Samantha Sharf , FORBES STAFF
Forbes’ annual list of America’s fastest-growing cities provides a holistic picture of places on the upswing. We look at growth of population, employment, wages, economic output and use home price growth as a proxy for wealth. Here are the 25 metropolitan areas across the country experiencing the biggest surges, plus the growth rates and projections that got them on the list.
Population Growth 2016: 3.39% (rank: #1)
Pop. Growth 2016: 2.95% (2)
Pop. Growth 2016: 1.96% (9)
Pop. Growth 2016: 2.41% (6)
Recently there has been a lot of talk about home prices and if they are accelerating too quickly. In some areas of the country, seller supply (homes for sale) cannot keep up with the number of buyers out looking for a home, which has caused prices to rise.
The great news about rising prices, however, is that according to CoreLogic’s latest US Economic Outlook, the average American household gained over $11,000 in equity over the course of the last year, largely due to home value increases.
The map below was created from CoreLogic’s report and shows the average equity gain per mortgaged home from June 2015 to June 2016 (the latest data available).
For those that are worried that we are doomed to repeat 2006 all over again, it is important to note that homeowners are investing their new found equity in their homes and themselves, not in depreciating assets.
The added equity is helping families put their children through college, and even invest in starting small businesses, allowing them to pay off their mortgage sooner or move up to the home that will better suit their needs now.
CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by another 5% by this time next year. If you are a homeowner looking to take advantage of your home equity by moving up to your dream home, contact David Pilvinsky to discuss your options!
One of the reasons that I chose to live in Palm Coast, Florida twelve years ago, was the fact that there has not been a direct hit by a Hurricane and over 60 years, if ever. The unique shape of Florida and the proximity of the Gulfstream Current off of Florida's east coast, play a large part in detering Hurricanes from landing in this area of North Florida.
If you look at tracks of Hurricanes that have hit the U.S. over the last 60 years, (demonstrated by the graphic below), you will see that most storms that hit Florida, make landfall in South Florida. Take Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches for example, the Gulfstream current is very close to land, in Miami its only about 5 miles. Storms that come across from Africa generally pick up steam once they hit the warm tropical waters for the Caribbean. If they do not end up hitting South Florida, they often times, will head North along the east coast of Florida, riding the Gulfstream Current and its warm waters.
Being that Palm Coast and the surrounding areas are about 60 miles from the Gulfstream, usually those storms continuing riding that warm water and either head out to sea, or may hit the Carolina's or even farther north.
We live in a magical place in Florida and this is only a theory of mine, but so far I have evidenced this theory come to fruition. Palm Coast, Florida is one of the safest cities in Florida not only when it comes to storms, but also crime.
For more information on Palm Coast and the surrounding area's, check out my website and contact me directly. www.davesellspalmcoast.com
PALM COAST, FL – December 9, 2015 – Florida continues to outpace rival states in the reduction of foreclosure inventory. Florida’s foreclosure inventory through October dropped 40.5% from one year ago. Idaho ranked second with a 27.6% drop. This, according to CoreLogic’s October National Foreclosure Report. Flagler County mirrors the state trend (see below).
Florida and Hawaii are tied for third place when measuring foreclosure inventory. In both states, the percentage of homes in foreclosure as a percentage of mortgaged homes is 2.5%. New Jersey leads all states with 4.5% and New York is in second with 3.6%. Washington DC ranks fifth at 2.3%. DC is the only non-judicial foreclosure jurisdiction to make the top five list.
Florida led the list of states in the number of completed foreclosures. A completed foreclosure is the final step in the foreclosure process where the home is auctioned. At that point, either the bank takes the property into its Real Estate Owned (REO) inventory or a successful third party bidder takes title.
Florida had 86,000 completed foreclosures during the past 12 months. Michigan was second with 59,000, followed by Texas (30,000), Georgia (25,000) and California (24,000). Together, the top five states account for nearly half of all completed foreclosures.
Flagler County had 511 foreclosure completions during the same 12-months (through October). Flagler’s lowest level was 15 completions in October.
