Single Family Home Sales Show Signs of a Turnaround in Flagler County Housing Market

MLS numbers indicate that the Flagler County market for single family homes may have reached bottom

 March 27, 2007 – I think single family home sales statistics are the best indicator of the core residential housing market. Most people buy single family homes due to a change in circumstances such as retirement, personal finances, job transfer, new job, health issues, downsizing, etc. Even in a down market, these people have to move, creating a sale of their previous home and a purchase of their new one. Condominium buyers, on the other hand, are typically discretionary buyers, looking for a second home, vacation getaway, or investment. What do the numbers tell us about the Flagler County housing market?


Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of instant knowledge. The MLS sales data represents closed transactions. The closing date is usually 45 – 60 days after the sales contract. So we’re looking back about two months. Here are some interesting figures:


Single Family Residential Sales (updated through 3/31/07)


     Number    Median       Sales
    of Sold    Sellling      Volume  
   Listings      Price  ($Thousand)
Jan-05 138 $206,500 $35,812.00
Feb-05 148 $186,500 $35,340.00
Mar-05 215 $204,000 $55,598.00
Apr-05 261 $205,000 $68,296.00
May-05 268 $209,900 $70,472.00
Jun-05 337 $214,900 $87,993.00
Jul-05 312 $232,000 $86,904.00
Aug-05 304 $230,500 $86,329.00
Sep-05 266 $231,750 $70,578.00
Oct-05 264 $240,500 $73,445.00
Nov-05 213 $239,900 $61,405.00
Dec-05 174 $259,950 $58,030.00
Jan-06 141 $252,250 $43,855.00
Feb-06 119 $259,900 $35,265.00
Mar-06 165 $245,000 $49,974.00
Apr-06 134 $258,000 $40,726.00
May-06 183 $255,000 $55,267.00
Jun-06 194 $247,000 $56,801.00
Jul-06 144 $237,250 $40,559.00
Aug-06 144 $237,250 $40,526.00
Sep-06 135 $250,000 $37,915.00
Oct-06 134 $245,677 $41,348.00
Nov-06 89 $225,000 $23,754.00
Dec-06 104 $229,500 $29,290.00
Jan-07 110 $220,000 $34,295.00
Feb-07 118 $222,000 $34,584.00
Mar-07 128 $231,200 $34,226.00


The chart shows the number of homes sold, the median price (half sold above the median, half sold below) and the total dollar value of all transactions. It indicates that the number of transactions and the total sales volume are leading indicators. They peak 5 to 7 months before the selling price. Armed with this new knowledge, we might think we would have 6 months to sell our property after noticing that the leading indicators had topped out. Wrong. Look at the chart. The number of sold listings topped out in June ’05. But we wouldn’t have known it was the peak until we had seen the July and August numbers (they might have been higher). If we looked at the sales volume numbers, we couldn’t have been certain until September or October. The selling price peaked between December ’05 to February ’06. But these numbers represent sales contracts signed in the October ’05 to December ’05 timeframe.


What I’m trying to say is that to have timed the market perfectly, you would have listed your property in August ’05. To receive the highest price, you would have had to have a contract, at the latest, by December ’05. Fat chance. I’m sure there is someone out there who nailed it. I, on the other hand, purchased one of my investment properties in August ’05, and then spent three months rehabbing it before listing it. By the way, I still own it.


Back to the chart. Both the number of homes sold and the total dollar numbers bottomed out in November. The selling price for March (through the 27th) shows a slight turnaround. If my analysis is correct, we could be on the way back up.


The other two market segments that I track closely, Palm Coast lots, and Flagler County condominiums still look anemic. The median price for Palm Coast lots has dropped to $50,000. Some builders have told me that they are buying lots for less than $40,000. But the listing price of most Palm Coast lots remains well above the current market.


Condominiums represent the weakest sector. As of March 27, MLS data shows:


  • 43 Surf Club units for sale at a median price of $539,000. Only one Surf Club unit has sold within the last six months for $470,000.
  • 58 Canopy Walk units are available at a median price of $399,000. There was one sale within the last six months for $238,000.
  • 101 Hammock Dunes units are listed at a median price of $1,150,000 (including Arezzo, Cambria, Casa Bella, La Grande Provence, Le Jardin, Protofino, Savona, Tuscany, and Viscaya). During the last six months, seven units sold with the median selling price $885,000.
  • 23 Hammock Beach Villas are currently available – median price $719,000. No Hammock Beach Villas have sold within the last six months.
  • 63 Cinnamon Beach condos are available at a median price of $759,000. In the last six months, 3 units sold at a median price of $735,000.
  • There are only 3 units available at the Aliki Gold Coast, median price $525,000, far above the price of recent sales. Two units sold at a median price of $335,000 in the last six months.

