l was showing property last weekend when my buyer asked, “Well, are we back to 2005 prices?” He had been suffering from “analysis paralysis” since we looked at homes 18 months earlier. He quickly saw that prices are up and inventory is down from when he looked before. Many buyers today are experiencing the downside of “wait and wonder.” Over the past 18 months, prices have risen 17% and inventory has declined 42%. My buyer had 84 homes and condos to choose from when we looked in July 2012 and, last week, we only had 49 to choose from in Rosemary Beach. He found a home he wanted wrote a contract immediately. No more waiting.
Being the “number cruncher” that I am, I decided to research his question with stats from our MLS to see just what is happening with local real estate compared to 2005.
Clearly, the market on Scenic Hwy 30-A is back! in 2013, there were 30% more real estate transactions than in 2005 and the total sales volume exceeded 2005 by $18 million. Interestingly, the average sales price was down 20% from 2005 prices. The average home price on Scenic Hwy 30-A last year was $731,970, while the average price in 2005 was $923,551. To me, that means there is still some upside for appreciation if getting back to 2005 is your goal, like my buyer.
But its a different market today. Its 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 lucrative interest rates available today. Many people are buying their retirement homes NOW and have the opportunity to put them in our rental program and then apply that rental income to their mortgage, while enjoying tax breaks of owning investment property. Their family has the chance to come back to their “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!
Looking at the Annual Sales Chart for 2013, you will see that Rosemary Beach ended the year an average sales price of $1,443,768, up 17% from the year before. Scenic Hwy 30-As average price year-end price was $731,970, an increase of 15%. Once again, we can clearly see evidence that the Traditional Neighborhood Development’s home value outperforms home values not in 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 in Rosemary Beach Park Side, with an average price of $1,168,300. The range of selling prices were from $550,000 for a 1044 sq. ft. home on Hamilton Lane, (built in 2004), to $2,300,000 for a NEW custom 4918 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 30-A as the “million dollar walk” and now you can see why! Prices range from $1,200,000 for 2650 sq. ft. on South Belize (built in 1999) to $4,350,000 for 4431 sq. ft. on West 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 $1166 per sq. ft. and both of those were on 34′ lots. On Windward Lane, a home sold for $2,900,000 with 2500 sq. ft. (built in 2001). On Spanish Town Lane, a home sold for $3,775,000 with 3222 sq. ft. (built in 2005). Currently, there are only two homes available to buy on the gulf in Rosemary Beach and they are both getting a lot of attention.
How are we starting off 2014? The average sale for January was $1,675,000 During the month, we sold six homes, leaving only 49 in inventory.
Don’t have “Analysis Paralysis.” Come by our offices at North Barrett Square and see our Four-year Sales History Chart. We love to talk about real estate and we are open seven days a week. You will be greeted with a smile… promise!