Florida Fares Better than SE Region and U.S.

Location, location, location.

Palm Coast, FL – March 22, 2011 – The three most important factors in real estate are:
  1. Location
  2. Location
  3. Location
Highlighting again how important location is in the real estate industry; Palm Coast, Flagler County and the State of Florida are not following regional and national sales trends closely. Look at local MLS sales figures compared to both state and national statistics as reported respectively by Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.
February 2011 Home Sales Comparison





Median sales price




Sales change from Jan

Down 9.6%

Down 10.2%

Up 13.0%

Sales change from Feb ’10

Down 2.8%


Up 12.7%

Source: National Association of Realtors® and Florida Realtors®
Florida’s real estate market is more volatile than the national market. Its volatility is due primarily to increasing population. It takes a long time for a developer/builder to progress from vacant land to permitted land, and on to completed construction. A surge in population drove speculative building. Once opened, the tap was difficult to turn off when net migration slowed dramatically. Overbuilding was the result.
Palm Coast and Flagler County were the poster children of Florida’s housing boom. The median selling price for single-family residential homes sold through MLS in Flagler County stood at $110,000 in February; down 57.7% from $259,900 in February 2006. The drop is due largely to the drop in home values but also reflects the changing mix of inventory sold. For two years, over half of locally sold single-family homes have been distressed properties.
Flagler County grew by 92% from 49,832 in 2000 to 95,696 in 2010. Palm Coast grew 129.7% during the same period. Palm Coast’s 2010 census count is 75,180. I believe Florida is growing again but in a more rational way. I also believe Flagler County and Palm Coast will participate in that growth. I see strength devleoping in the vacation home market. I also notice an increase in new upscale housing starts. The new population numbers will attract new retailers.
A recent Housing and Economic Outlook report presented at the March 15 National Association of Home Builders Executive Board meeting looks at several indicators. The report is filled with graphs and charts.
Good News
  • Mortgage rates are low
  • Housing prices have returned to "normal"
  • Affordability is at an all-time high
  • Pent up housing demand exists
  • New construction of single-family homes is well under the trend
  • Underlying demographics call for more production – Florida is listed as one of the states with a new construction deficit
  • Consumer confidence/sentiment is improving
  • Very low new home inventory
  • Inflation relatively low
  • Economic growth weak but improving
  • Employment slowly improving – unemployment rate falling
  • Residential remodeling rebounding
  • Single-family home builders moving into remodeling
Not so good news
  • Delinquencies dropping but foreclosures holding steady
  • Foreclosure distress is concentrated – Florida listed among most distressed markets
  • Employment well below peak
  • Builder confidence low
  • Large builders see lull – sales worse
  • Financing outcomes; 50% unable to get necessary financing
  • One third lost sales because of too-low appraisals
  • Single-family, multi-family starts and remodeling are expected to rise
GoToby.com wraps up the Palm Coast housing market
Palm Coast has great weather and lots of outdoor activities; beaches, parks, trails, and water. We get so used to the beauty and lifestyle, we don’t always notice it until we visit somewhere else or until visitors remind us of how unique the area is. One of my sons was here last week for a couple of (beautiful, warm) days. He called only a few days after returning to Rochester, NY. He was in the middle of a snow storm. Enough said.
1 reply
  1. Joan McReynolds
    Joan McReynolds says:


    Dear Toby,
    I just saw your article in the Observer. I’m a Broker, license inactive. I’m also a writer and in 2008 wrote three pieces regarding the real estate debacle and made an effort to get them published??? Nobody wanted to hear it!
    One is a plan to get the foreclosures sold in eighteen months; the next is how we used to do it; and third is the impact of selling ONE foreclosure.
    I’m offering them to you for one time publication at no charge. Are you interested in seeing them?
    I began in real estate in Tampa 1987 when the market was really poor. I’ve sold for over twenty years, and written for over twenty-five years, and published.
    Joan McReynolds

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply