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Flagler Homes’ Median Sale Price Up 28% Over Last Year as Investors Keep Buying

| July 22, 2013

It's selling. (Autumnsonata)

It’s selling. (Autumnsonata)

The latest Flagler County and Palm Coast housing snapshot reveals no spectacular gains in June, but continue a fitful trend of steady if slow improvements on several counts, according to June figures released by the Flagler County Association of Realtors.

In all, sales closed on 200 single-family homes in June. That’s 13 fewer sales than a year ago. And half those sales were for cash. That usually means they’re investor-bought houses. But the median sale price of $144,500 is a 28 percent improvement over last year and the best figure February 2009, when median prices had fallen to $150,000. Prices bottomed out at around $108,000 in September 2011.

Flagler County’s improving home prices are in line with improvements down the coast of Florida: Brevard’s prices increased 13.5 percent over last year, Broward’s went up 23 percent.

But investor-bought homes are powering much of the activity. In the first six months of 2013, Palm Coast was the national leader in house-flipping—the speculative quick buying and selling of homes that fueled the housing boom and accentuated the crash—with 37 percent of sales flipped in the first half of the year. Omaha was second, and Daytona Beach third. Hedge funds and private equity firms are behind the buying spree.

Banks are willing to relax lending terms a little (some banks are beginning to offer zero-percent mortgages for the first six months of a loan, with borrowers paying on the capital but not paying interest, though the deferred interest cost is simply added to the overall cost of the mortgage). But they are also held back from returning to cheap money by rising mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed rate is up to 4.37 percent, from last year’s 3.5 percent.

In Flagler, homes in June were selling at 93 percent of their original list price, a slight improvement from last year’s 90 percent.

The median number of days those homes spent on the market was 71, an increase of eight days from last year. There were 917 houses listed in June, down 26 percent from last year’s 1,239 (and a high of more than 2,000 in October 2010) and equating to about five months’ supply of housing locally, with 261 new pending sales, an increase of almost 24 percent over last year, and 262 new listings. The majority of the new listings are in the $100,000 to $200,000 range, with two houses valued at more than $1 million also on the list.

Looking at home sales more closely, 157 of the sales were in traditional transaction, 23 were foreclosure sales, and 20 were short sales, with short sales fetching the lowest median price of $122,225 and traditional sales fetching $153,500. More than half the total sales were for houses in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. Seven homes sold in the upper range of between $600,000 and $1 million. No houses sold at more than that, while 44 houses sold for less than $100,000.

The townhouses and condominium market is a bit cooler. The Flagler County Association of Realtors reports 35 sales in June, compared to 36 at this time last year, with 24 of those sales for cash, getting a median sale price of $157,000—a 50 percent improvement over last year—and an average sale price of $179,000. All but five of those sales were traditional transactions.

Townhouses and condos spent an average of 89 days on the market, a nearly 18 percent decline from last year’s 108 days. They’re fetching almost 91 percent of their original list price, up from 88 percent last year.

There are 274 units currently listed, down from 405 last year, for an inventory equivalent to 7.6 months of local supply.

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4 Responses for “Flagler Homes’ Median Sale Price Up 28% Over Last Year as Investors Keep Buying”

  1. BW says:

    Please check again with FCAR and clarify what search criteria makes up those figures, because they seem slightly off.

    Flipping is a part of attraction, but that is slowing considerably. The “flips” were driven mostly by rehab homes that were being acquired for little cost and an increase in demand, but that selection is less and less. Many investors are now shifting towards purchase to rent out.

    But we also have quite a few people moving here to live here and building has improved. For the first time in a couple of years May and June saw declines in single-family homes closed compared to May and June of the year before. It’s understandable it light of the ever decreasing inventory of homes for sale. The selection is way down, but it’s also concerning.

  2. Honesty and Integrity are not in the Democrats vocabulary says:

    And wealthy investors, once again, want to thank the Democrats for their failed, race baiting policies at Fannie and Freddie!!! Meanwhile, middle class tax payers get the over $250 BILLION BAILOUT

  3. Sherry Epley says:

    This is good news! The value of our homes is finally rebounding. Investors are always the first ones to take advantage of these kinds of situations, but the trend is in the right direction. Hurray for any help for the hard working, tax paying middle class. . . they are the foundation of our country!

  4. Sue says:

    I’ve kept an eye on the PC real estate market for 9 years, watching the MLS and home sales figures closely every day M-F. The prices bottomed out 2yrs ago, for sure, but…they remain very low and in my opinion, close to what the value of the homes should be, versus the inflated prices seen from, say, 2000-2005. When my youngest graduates from HS in 3yrs, my husband and I will be moving to FL, hopefully to PC. Having lived in NC now for 7+yrs, and having lived in NY the 19yrs before that, and in ME the 19yrs before that, we’ve kept our eyes on the real estate market and job market all up and down the east coast. Middle management jobs pay way more in FL than they do in NC, and in most cases, pay more than what they do in the burbs of NYC (i.e. Nassau Cty, CT, Westchester, north Jersey). PC is a beautiful area. FL is biz friendly, JAX and St. Aug are relatively easy commutes (compared to NYC, Charlotte/Raleigh), and the climate is warmer (attractive for folks like me/husband because we spent so many yrs shoveling snow, driving in ice, etc). The fact that a 2000sq ft home built no older than 10yrs old, on at least .25-.5 acres of land, with a pool, less than 20 mins from the beach, can be purchased for under 200k, is HUGELY attractive. The price of that home in NC is well over 250k, the prop taxes are over 3k/yr, and in NY, that house would be close to 900k, and the prop taxes would be close to 30k/yr. So yes, PC is wildly attractive. If more empty nesters come to PC, that means more tax dollars but less strain on schools…also a win win for PC. My parents and grandparents are from FL (St. Pete, Tallahassee), and my in-laws are, too (Miami, JAX), so it’ll be nice to finally come “home.” I hope our children and their children (someday) call FL home, too. I will continue to watch the market and hope our dream of affordable housing isn’t shattered (like it was in 2005!). Good luck, y’all! ;-)

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