My analysis – The single family housing market in Flagler County has bottomed out and is showing signs of an upturn. For those sitting on the sidelines with cash, the next six months represent a great opportunity, but don’t wait too long. Palm Coast lot sellers need to adjust their pricing to align with current selling prices. So do condominium sellers. Palm Coast lot sales will bottom out within the next 2 – 4 months. Condos are more difficult to predict. If you are a condo seller, either drop your price or decide you are in for the long term (15 to 24 months). The selling price is not determined by what the seller paid. The buyer is not concerned with the seller’s profit or loss but with the current price of comparable properties. If your listing price does not compare, you will not find a buyer.

5 replies
  1. Joe J
    Joe J says:

    Dont Hate All Centex Buyers

    It’s hard to pick up a newspaper, or read something on the internet and not feel the hatred for the Centex company from the Palm Coast residents. Sure, there have been many mistakes made by Centex and many locals feel deceived and cheated. But here’s an interesting twist: how about showing a little appreciation for those of us who bought from Centex? We spent more than half a million dollars for our unit. We’re shopping at your Home Depot and Walmart, your furniture and accessory stores, eating at your restaurants, grocery shopping at your Publix, buying your gas, paying your $2 toll snd, now, high property taxes and insurance. Not all of us bought to ‘flip’. Some of us think Palm Coast is a real find in the country and a place we’d love to retire to. So how about a little love to the customers, your new neighbors?

  2. Alan M
    Alan M says:

    Your Further Thoughts

    After looking at the data you provided, I wanted to add a few things and ask further questions. First, this time period shows an average of 183 properties sold per month with an average price of $232,460 over these 27 months you provided. 16 of those months were less than the average quantity sold, but only 9 of those months were less than the average price. Therefore, quantity may have decreased but price for the most part seems to be remaining in tact.

    My questions are
    #1 Your thoughts on how has price impacted our market? Are property prices for sale accurate? Is owner expectation a factor?
    #2 If less is being sold but the quantity of properties for sale has increased (as we have all heard so many times), why is price not being impacted?
    #3 Many have said that 2005 was an unprecented year. How is today\\\\\\’s market fairing against prior periods such as 2002 through 2004? And do you think the comparison to those years to be a better guage of today\\\\\\’s Palm Coast Real Estate climate?

    Alan M

  3. mahon
    mahon says:


    Thank you for striving to provide valuable, factual information. We enjoy your insight into the local market. Two questions: first, any prediciton as to the anticiapted number of lot sales and new home sales for the coming months and years? Second, do you think SeaGate could go after the City for its attempted extortion related to the Ryans Landing project?

  4. toby
    toby says:

    Reply to Alan M

    Thank you for your input.

    The numbers in my article are median prices. That is the price at which half of the transactions are higher and half are lower. Median is not the same as average. In answer to your questions:

    1. The sale price determines the market. Looking at listing prices only indicates the sellers perception of the market. A property is worth only what one person is willing to pay for it. Obviously, there are many sellers today with inflated opinions of the value of their property. They will not be selling any time soon.

    2. The number of units sold is way off the peak. However, the selling price is holding fairly well. Even when the discretionary buyers are out of the market, as they are now, there is a core market of buyers who need to move now. They will help maintain the market price.

    3. Comparing this year to any other year is dependent on what you are comparing. For instance, prices today are near prices of 2005, but the market is in no way like that of 2005. 2005 was a sellers market. Prices were rising about 20% per year. This is a buyers market with heavy inventory and prices struggling to stay level. Most builders are not starting spec homes.

    I am interested in finding indicators that can tell us in advance what the market is going to be doing in upcoming months so we will not be caught flat footed in the future.

  5. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to mahon

    April numbers show a slight dip in the median single family home price but sales volume is still above the bottom reached in November. I think we will see some months of relative flatness with an upturn this year. Builder inventory has shrunk dramatically. Palm Coast lot sales show the median price down but the number of lots sold is up. People are finally realizing that lot prices need to come down. Once they are dropped to the current market, they will sell. I see a stronger lot market later this year,but lagging the turn around in single family homes.

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