November is likewise encouraging here at home:
PALM COAST, FL – November 11, 2015 – There are currently 855 single-family residential Flagler County homes listed for sale via the Flagler County Real Estate Association’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That’s the lowest inventory level in two years. But the number of agents has grown during that period. It’s now hovering around 1,100.
Look at it this way. We have more than enough agents to staff an Open House at every listing six days per week. Of course that would take a lot of scheduling and it’s not likely to happen, but it highlights an obvious imbalance. I know agents or agent teams that are carrying more than 20 home listings, implying that many agents have none.
A recently released Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report compares the average listing price of 81,000 similar-sized four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in 2,722 different markets across all 50 states.
Newport Beach led the list as most the expensive U.S. market with an average listing price of $2,291,764. (Only one Flagler County home sold for more than $2,000,000 in the past 12 months.) Cleveland, Ohio, brought up the bottom, ranking 2,722th with an average listing price of only $74,502 (not including a snow-blower). Palm Coast ranked 2,092nd with an average listing price of $196,653.
Doral led Florida with an average list price of $552,399. Hastings was at the bottom with an average list price of $95,267. Palm Coast ranked 90th of 127 markets analyzed within Florida.
SERIOUSLY, it costs more to buy the subject home in 76.8% of the markets studied across the country than it does to buy the same home in Palm Coast. And 70.1% of the Florida markets included in the study are more expensive than Palm Coast.
Perhaps Palm Coast’s general beauty, access to uncrowded beachs, sunshine, trail system, championship golf courses, sports venues, excellent schools, Interstate access, job growth and population growth are a turnoff to prospective buyers.
Or maybe we just need more real estate agents.
PALM COAST, FL – November 9, 2015 – As reported in the Orlando Business Journal, a 24/7 Wall St. study ranked Palm Coast among the 50 Best Cities to Live.Palm Coast ranked #39.
The study acknowledged that Florida was hit by the housing crisis more than most other states and that Palm Coast suffered as well with an unemployment rate at 7.4%. On the other hand, strong job growth continues to draw people to Palm Coast. Palm Coast’s job growth from 2012 through 2014 was 5%, according to the study, compared to the 1.8% national rate. The city’s population has grown 14.8% over the past five years, more than double the national growth rate.
Four other Florida cities made the list:
Palm Coast statistics cited by the study include:
Median home value: $159,300
Poverty rate: 10.6%
Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.4%
Amenities per 100,000 residents: 160.2
PALM COAST, FL – November 5, 2015 – We have entered the slow season for local real estate sales, but that doesn’t mean things are at a standstill. There is plenty of news. Here are some tidbits:
Double Header Ribbon Cuttings
November 2nd marked the ribbon cutting for two major public venues, the new Palm Coast City Hall and a New Flagler County Sheriff’s Operations Center.
Tuesday A.M., Governor Rick Scott was in town for the official opening of the new sheriff’s operations center. The large crowd had to contend with near record heat and bright sunshine, but the event went on in spite of the beautiful weather.
The new office is located at 901 Moody E. Blvd in Bunnell. The building was once Florida Memorial Hospital-Flagler. The building had remained vacant since the new Florida Hospital Flagler was opened in Town Center. The county purchased the old building for $1.23M in 2013 and undertook a $4.2M renovation.
At 5:15, on Tuesday, Palm Coast city officials participated in a ribbon cutting officially opening the brand new Palm Coast City Hall in Town Center. This 43,000+ square foot building came in “on time and under budget” according to City Manager Jim Landon. The public was invited to participate in guided tours, beginning at 4:00 P.M. and continuing after the ribbon cutting until 8:00 P.M.
I was in the first tour group. I was impressed with the quality of construction and the efficient use of space. The building is warm and inviting without the opulence often attributed to the county government complex. The design will accommodate the future expansion that will surely be needed as Palm Coast continues to grow. Remember, there are still over 10,000 vacant in-fill lots within the city’s master plan.
Publix: Get used to calling the old Palm Harbor Shopping Center “Island Walk.” The first major opening in the redeveloped project was the new Publix, which opened on October 29th. About 50 shoppers were lined up when the doors swung open at 7 A.M. I was one of them.
