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Bullish on 2013: Palm Coast and Flagler Housing Markets in Full Recovery

| December 7, 2012

flagler palm coast real estate market recovery 2013 don toby

Flagler County’s real estate market is reconstructing itself. (Images Money)

By Toby Tobin

There is no historic precedent for the current housing market. Never before have so many homeowners been underwater, owing more than their home is worth. Housing market cycles tend to be about 18 months long. We are now seven years from the apex of the bubble.

Most observers do not recognize a market turnaround until prices begin to rise. Now beginning to rise, prices are a lagging indicator of the market’s direction. Local home sales peaked in June 2005 when 338 Flagler County single-family homes were sold through Flagler MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Sales dropped an astonishing 48.5 percent in the following six months. Median selling prices continued a momentum driven rise, gaining 21.2 percent during the same period.

Sales lead prices during the downturn. Home sales bottomed out in January 2008 and have risen slowly but steadily since. But driven by momentum, prices continued to decline for four more years.
In January, I said that we would look back at the end of this year and say WOW! The signs of a sellers’ market were there, but the buyers and sellers hadn’t yet noticed. There was no sense of urgency among potential buyers.

Now they are noticing.

November home sales are still being reported, but are already comfortably ahead of last year’s. It was the 19th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and the third month of a year-over-year rise in the median selling price.

Have we returned to a normal market? No, it’s still crazy in many ways, magnified locally well beyond national statistics. Only 46.8 percent of November Flagler home sales were non-distressed. The balance was either lender-owned (24.5 percent) or short sales (28.8 percent). Cash sales accounted for 54 percent of all sales. The average lender-owned selling price was slightly higher than the average listing price. Bidding wars are becoming more common.


The table below is revealing. Note that the market mix remains very stable. The percentage of foreclosed homes sold by lenders is unchanged from a year ago, as is the percentage sold via short sales. Cash sales continue to represent about 54 percent of all home sales. So the apparent strengthening of the market cannot be attributed to a decrease in the sale of distressed properties or to an easing of lending or appraisal standards. It’s a result of basic fundamentals–decreasing inventory and increasing demand.

The number of homes sold is up. So too is the total value of homes sold. Days on Market (DOM) is down in nearly all segments, while the median selling price is rising across the board. The median selling price per square foot is on the upswing. Twice as many single-family home building permits were issued. The inventory of homes listed for sale in Flagler MLS is down while the number of homes under a sales contract is up.

I expect momentum to build into 2013. All segments of the market are rising. Home and condominium sales are up, both at the low and high end. Lot sales, a predictor of imminent new housing starts, are brisk. Developers are making commitments. New businesses are opening. Employment is improving. European Village has four new restaurants preparing to open in the next few months.

Single-Family Home Sales, Flagler-Palm Coast

November 2011

November 2012
Percent Change
Total sales value
$19,441,030
$22,927,089
17.9%
Homes sold
129
139
7.8%
Median selling price
$113,000
$131,000
15.9%
Sell price as % of List
93.89%
96.14%
2.4%
Short sales
28.7%
28.8%
0.3%
Lender-owned sales
24.0%
24.5%
2.1%
Cash sales
54.3%
54.0%
-0.5%
Average cost per square foot
$74.20
$78.52
5.8%
Homes for sale
991
860
-13.2%
Homes under contract
508
537
5.7%
Days on Market: all homes
90
69
23.3%
Days on Market: non-distressed
83
33
-60.2%
Days on Market: lender-owned
29
46
58.6%
Days on Market: short sales
156
139
-10.9%
Days on Market: cash sales
88.5
65
-24%
Median sale price: short-sales
$100,000
$101,000
1%
Median sale price: lender-owned
$95,000
$127,000
33.7%
Median sale price: cash sales
$100,500
$115,000
14.4%
Median sale price: non-distressed
$139,500
$147,000
5.4%
Building permits
10
20
100%
Source: GoToby

Don “Toby” Tobin, a licensed Realtor, publishes GoToby.com, where this piece originally appeared.

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6 Responses for “Bullish on 2013: Palm Coast and Flagler Housing Markets in Full Recovery”

  1. Scrooge says:

    Thank the…….Lord ( Am I still allowed to mention him/her ) Now I can finally sell my Palm Coast home for 1/4 of what I paid for it and escape this “nightmare city” before the BIG SUPER DUPER HURRICANE of 2013 comes in and levels this place. That’s if we survive the “End of the World” thingy which is only two weeks away from today………………..Merry Christmas !!!!!!!

