Peak inventory for homes listed for sale in South Walton was September 2007, when 2118 homes were listed. Inventory of homes for sale in South Walton decreased 59% compared to peak inventory. We continue to see inventory levels decline most every month. In February, 2011, 1208 homes were listed for sale in South Walton, according to the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors. In February 2012, only 864 homes were listed in South Walton, the lowest level on record since May 2005. During the last twelve months alone, we’ve seen inventory of homes for sale in South Walton drop by 28%! Seaside, WaterColor, WaterSound, Rosemary Beach, & Seacrest Beach have all seen inventory levels drop over the last twelve months.
Why is this important information? Prices typically have an inverse relationship to inventory. As supply (inventory) goes up, price come down. As supply decreases, price tends to increase. For a long time, inventory levels have been too high. Many properties which were on the market were priced well beyond what buyers were willing to pay. Much of that inventory is now off the market as sellers realize that they weren’t really willing to sell at market value. Other properties are no longer on the market as banks have taken back and sold properties or allowed short sales, at prices which buyers are willing to pay.
In February, it was good to see the newly listed properties coming on the market at prices more similar to the prices of properties which are selling. Reasonable listing prices and decreased inventory will eventually lead to higher prices if you believe supply/demand curves.
If you are a buyer, you are well-aware that the better properties which are priced reasonably, are selling fairly quickly. Buyers are back in the market, competing to purchase select properties. I’ve seen several properties sell for more than listing price, but on average, selling prices of homes in South Walton is about 90% of the list price. This number hasn’t fluctuated more than about three percent over the last several years. However, if you are a buyer, don’t get fooled into thinking that a great property which is priced to sell, is going to sell at a 10% discount. If you do, another buyer will likely beat you to it. As I often say, no single property is average. Each is unique. If you putz around too long, you will never buy the property which is meant for you. Do your research, know a good deal when you see it, and be ready to make an offer when the right property comes your way.
There’s an app for that... Remember to download my free app to quickly find real estate for sale while out and about in South Walton or the Destin area. Using the “HomeSpotter” feature, just point your phone at a house for sale and learn more about it with full listing details and photos by tapping the screen! If you need help understanding how to use it, call me.
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If you are considering selling or buying real estate, in South Walton, or know someone who is, please call Murray to help you make a wise decision.
Murray Balkcom is a licensed Realtor with The Premier Property Group, serving South Walton, including the beach neighborhoods of Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest, WaterSound, Seagrove, Seaside, WaterColor, Grayton Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Dune Allen, and Point Washington.
All sales data referenced above is provided by Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and is thought to be accurate but not guaranteed.