Flagler’s residential population can be viewed as living in one of four zones. From a real estate perspective, they are quite different.
Palm Coast, FL – January 20, 2015 – Flagler County’s residential population can be viewed as living in one of four zones. From a real estate perspective, these zones are quite different.
Location, location, location; It’s really all about dirt (and sand). The price of any house or condominium is driven by the value of the underlying land. Geographically; ocean, lake, stream, golf or canal locations are more prized and therefore more valuable. Developers can increase the value of land by master planning a community with underground utilities, winding streets, natural areas and by adding security gates, clubhouses and amenities. Homes built on valuable lots naturally tend to be larger and have added features and upgrades that further up the price of the home.
As a general rule, properties located closer to the beach are more valuable. I think of Flagler County being divided into three narrow strips of bacon, or zones, running north to south plus a fourth, much larger (slice of ham), zone to the west. The most valuable strip lies between the beach and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). This zone contains the greatest number of “high value” properties and includes the Hammock Beach Club and Resort. Wealth and tourism tend to congregate in zone one.
One example is Flagler Beach where the median sale price for a single-family home was $275,000 in 2014. The median price for all of Flagler County was $155,000. Another is the Hammock Dunes CDD (Hammock Dunes, Ocean Hammock, Hammock Beach, Island Estates and Harbor Village Marina) where the median sale price for a home was $592,500. Combined, Flagler Beach and the HD CDD accounted for only 7.1% of the Flagler County homes sold in 2014, but these sales represented 15.8% of the aggregate sales dollars.
The second strip is bounded by the ICW on the east and Interstate 95 on the west. In it are several private residential communities like the Conservatory (golf), Sanctuary (ICW and canal), Tidelands (ICW and canal), Canopy Walk (ICW) Grand Haven (ICW and golf) and Palm Coast Plantation (ICW and large fresh water lake). This zone also contains the earliest developed lots in Palm Coast and Palm Coast’s first shopping plaza. Many of the original homes are characterized as modest by today’s standards but location adds value here as well. Many homes in the “C” section of Palm Harbor are adjacent to the Palm Harbor Golf Course or are built along the 23 miles of Palm Coast’s salt water canal system.
The third zone is found west of Interstate 95 but east of US 1. Some sections are more in demand here, mostly because of golf course frontage. One is Cypress Knolls, the only community with a median 2014 sale price above the Flagler County median. Zone three is convenient to schools and shopping. All but two Flagler County’s public schools are located within this zone.
The city of Palm Coast is found within zones two and three. While the city has annexed thousands of acres west of US 1, there is scant development there.
The fourth zone, too large to be called a strip, lies west of US 1. This zone is largely rural and agricultural. One can find the occasional gem on a “country estate” or on one of Flagler’s lakes but it’s difficult to characterize this non-homogenous market. It’s also difficult to measure and track activity because of the relatively small number of transactions.