The new store is 10,000 square feet larger than the old one. The additional space is apparent throughout the store with its huge produce department, expanded seafood, meat and dairy offerings, plus a pharmacy. Pizza lovers will appreciate the expanded freezer section.
New permits: A site development permit was issued that will allow work to begin on future stages of Island Walk’s redevelopment. The former Publix store will be gutted and re-faced for a Hobby Lobby. Upon completion, Island Walk will be comprised of 207,229 square feet.
The company’s website lists the following Island Walk tenants:
For weeks, the site of the former Palm Coast Player’s Racquet Club has sported a “Sale Pending” sign. The property was under contract to local real estate developer Jim Cullis, but Jim has informed GoToby.com that he decided not to proceed with any project at that site and has terminated the purchase contract.
But on another front, Cullis has revived his plan for a senior living campus on 17 acres of property he owns on the Southeast corner of Colbert Lane and Blare Drive. Previous plans for a senior living project on the site with Discovery Village died when Cullis and Discovery could not garner support for the proposed site plan from Palm Coast’s planning staff.
This time around, Cullis is advancing a similar project with an Orlando-based developer. Tuscan Gardens Senior Living’s proposed site plan includes three building and reportedly avoids the minor wetlands issues that bogged down the Discovery proposal.
Tuscan Gardens, as proposed, will have 210 residential units offering three levels of senior care; independent living, assisted living and memory care. Laurence Pino, Tuscan’s CEO, told an audience of Grand Haven residents that he plans to begin work as soon as permits are obtained and hopes to be open by early 2017.
The parcels have been acquired and site development work has begun on a new RaceTrac gas station and convenience store at the Southwest corner of SR 100 and Seminole Woods Blvd.
Month-over-month, Florida's index score rose 2.0 percent. It was followed by Colorado (+1.99%), New Jersey (+1.83%), Connecticut (+1.80%) and Nevada (+1.48%).
Year-over-year, Florida's index grew by 14.35 percent. It was followed by Oregon (+13.45%), Nevada (12.18%), Colorado (+11.65%), and Washington (+10.18%).
Orlando topped all city lists from Freddie Mac. Month-to-month, Orlando improved 2.6 percent, followed by Greenville, S.C. (+2.55%), Cape Coral (+2.51%), Tampa (+2.19%) and Jacksonville (+2.12%).
Year-to-year, Orlando improved 18.27 percent, followed by Cape Coral (+17.75%), Tampa (+15.99%), Palm Bay (+14.98%) and North Port (+14.77%).
"Florida has some of the most improving housing markets in the country, largely a reflection of more borrowers becoming current on their mortgage payments as the local employment picture improves and house prices rebound," says Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. "Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction for the second consecutive month and improving more than 6 percent from the same time last year."
Nationally, Freddie Mac added one more name to its list of slowly stabilizing markets: Rhode Island. It also added four cities: Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Albany, New York.
The national MiMi value stands at 81, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity. The number improved 0.93 percent month-to-month and 6.17 percent year-to-year. Since it's all-time low in October 2010, the MiMi has improved 37%.
© 2015 Florida Realtors® All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
PALM COAST, FL – February 14, 2017 – Flagler County is hosting a public meeting on February 15 to present the conceptual plan for a public park on Bay Drive in the Hammock that is decades in the making.
The park will be built with a $2.342 million grant on the combined acreage purchased by Flagler County in 2009 and adjacent to the nearly 3 acres of dedicated public park property it has owned since 1985.
“This was a rare opportunity for Flagler County to create a more than 15-acre park with ocean access,” said Environmental Planner Tim Telfer. “Absent the housing recession, there would be a development of some sort there.”
Historically, beach access in this area was known as Deauville Beach or Main Street Beach. The road itself, Main Street, was referred to by locals as the “Double Brick Road” because it had been stabilized with brick to provide residents and visitors public beach access with some assurance they would not get stuck en route.
The County Commission required the developer in 1985 to relocate the previously used beach access road to Bay Drive, and to provide a park on the beach to mitigate for the loss of Deauville Beach. Several boards of the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners vote repeatedly since the park property was first dedicated to the residents of Flagler County to maintain public beach access in this location.
