,970, while the average price was $923,551 in 2005, so there is still some upside for appreciation if getting back to 2005 is your goal, as it is for my buyer.

But it’s a different market today. It’s not a speculative, flipping market like it was in 2005 and most  buyers today intend  to keep their property. They pay with cash or they have 30% to put into a mortgage in order to take advantage of the low interest rates available today, so they have “skin in the game”.

Many people are buying their retirement homes now and have the opportunity to rent them  and let someone else help them pay off that mortgage, while they get the tax breaks of owning investment property. Their family has the chance to come back to their own beach house every year and make memories in a familiar, friendly community where they feel like they are back at home at the most beautiful beaches in the world!

Sunset from the grand porch of Il Castello Di Sabbia - new construction in Paradise by the Sea

Looking at the annual sales chart for 2013, you will see that Rosemary Beach ended the year with a 17% increase in the average sales price of $1,443,768. and Scenic 30A’s average price is $731,970. an increase of 15%. Once again, we can clearly see evidence that the traditional neighborhood development’s home values outperform home values outside of such communities. We sold 56 homes and condos last year and ended the year with only 51 available to sell.

So what exactly sold? Twenty five homes were sold on the park side of Rosemary Beach with an average price of $1,168,300. The range of selling prices were from $550,000 for a 1,044 sq. ft. home on Hamilton Lane, (built in 2004), to $2,300,000 for a NEW custom 4,918 sq. ft. home on Wiggle Lane. Condos on the park side ranged from $375,000 in Lofts at Barrett Square to $982,750. in Barrett Place.

On the gulf side of Rosemary Beach, 18 homes sold with an average price of $2,129,333. We fondly refer to the walk across Scenic Hwy 30A as the “million dollar walk” and now you can see why! Prices range from $1,200,000 for 2,650 sq. ft. on S. Belize (built in 1999) to $4,350,000 for 4,431 sq ft on W Water St, where a Bobby  McAlpine carriage house built in 2007, was bought and a custom main house completed in 2011. One condo sold in the Mercado building for $1,000,000.

What about Gulf front?  Two homes sold with an average price of $1,166/sq. ft. and both of those were on 34’ lots. On Winward Lane, the home  sold for $2,900,000 with 2,500 sq. ft. (built in 2001). On Spanish Town Lane the home sold for $3,775,000 with 3,222 sq. ft. (built in 2005). Currently there are only two homes available to buy on the gulf in Rosemary Beach and I believe we have one of those sold, so there will only be one!

Guess what the average sale was for January 2014? $1,675,000! And we sold six homes…so only 49 left! I sure hope you don’t have “Analysis Paralysis”.

If you come by our office, we have a four-year sales history that clearly shows the bottom of the market in 2010. Rosemary Beach average prices are UP 48% since then so it may help you make intelligent decisions whether you are a BUYER or a SELLER.

We love to talk about real estate  and we are open seven days a week. You will be greeted with a smile…promise!

Puchase Il Castello Di Sabbia (top photo), located on the Gulf in Paradise by the Sea between Alys Beach and Rosemary Beach for $9,750,000 - more info at

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