Non-distressed Home Sales Gaining Market Share

Sales volume is down during Palm Coast’s traditional slow season but prices are still running well above those of one year ago. Non-distressed sales are beginning to dominate the market.

Palm Coast, FL – November 21, 2013 –Non-distressed sales continue to make up a higher percentage of local home sales and are beginning to dominate in aggregate sales volume as the Palm Coast and Flagler County real estate market  slows during its slow season (November, December and January as measured by MLS closings).

Non-distressed homes are fetching a premium price above that of distressed homes. The median price premium in October was 28.4% above short sales and 34.5% above REOs. Non-distressed sales represented 68% of homes sold, but accounted for 78.2% of aggregate sales compared to 57.3% of aggregate sales only one year ago. Aggregate sales is what drives income to the community of real estate practitioners.

Lender-owned (REO) sales account for an increasing number of distressed sales. Short sales have fallen out of favor because of the timeframe and uncertainty inherent in those transactions and because the short sale pool (underwater borrowers) has shrunken.

Year-over-year prices are rising nicely. October’s median selling price for Flagler County single-family homes was $155,000 vs. $134,500 one year ago; up 15.2%.

32% of October homes sales were distressed properties (REO or short sale) compared to 50.6% in October 2012. Only 27.1% of October’s distressed transactions were short sales. The remainder was REO.

150 homes sold during October, slightly fewer than the 160 homes sold in October 2012, but the aggregate sales volume was up 18.4%. Only 86 homes were sold in October 2007.

Of 215 Flagler County condominiums listed for sale in MLS, only 8.4% are distressed. Of 921 single-family Flagler homes listed, 14.5% are distressed.

New construction
Brookhaven, in Town Center, has seen the commencement of construction of 28 multi-family apartment buildings. When completed, the buildings will have a total of 147,403 square feet of air conditioned space. The declared construction value (used for computing permitting fees) totals $8,351,428. The project has generated $609,098.10 in permitting and impact fees, exclusive of water and sewer hookup and meter installation charges. There will be 40 residential units when this phase is completed.

Residential construction continues its recovery. Forty single-family building permits were issued in all of Flagler County during October. The declared construction value was nearly $11 million. The average declared value of nine homes permitted in the county (including Flagler Beach) was $420,262. The remaining permits were issued by Palm Coast where the average declared construction value was $230,500. Builders are on track to nearly double last year’s single-family building permits count.

Foreclosure news
Lenders have begun to figure out how to cope with new foreclosure filing regulations that were effective July 1 and which temporarily caused a slowdown in new filings. The Clerk of courts is seeing some increase in filing activity, but I think most of the new filings represent long-standing delinquencies rather than new ones. The banks are finally cleaning house. Meanwhile, the courts are pushing foreclosure sales by prompting lenders to complete dormant foreclosures by moving them to foreclosure sales. In each of the past three months, title to over 100 properties was transferred either to the lender or to successful bidders as a result of foreclosure sales.

Other news
New employers coming into town and construction of a new city hall will add to the existing momentum in Palm Coast’s real estate market. So too will new construction in Town Center near Publix (Belle Terre) where a new dollar format store will be constructed. A small strip plaza will be built nearby. Panera Bread will have a new neighbor when a planned tire store is built next door.

Prepare for travel inconveniences over the next 18 -24 months as preliminary work has begun on the 6-laneing of Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Pkwy and Florida Park Drive. The inconvenience will be compounded with construction within Palm Harbor Plaza. While still in the due diligence phase, the planned purchase, redesign and phased reconstruction of the plaza is looking more likely to happen.

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