Bay Drive Park in the early 2000s was made part of the A1A Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan, the Florida Scenic Highway Designation Application and the Guide to A1A Old Florida Coastal Byway.
The additional 13-acre property purchased in 2009 been zoned within the “Mixed Use: Low Intensity, Low/Medium Density” designation for future land use within the Comprehensive Plan.
“At up to 7 units per acre, this land use could have allowed for up to 91 residential units in addition to retail and office space,” County Administrator Craig Coffey. “This park will be a very nice amenity for all of Flagler County.”
Flagler County applied for a grant in February 2011 to develop the park, which was still called Bay Drive Park. The state awarded a $2.342 million grant to the county, because of the property’s unique character and to preserve public beach access.
As a condition of receiving this grant, the county is required to construct a number of amenities, including: reasonable access for the observation and appreciation of the natural resources; a functional nature trail; a dune crossover; outdoor recreation, or open space; interpretive kiosks; parking; bathroom; safe pedestrian sidewalk between the park and State Road A1A; and, stormwater facilities that both treat the stormwater and provide wildlife habitat.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. February 15 at the Hammock Community Center, 79 MalaCompra Road. It is an open-house format, with a briefing from the County’s park engineer followed by a short question and answer session. This is not a public hearing.
PALM COAST, FL – June 2, 2016 – I was quoted in a June 2011 article <story> in the Washington Post saying, “Flagler County is the poster child for what went right and what wrong in the economy.” Flagler was the housing bubble on steroids. For two years running, Flagler County and Palm Coast respectively were the fastest growing county and city in the U.S.
Flagler’s housing bubble led the rest of the nation with prices rising sooner, rising higher (in percentage terms), peaking sooner, falling more precipitously, and bottoming at a lower level. The median selling price for a single-family home fell more than 60%.
But Flagler’s housing market did not lead the nation’s recovery. Recovery has been slow. Home sales began to rise again in 2008, but prices continued a downward slide until 2012 before turning upward again. While other regions have rebounded to pre-recession highs, Flagler County median home prices remain roughly 20% below the 2005 peak of $259,950.
The Housing Bubble and Recovery in Flagler County
Flagler’s housing bubble was driven primarily by investors and speculators, not by an underlying demand for housing. The investors/speculators did not plan to occupy the home. They simply planned to turn around and sell the property at a profit to the next person in line. When the bubble burst, Flagler was terribly overbuilt. Spec homes dotted the landscape. This bloated inventory of unoccupied homes and condos became the source for the short sales and foreclosures of the next several years. From 2009 through 2011, distressed home sales accounted for more than 50% of all home sales in the county.
Flagler’s population has continued to grow, expanding by 10% between 2010 and July 2015. And the population growth rate is accelerating. A recently released U.S. Census Bureau report estimates the county added 2,831 new residents between July 2014 and July 2015, a 2.76% gain. That was enough to place Flagler 64th on a national list of fastest growing counties with populations over 100,000.
When planning for growth, the Flagler County School District estimates 2.33 residents per household. (The national average is 2.54, but Flagler has more retirees, thus fewer children). Therefore, adding 2,831 new residents creates a need for an estimated 1,215 new residential units (condominiums, homes, apartments). Yet, new home construction has not kept up the pace. Only 545 residential building permits were issued during 2014 and 583 in 2015. Building permits are on track to total more than 600 and perhaps even 700 units in 2016, but Flagler will have created a need for another 1,248 residential units with the July 2015 to July 2016 estimated population gain (based on the same 2.76% rate as July 2014 to July 2015.)
The Drop in Distressed Home Sales Drives UP the Housing Deficit
Two questions come to mind:
Move Out – Move In
When one family moves out and another moves in, there is no increase in population, therefore no additional residential units are required. New additions to the population have to find an unoccupied home; and at a rate of one home for each 2.33 net additional residents. The inventory of unoccupied homes consists of new construction, foreclosures and vacant short sale units. The following graph illustrates a new construction deficit over the most recent six years. Data for the year ending July 2016 is estimated.
