Real Estate Market Conditions on Panama City Beach – September

by October 8, 2008 • 0 comments

September 2008 Report – Panama City Beach

Slightly over 4.5 % of the total Beach inventory for detached single family homes sold in September,  down from slightly over 5% in August. If all things hold steady, there is over 19 months of inventory on the market. As of Oct 04, 2008 there were 750 DSF listed in the Bay County Association of REALTORS® MLS System for Panama City Beach. Out of the 34 homes that sold in September, 9 were foreclosures, 1 was a short sale, 3 were builder sales and the rest were typical sales. September 08 was 17% slower than August of 08 in total DSF’s sold, 34 compared to 41.  The foreclosure rate of sales for detached single family homes on the Beach fell slightly to 26.5% of all the sales for September compared to 30 % in August. The absorption rate decreased slightly from 5% to 4.5% but the overall inventory of DSF also fell from 780 to 750. Out of the 35 homes 1 canal front home sold. There were no other waterfront sales. The average price per square foot was $142, including all 34 homes. However, if we nixed the top and bottom 5 the average price per square foot actually rose to $147.16. The average days on the market for all 34 homes was 206, a 12.5% decrease compared to August, which was 236. As of October 4th there are 66 DSF under contract (about 8.8 %) and 750 listed. This is a 3% improvement over August .  These numbers overall are more positive than negative and reflect a slight strengthening. This is no time for elation but any sign of encouragement is welcomed.

2.6 % of the total Beach inventory of condominiums sold in September. This indicates a 38.5 month inventory of condominiums on the Beach and the statistics are basically the same for gulf front condo’s.  As of October 6th there were 1582 total condominium listings, 1090 of which are gulf front.  Out of the 41 total condominiums that sold in September only 4 were foreclosures (or slightly under 10%), one of which sold at auction, 5 were short sales (about 12 %), the other 78% were conventional sales. If gulf front condo’s were considered alone, all 25 sold for an average of $264.35 per square foot. If all condos are taken into consideration, the average price per square foot slips to $224.42. The average days on market for all condo’s sold is 134 and for gulf front only, 143 . As of October 6th there are 90 condos under contract out of 1582 total for the beach, or slightly over 5.6 %, and out of that there are 40 gulf front out of 1090 listed, a bit less than 3.7%.  The numbers in September trended negative for condos. The absorption rate decreased from 3% to 2.6%, the average price per square foot declined for all condos about 9% and for gulf front 9.25%. There were less than half as many foreclosures sold but a significant growth in short sales or pre-foreclosures. The silver lining is that the overall inventory decreased by 38 units.

No inventory for multi-family homes sold in September. There are 65 active listings and 2 under contract as of October 6th.

About 2.6% of attached family homes sold in September for a total of 7 sales out of 266 listings. This leaves about 38 months of inventory on the market.  There were 3 foreclosures sold out of the 7 and the average days on market was 88. The average price per square foot was $178.52. There are currently 19 units under contract. This sector of the market, though slipping a bit in absorption rate by about 1%, improved strongly in price per square foot, 22.5%, and decreased in average days on market by 26%. That is the bright spot in the market this month. It ought to be noted, however, the product that sold was a newer product across the board than last month’s sold inventory.

Sold Listed Avg DOM Avg Price/SF Mo’s of Inv Abs. Rate Forcl Undr Const
Detached Single Family
34 750 206 147.16 19 4.5% 26.5% 66
Condo’s Total Panama City Beach
41 1582 134 224.42 38.5 2.6% 10% 90
Condo’s Gulf Front Only
25 1090 143 264.35 27.7 3.6% 40
0 65
Attached Single Family
7 266 88 178.52 22.5 2.6% 42% 19

There are some things to keep in mind. One, these are snap shot reports not movies. There can be huge swings month to month which may yield either despair or elation depending on whether there is a sharp increase or decrease.

Second, these reports relate to posted listings and sales in the Bay County Association of REALTORS MLS System. Some sales occur “for sale by owner” or at auction.   The average days on market for a property to sell is based upon a selling price that is competitive with the average sale price per square foot of the units that have sold. One must even fine tune it further because the average sales price per square foot that sold ought to be more tailor fit for a particular property based on age, condition, and location.

Buyers should note that there are far more seller-sold deals moving in this market than there are foreclosures. It would be foolish to simply look at foreclosures as de facto, the best deal of all. Many sellers are equally or perhaps more motivated than many of the banks that own property. All of us need to realize that there is simply far too much inventory on the market and both REALTORS® and sellers would do the market a favor if they could pull inventory that is simply overpriced. The only way value will build again is when the absorption rate improves and inventory decreases.

If you’re overpriced now you have very little chance of moving your property. In this market, one should sell only if one must; it is not a wise time to sell if it is discretionary. Buyers should be strongly encouraged by these market conditions.

Guessing the bottom of the market is like guessing the bottom of the stock market. We have been in a three year price correction. Our airport is well underway, we have had major improvements, businesses have come to our area, our property taxes have been lowered, Lord willing we will escape hurricane season with little damage, our election cycle will be soon over, the dollar is beginning to strengthen once again, even insurance rates have been eased in most cases, interest rates are near historical lows and the war is seeming a bit more victorious than defeatist in the most recent months.

All these positives must weigh in against the challenges that we have faced both locally and nationally and we all hope, with good reason, that in fairly short order the momentum will shift and affect our market positively.   (The statistics provided above were all true as of September 2008 and were the product of  Bay County Association of REALTORS® MLS System.)

Scott Seidler GRI
Prudential   Shimmering Sands Realty

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