Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fall Market Update

The weather lately has been absolutely beautiful. The air feels great outside, and it makes sense again why so many owners block off their homes from the rental market and come and enjoy them for themselves in October. We still haven’t had any oil, and it looks like the Gulf Coast is going to be just fine. Come on down and enjoy it for yourself.

There hasn’t been a huge flood of buyers back in the market now that the oil threat is moving on, but there has been a steady flow. I currently have 7 properties under contract, which is the most I’ve had at any one time since before the oil threat began. There are a total of 70 properties under contract, which is another solid number. There don't seem to be any serious concerns about oil that are still keeping buyers from acting.

Everything points to 2010 still having the most number of properties sell since 2005. The majority of prices haven’t started going back up, but the discounts have remained enough to get buyers to purchase. It's also the first time in years that buying is cheaper than renting in some situations. Many sales have resulted when banks and other sellers have put prices out there so low that people just can’t pass them up. I have 2 listings under contract now that received multiple offers before going under contract. I have also had 2 buyers in the last 10 days that made offers on properties that received multiple offers and our offers were not the highest and best. My point here is to illustrate that the best deals are getting significant interest.

More good news is that we are having a bonus red snapper season this fall. The season will include Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning Oct. 1 and extending for eight consecutive weekends through Sunday, Nov. 21. That gives fishermen an extra 24 days to enjoy Gulf red snapper fishing at a time when the weather is usually very nice and on weekends when most people are able to take off from work. The first two weekends of this season brought down a nice extra crowd of fisherman and visitors. It seems everybody is catching a limit of good red snapper except me. I’ve been busy the past few weekends working with interested buyers looking around for a deal of their own.

One of my favorite events in Mexico Beach is The Art and Wine Festival. This event is being held Saturday, October 16th, at The Driftwood Inn. The event will feature local seafood, fine wines, live auction, musical entertainment, and plenty of amazing artwork.

# of Sales 2009 vs 2010

Last year from 1/1/09-10/6/2009- 206 Sales
This year from 1/1/09-10/6/2010- 302 Sales

Remember, more property sold in 2009 than any year since 2005, so there is a significant amount of buying going on in 2010. Around ½ of the sales remain either short sales or foreclosures. The prices for homes have remained much steadier than the vacant lot market. There will be a sale every now and then for a home at a higher price and then one or two at a lower price, but it’s been pretty steady with the home prices lately. There are a good number of vacant lots selling, but it’s taking big discounts to attract the buyers, and we have seen some new lower selling prices for vacant property. The lower priced properties are continuing to get the attention this year while the gulf front and other higher end properties are selling very slowly. Out of over 300 sales this year, only 28 properties have sold for more than $300,000 and only 9 have sold for more than $500,000. A big reason for this is obviously that prices are down so much that many properties that were once selling for over $500K are now selling for well under $300K. There have been many great deals and it's unbelievable how cheap some of the vacant lots are selling for these days.

Financing rates remain incredible. Thanks to Amber Lowry (850-227-4492) at Vision Bank for helping me this week with a rate update. I’ll also add that for mortgages on primary homes, there are options available with 0% down and other programs that only require 10% down. For a second home, plan to put down at least 20%. Investment loans and vacant lot loans remain much more difficult to acquire and don't have near as attractive rates. 30yr loans are as low as 4.25% and there are 15yr products that are as low as 3.625%. With rates that low, if you purchased a $200,000 second home with 20% down and got a 30 yr mortgage at 4.375%, your principal and interest payment is $798/month. Not bad. There is an easy to use loan calculator on my website if you would like to figure up payments for any loan scenarios.

I have been updating the Top 25 on MEXICOBEACHSALES.COM at least twice a week and have added a section with the best deals on The Cape. Below are some of my favorite deals right now. There are good deals not featured on our MLS which can’t be included on the links below. You can find those at MEXICOBEACHSALES.COM. Still included on the site is all listed foreclosures/shortsales, recent sales, and other interesting information.

Best Deals on the Market:
Mexico Beach/St. Joe Beach/Windmark
Vacant lots: http://www.rafsg.net/RAFSGReports/ListitLib/show_report.aspx?ID=1206725496
Residences: http://www.rafsg.net/RAFSGReports/ListitLib/show_report.aspx?ID=1206725499

Cape San Blas/Indian Pass
Residences: http://www.rafsg.net/RAFSGReports/ListitLib/show_report.aspx?ID=1206725503
Vacant Lots: http://www.rafsg.net/RAFSGReports/ListitLib/show_report.aspx?ID=1206726656

Port St. Joe

Please let me know if I can assist with any of your buying or selling needs.

Take care,

Zach Childs
Broker-Port St. Joe Realty
Cell: 850-819-0833