Now Home Construction Is Increasing, But So Too Is Flagler's Population
The deficit shown in the chart did not translate into rapid price increases because there was a continuing supply of unoccupied distressed properties to take up the slack. Home sales were brisk, but median prices in the Flagler market rose more gradually than in many other regions.
Short sales have been in decline for many months, becoming an irrelevant sector several months ago, but Florida’s judicial foreclosure system continued to feed additional properties into the unoccupied foreclosure inventory; until recently. The graph shows the dramatic change in product mix since January 2015, when distressed sales accounted for 31.2% of all home sales.
Foreclosure Sales No Longer Cover The New Home Construction Deficit
The well is nearly dry. There will be an insignificant level of distressed inventory going forward, leaving new construction as the only option for Flagler’s growing population. If new construction can keep up the pace, price increases will be more moderate. To the extent that an inventory deficit remains, the excess of population-driven demand over supply will accelerate price increases.
Local builders complain about the shortage of skilled and unskilled construction workers, even at the current rate of construction. There is no short-term fix to the labor problem. Labor shortages will continue to exacerbate the construction deficit in the near future, accelerating the pace of rising prices. As home prices rise, so too will rentals.
The dramatic drop in distressed home sales and the concomitant increase in traditional sales is sustainable. In May, distressed sales accounted for only 5.5% of all home sales and only 4.0% of total sales value. But what about the pipeline. 769 single-family Flagler County homes are currently listed for sale through Flagler MLS. Only six are short sales and ten are foreclosures, totaling only 2% of total listings.
There has been some concern that home sales have dropped off somewhat from one year ago. The concern is not surprising. We have gotten used to monthly year-over-year gains in home sales, but in five of the past seven months, home sales have dropped year over year.
Through May, total home sales in 2016 are off 7.0% (66 homes) from the same period one year ago. But distressed sales during the same periods dropped from 227 to 95 (58.1%). Disregarding distressed sales, traditional sales have increased over the first five months of 2016 by 9.3%. The dollar value of traditional sales increased a very healthy 15.7% over the same period.
Friday April 15th at 8:00 pm at the Towncenter Park! Free admission for all. Bring the kiddoes down and get them out for a night of Paddington! Remember to bring bug spray, chairs, snack, maybe a blanket for your comfort during the movie.
The avocado is believed to have originated in Puebla, Mexico. The oldest evidence of the avocado was found in a cave in Puebla, Mexico and dates back to around 10,000 BC.
Native to Mexico and Central America, the avocado is classified in the same family as camphor and cinnamon. An avocado is botanically, a large berry that grows on a tree that can reach 6 feet tall. Just like a banana, the avocado ripens 1-2 weeks after being picked.
Avocados are often referred to as the healthiest food due to its impressive nutritional value.
An avocado contains these vitamins and minerals:
•An avocado contains more potassium than a banana. Avocados have 14% and a banana contains 10% potassium.
•Folate for your heart’s health. Avocados have 23% folate which lowers incidences of heart disease. Vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione are also good for the heart. Folate can lower the risks of having a stroke.
•Folate is also essential in the prevention of birth defects such as spina bifida and neural tube defect.
•Eating avocados help our body’s absorb 5 times the amount of carotenoids (lycopene and beta carotene).
•Eye Heath- Avocados contain more carotenoid lutein than any other fruit, protecting against macular degeneration and cataracts.
•High in beta-sitosterol, avocados lower bad cholesterol by 22%, raises good cholesterol by 11% and also lowers blood triglycerides by 20%.
•Studies show high oleic acid prevents breast cancer, inhibits tumor growth in prostate cancer and seeks out precancerous and oral cancer cells and destroys them.
•Avocados are high in fiber and will help you feel fuller longer, potentially helping with weight loss. High fiber helps metabolic health and steadies blood sugar.
•Avocado extract paired with a carrier oil can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
•Pholyphenols and flavonoids within avocados have anti inflammatory properties.
•Avocados cleanse the intestines, relieving bad breath.
•Avocado oil greatly nourishes the skin and is a beneficial treatment for psoriasis and other skin irritations.
