Palm Coast Real Estate 2009 Year in Review

A difficult year is over. Signs are that 2010 will be better.

Palm Coast, FL – January 10, 2010 – The Palm Coast, Flagler real estate market performed pretty much as expected in 2009. The low end of the market for homes was dominated by low-priced distressed properties, but buyers at that level are abundant; in part because of the first-time buyer tax credit. The number of homes sold actually rose over the previous year’s level. This trend remained strong through the end of the year.
As expected, 2009 showed that some owners of high end properties have exhausted their financial reserves. The result was a significant rise in foreclosures in that segment with the predictable drop in prices and increase in sales. This cleansing process, though painful, is necessary for the market to complete its correction.
The following charts show that the corner has been turned:
Number of Single-family homes sold in Flagler County, FL
Median Selling price for single-family homes sold in Flagler County, FL
palm coast flagler real estate
Total sales volume for sales of single-family homes sold in Flagler County, FL
palm coast flagler real estate
Here’s a recap:

Palm Coast/Flagler Real Estate 2008 vs. 2009



Number of Homes Sold



Lender Owned percentage



Days on Market (lender owned



Short Sales



Short Sales percentage    



Homes Listed for Sale at Year End



Homes Sold in December



December Median Price



Year’s Median Price



Local news for 2009

  • The Palm Harbor Golf Course reopened as a municipal facility, closing the book on the abandonment of the project by Centex.
  • Construction began on the Epic 14-screen movie theater in Town Center
  • City Centré opened in Town Center with Palm Coast Holdings and the law offices of Chiumento and Guntharp occupying the top floor. Local technology company ACI will move into the second floor this spring.
  • Project Continental – Palm Coast Data was enticed by an innovative incentive package to keep its 1000 jobs in Palm Coast. The plan included their purchase of the Palm Coast Town Hall.
  • Sea Ray Boats began rehiring.
  • An air traffic control tower was added to the busy Flagler County airport.
  • Publix opened its latest new store in Flagler at Beach Village.
  • A few brave (and probably really smart) local builders began to build spec homes.
  • Palm Coast annexed two large parcels into the city. Master planned developments Neoga Lakes and Old Brick Road are currently being assessed.
  • The area’s second largest developer, Crescent Resources along with its local subsidiary, LandMar Group filed for chapter 11 (reorganization) bankruptcies. Their Matanzas Woods golf course remains closed which is increasingly agitating local residents.

As usual, the Ginn Company was in the news:

  • Ginn’s default on a $675 million loan resulted in the chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy sale of Tesoro in Port St. Lucie, and Quail West near Naples, and the sale of Laurelmor near Blowing Rock, NC. The final settlement of the Ginn sur Mer (Bahamas) foreclosure was finalized at year’s end.
  • Noble and Reynolds moved in to manage the Ginn facilities at Hammock Beach, Cobblestone Park, and Reunion Resort. Reynolds was the purchaser of Laurelmor. Bobby Ginn is seldom seen. Ginn’s saga even warranted a NY Times article in which Toby Tobin was quoted.
  • Several divisions of the Ginn Company were shut down. Among them, their real estate sales group, Ginn Security, and Ginn Financial.
  • Ginn was on the wrong end of several lawsuits, the most significant also brought in major banks as defendants.
  • Two Conservatory lots and a Hammock Beach one-bedroom condo were sold at tax deed sales.
  • Though other Ginn communities are struggling or failing, Hammock Beach remains viable. New homes continue to be constructed there.

  • Credit Suisse suffered defaults on several high profile loans besides Ginn’s; Yellowstone Club, Tamarac, and Lake Las Vegas among them. In all cases, Credit Suisse allowed borrowing developers to pull large profit distributions directly from the proceeds of the loans. Credit Suisse is now being sued.
  • Mortgage fraud investigations are increasing, proving’s contention that fraud played a major role in the unexpectedly steep rise in home prices during the first half of the decade.
  • The first-time home buyer tax credit helped spur home sales everywhere.
  • Bankruptcies and foreclosures became common at luxury master planned developments. This was a great time to "turn over capital." To owners, the highest value of their property has become the tax credits a sale might bring. This opens the doors for new investors to come in at bargain prices, hopefully low enough to allow them to operate at a profit.
Predictions (assuming to dramatic events in world affairs):
  • The market will continue to correct – but very slowly
  • Any tendency for prices rising will be met with new "for sale" inventory coming from owners who previously took their homes off the market because of low prices.
  • Palm Coast, with its great location, beach access, extensive parks and trails system, great schools, and affordable prices will continue to do better than surrounding areas.
  • Completion of the Epic Theater will spur some additional development in Town Center.
  • Significant fraud investigations will culminate in criminal charges.

What do you think is going to happen this year?  Take the following poll:

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