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PALM COAST, FL – December 7, 2020 – Since the V-shaped housing recovery began in June, the Flagler County and Palm Coast home sales engine has been cranking non-stop. Pick any metric (except for housing affordability) and the arrow point in a positive direction.
Home Sales Are Up
Final results for November are still dribbling in, but the number of Flagler County single-family homes reported as sold through MLS is impressive; 257 vs 192 during the same month one year ago, up 33.9%. The year started out on a strong note. Year-over-year, January, February, and March sales were up 25.7%, 12.0%, and 16.7% respectively. The Covid-19 shutdown reduced April sales by 13.0%. May sales were down 34.8%, but June sales were up 20.8%, followed by July (+35.7%), August (+31.6%), September (+61.0%), and October (+58.2%), showing a classic V-shaped recovery.
Year-to-date sales are equally impressive. While 2019 median prices rose 5.5% over 2018, the number of homes sold actually dropped 0.5%. Not so in 2020. YTD sales are up 20.0%.
Median Selling Prices Are Increasing
The November median price of single-family homes sold is up 12.5% year-over-year, following a 12.8% increase in October. YTD, the median price is up 7.2%. Sales Volume, the total value of all single-family home sales, is up 33.2% YTD. Since June, monthly home median prices have been at or above $260,000, exceeding the housing bubble peak of $259,950 reached in December 2005.
Builders Are Building New Homes and Buying Land for the Future
136 single-family building permits were issued within the county in November. This compares to only 74 during November 2019. YTD, single-family permits are up 33.4%.
Three significant land purchases by builders closed during November.
Palm Coast Lot Sales Are Booming
ITT originally platted over 40,000 lots when it planned Palm Coast. The majority are 10,000 square feet. Exclusive of saltwater canal lots and golf course lots, these lots could be described as commodity lots. During the market bubble, ITT lot prices shot up from the low teens to $76,000 each as speculators competed with builders for vacant lots. Prices returned to the teens when the bubble burst.
There are still roughly 12,000 - 13,000 vacant ITT lots in Palm Coast. At the beginning of 2019, the median price for ITT lots was $20,000. The price rose to $22,000 by the end of the year. With increasing demand, primarily from builders, prices have continued to rise, reaching a median price of $30,000 in November.
Duplex homes are typically investor-owned. Increased activity in the duplex market signals long term confidence in the rental market. Only seven duplex permits were issued by Palm Coast in 2016. Duplex permits in Palm Coast increased to 32 in 2018 and 95 in 2019. Duplex permits through November are up 33.3% above the same period last year. Only five duplex homes are currently listed for sale. Ten duplexes are under contract. Six of the ten were on the market only one day before going under contract.
Upscale Market Is Hot
Through November, 35 Flagler County homes sold for $1,000,000 or more, nine of them for over $2,000,000. During the same period last year, 25 homes sold for $1,000,000 with only one sale reported above $2,000,000.
Inventory is at record low levels
Since the pandemic began, the number of Flagler County single-family homes listed for sale through MLS has dropped below 800, then below 700, then below 600 only six weeks later. In late November, the available inventory had dropped below 500. In another "never been seen before" moment, the number of homes with pending sales contracts exceeds the number of homes available for sale. There is more than twice the number of Realtors in Flagler County than there are available homes listed for sale.
Toby Tobin: REALTOR®
I'm a licensed Florida REALTOR® affiliated with Grand Living Realty in Palm Coast, Fla. As a real estate consultant to developers/builders, homebuyers, and sellers, and as a journalist, I have years of experience and a treasure trove of relevant data and local institutional knowledge.
Call me at (386) 931-7124 or email me at Toby@GoToby.com.
Listen to my radio show, Real Estate Matters, every Saturday morning right after the 11:00 A.M. news break on WNZF News Radio at 1550 AM or 94.9 FM. Download the Flagler Radio App from the App Store so you can hear Real Estate Matters from anywhere in the world.