Mining Real Estate Data for Telltale Signs

Where to find nuggets that tell us more than the big picture real estate stats do.

Palm Coast, FL – April 26, 2013 – The real estate data you are most exposed to is outdated. Sales don’t close until weeks or months after the sales contract is signed. Deeds are filed a few days after the closing. Where can we look for clues about what is happening today?
I’ve uncovered a few nuggets that suggest that the Palm Coast real estate market is heating up faster than you think it is.
Of 376 properties (of all types) closed through Flagler MLS in the past 30 days, 31 sold for more than the listing price. Another41 sold at the full listing price. Combined, that’s nearly 20% of all transactions pointing towards a sellers’ market.
April 16th, there were nine Tidelands Condominium units available and more were under contract. (It’s extremely unusual for more inventory to be under contract than available for sale.) Only eight days later, the available inventory had dropped to six while the number under contract had grown to 16. In Canopy Walk, only three units are available while six are under contract.
Of only 224 condominiums listed for sale, 164 are east of the Intracoastal Waterway. Only ten of these are distressed properties (short sale or lender-owned). Of upscale condos along the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway (Marina Cove, Tidelands, Palm Coast Resort, Canopy Walk, Bella Harbor and Waterside) only 18 are available, only three distressed.
The bargains are dwindling in the home market as well. Foreclosures dating back as far as 2008 are still coming out of the other end of the foreclosure process via foreclosure sales. This steady stream will continue to feed lender-owned properties to price conscious buyers but the dearth of short sale homes is putting upward price pressure on the distressed sector and the market as a whole. Of 826 single-family Flagler County homes available on MLS, only 113 (13.7%) are distressed. That’s quite a change. Distressed properties have represented roughly 50% of local home sales for the past three to four years.
Other tidbits:
  • In Grand Haven, only 38 homes are available (three distressed) while 28 are under contract.
  • Residential building permits are nearly double the tally of a year ago.
  • The Flagler County Association of Realtors® is adding new members as sales activity picks up and local Brokers staff up. According to a survey of 65,000 employees reported by Forbes, real estate agents lead the list as the most “happy” with their jobs. On the bottom of the list – Associate attorney.
  • There is talk of redeveloping the Palm Harbor Shopping Center. I think this will happen.
The real estate market has reset. Bloated overvaluations have been stripped out. Overpriced properties have seen their prices drop as much as 90%; a brutal lesson to those who bought at the top. Developers who loaded up with pricy projects are disposing of them (sometimes via foreclosure) for pennies on the dollar. But the result is that the new developer/owners have a low cost basis, allowing room for profits. Plus these bargains come with development orders, entitlements and often infrastructure already in place (ready to build). Sunset Inlet, Grand Landings, Grand Haven’s Riverview and Sawmill Creek are recent examples.
Real estate cycles are long. At my age, I’ve probably got only one cycle left. Don’t look back. There’s too much to see in front of you.
2 replies
  1. Rick Pinson
    Rick Pinson says:

    6 Brand New Condos at Clubhouse Dr.

    Toby, as usual,you are spot-on in your observation that the condo market as well as general real estate has really picked up during the last several months. I did want to point out that there are 6 brand new luxury residential condos available for sale at the Hammock at Palm Harbor across the street on Clubhouse Dr. from the Waterside Condos. These residential style condo homes were built by Eric Olsen and feature many of the upscale design features Eric is noted for in his upscale homes. Prices have been reduced to represent current market conditions and a new broker, Tom Scheirer is raising new capital to move forward with the original project design that was delayed by the recession. Thanks for your continuing efforts to keep us updated on local market conditions. Rick P.

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