There’s The Hammock, and then there’s Not The Hammock
Palm Coast, FL – May 5, 2014 – Flagler County’s condominium market is not homogenous. It is really two separate markets. First, there’s The Hammock. These condominiums are within Hammock Dunes, Yacht Harbor Village, Hammock Beach and Cinnamon Beach. The second segment consists of everything else.
The Hammock condominiums include, Cinnamon Beach, Hammock Beach Ocean Towers, Hammock Beach Club, Hammock Beach Villas and in Hammock Dunes, Cambria, Casa Bella, La Grande Provence, Le Jardin, Portofino, Savona, Tuscany, Vascaya and Yacht Harbor Village.
During the first four months of 2014, 29 condominiums in The Hammock were reported as closed sales through MLS at a median selling price of $500,000. The average price per square foot was $242.82. Hammock sales accounted for 26.7% of all condominium unit sales in the county and 55.1% of total sales dollars.
The median selling price for Hammock condominiums during the first four months of 2013 was only $310,000, indicating a 61.3% increase this year. But the average price per square foot rose by only 18.9%. The increase in median selling price should not be taken alone as an increase in the value of all condominiums. It simply means that larger units were sold so far this year. Average $/SF is a better indicator of value shifts.
Apparently, some optimistic sellers disagree. 117 Hammock condos are currently listed at an average $299.06/SF, well above the first four month’s figure of $242.82. Bases on April sales, there are now 39 months of Hammock condo inventory on the market.
Cinnamon Beach registered no closed sales during April. This is likely, in part, due to the pending litigation between the condominium association and the developer over structural defects. The outcome of any lawsuit is unpredictable. Until it is resolved, it will likely continue to be viewed as an impediment to potential buyers. Currently, there are 25 Cinnamon Beach units listed for sale.
The Non-Hammock category includes several communities aimed at a budget-minded buyer. But they also include several beachfront, beach view, beach access or Intracoastal Waterway communities. This year-to-date, 61 Non-Hammock units have sold at a median price of $135,000 and averaged $108.44/SF. The current inventory level represents only 6.5 months of sales.
A drop in distressed sales has helped both categories. During the first four months of 2013, ten Hammock units were counted as distressed sales (short sale or foreclosed). 27 Non-Hammock units were distressed. During the same period this year, only six Hammock units were distressed compared to 14 distressed Non-Hammock units.
Many of the Non-Hammock units are still available at prices below replacement cost. A sign that this is changing is the decision by the new owner of the partially built Riverview condos in Grand Haven to restart construction there.