  2. Lonewolf says:

    You know what we need to do? Cancel all the impact fees! you know, to spur growth

    • MHB says:

      keep the impact fees; houses here are too cheap as it is; housing is an economic factor, but hardly a reliable long-term “industry” (as hopefully we all have seen); government needs the (?) income

  3. palmcoastpioneers says:

    ”State of Palm Coast 2012′ – perhaps the City can write ‘State of Palm Coast’ every year as was done in the past. This way we Palm Coasters can pass on all the positives to friends, relatives, and any prospective buyers as we successfully did to promote ‘The Palm Coast Project’ all last Century.

    THE STATE OF PALM COAST

    The State of Palm Coast
    On February 4, 1987, ITT Community Development Corporation President Jim Gardner delivered his State of Palm Coast address to the Palm Coast Civic Association. He reported ‘nothing but good news,’ and included in that category were challenges ahead for ITT CDC and local citizens. Here are excerpts:
    ‘The taxable value of the Palm Coast Service District has increased almost 600 percent since 1980, from 102 million to 566 million at the end of 1986. During that time the population increased from about 4,500 to almost 10,000 today. In other words, while the population has doubled, the assessed value for tax purposes has increased almost six times. Economic growth is the primary reason…bringing in more tax revenues without additional burden on residents…
    Palm Coast emerging personality is a combination of our company activity and the strong, ongoing commitment of residents and local government…Palm Coast has matured to the stage where responsibilities for public services are being picked up by the public- a sign of a healthy, progressive community…
    For years, CDC was the only game in town. That isn’t true anymore. We have a good balance here now…industry, recreation, outside businesses coming in, healthy competition in the marketplace, government facilities, public services, schools, activities and residents who are making a difference. We remain the major catalyst, but our involvement in the running of this community is demising , as Palm Coast residents move toward self-government and self-reliance…
    Palm Coast citizens are moving ahead on many fronts…
    The quality of our school system, the physical plant, the instructional staff, are all expanding because of the citizens perceived the need and were willing to meet it:
    A group of citizens bucked the many obstacles and went doggedly ahead to create from their own pockets and sweat a new rifle and archery range available to the public;
    The Service District Advisory council, the fire department and county staff are engaged with us in a program to establish a new central fire station west of I 95.
    the Civic Association is completing work on a major expansion of the RV storage compound – a place that allows the community to enforce rules against parking of vehicles in residential areas;
    The Humane Society is pushing for expansion of its center;
    The Chamber of Commerce has started work on its new headquarters building;A group of citizens is involved in an intensive study of our local governments with a full public review planned….so we can mutually decide on what our government should be in the future;
    The Civic Association has joined in seeking tougher enforcement to the covenants and restrictions that help to assure our high quality of life;
    and the civic Association is getting primed to initiate a community wide cleanup effort so that the junkers, refuse dumpers and garden-variety litterbugs will, where possible, be prosecuted, and citizens will be enlisted to help clean up their own neighborhood.
    The list could go on and on, for with every new project completion, another gets started.
    I’d also like to take a look into the crystal ball for 1987 with these predictions:
    1,300 new residents are expected to arrive;
    FAA classes will begin in the fall;
    Construction on the bridge will be well underway;You’ll be shopping and dining out at St. Joe Plaza, eating chicken from The Colonel, seeing Wal Mart nearing completion, stopping by two lil’ Champ stores, taking pets to a new vet clinic, visiting doctors, dentists and professional at new office buildings on Old Kings Road;
    Preliminary work on our fourth golf Course in Cypress Knoll, the Cypress Knoll Golf Course;
    Wadsworth Elementary School will open its doors this fall.
    There will be many others, but suffice to say Palm Coast is booming, and tomorrow looks to be even better than today”

    The Palm Coaster, Spring 1987, p. 16.

  4. Gia says:

    Palm Coast should not grow now, it’s ridiculous. We are too many anyway.

  5. Glad I left Palm Coast says:

    Jobs, Jobs and high paying jobs is what is going to save this fuedalistic county where the rich screw the hard working people of decent wages, and good quality of living. Get rid of the scum imported from the urban areas up north and Palm Coast might be a good place to live again. I rented my house and moved away to get a better life for my self. I am making 3 times more a week now than I did working in Palm Coast where would you go if you had a family to feed and provide health care that was affordable? Not in Flagler County thats for sure. When the market recovers sell!!!!! and get out this city. It will not get better with Jim Lanjerk still working for himself and his cronies.

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