•Avocados contain an antioxidant called glutathione that prevents heart disease, cancer and slows the signs of aging.
•Glutathione also fights free radicals.
Our blood and cells carry oxygen all throughout our bodies. When we are exposed to environmental pollutants, these toxins change the oxygen in our mitochondria into free radicals, destroying our cells and DNA. This damage creates chronic illnesses. Researchers from the Federation of American Society for Experimental Biology have found glutathione in avocados can be absorbed into our mitochondria and then neutralize the free radicals.
74 Percent of Florida Home Sellers Hire First Agent They Meet
Just-released 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Florida Report
By Toby TobinAdd a Comment
ORLANDO, Fla. – January 28, 2016 – According to the just-released 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Florida Report, three out of four home sellers (74 percent) contacted only one real estate agent before agreeing to list their home for sale.
In addition, 74 percent of Florida sellers said they recommended that agent at least once to family or friends after the deal closed.
On the buyer side, two out of three (66 percent) interviewed only one real estate agent before agreeing to work with him or her.
Florida sellers and real estate pros
88% of sellers listed their homes on a Florida Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
83% of Florida agents receive their compensation predominantly from sellers
74% of sellers referred another potential seller to their agent three or more times after the sale
76% said that they would definitely recommend their agent for future services; 11% said they would "probably" recommend
Florida buyers and real estate pros
83% percent of recent Florida buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker
59% worked with an agent to help them "find the right home" – the top reason for working with an agent
36% of buyers used an agent referred to them by a friend, neighbor or relative
89% would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others
Florida homebuyer characteristics
25% in Florida were first-time buyers
The typical buyer was 41 years old with a median income of $80,100
65% of recent Florida buyers were married, 16 percent single females, 9% single males and 7% unmarried couples
15% of buyers purchased a multi-generational home to take care of aging parents or because children over age 18 moved back in
89% percent of recent buyers identified as heterosexual and 5% as gay or lesbian
25% of recent buyers were veterans – 2% are active-duty service members
The primary reason for purchasing: A desire to own a home of their own (23%)
Characteristics of Florida homes purchased
22% bought a new home; 78% bought a previously owned home
Top reason to buy new: Avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity (36% of new home buyers)
Top reason to buy an existing home: A better overall value (34%)
81% of Florida buyers chose a detached single-family home
20% bought senior-related housing
Median distance between a buyer's old and new home in Florida: 25 miles
The median home selling price was $202,000 – 97 percent of the asking price
The typical home was 1,860 square feet and built in 1998
Florida buyers expect to live in their homes a median of 15 years
Buyers' home search process
In Florida, 37 percent of buyers first searched online for for-sale properties; 15 percent started the process by contacting a real estate agent
79% of recent Florida buyers considered their real estate agent to be a very useful information source; 77 percent found websites very useful
Florida buyers searched for 10 weeks and looked at 10 homes
Florida buyers who did not search the Internet looked at four homes over six weeks
Internet searchers cited photos (86%) as useful in their home search process
58% were satisfied with the process
Florida home sellers
The typical Florida home seller was 62 years with a median income of $89,200
Top reasons Florida sellers sell: retirement (17%), the desire to move closer to friends and family (14%) and job relocation (12%)
Florida sellers typically lived in their home 11 years
87% of Florida home sellers worked with a real estate agent
The final sales price was a median 97 percent of the final listing price
Recently sold homes were on the market a median of six weeks
32% of Florida sellers offered incentives to attract buyers
Florida sellers said they sold for a median $48,000 above the price they originally paid for the home
61% were very satisfied with the selling process
For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) sellers
10% of Florida home sales were FSBO. Nationwide, NAR found FSBO sales at their lowest point since recordkeeping began in 1981
In Florida, the typical FSBO seller is 65 years old; 77 percent are married with an income of $82,500
In Florida, the median FSBO selling price was $200,000
Florida FSBO homes sold in five weeks, though weeks-on-market may be lower because some FSBOs sell to a buyer that the seller already knows
The complete 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Florida Report can be downloaded through Florida Realtors website. Visit the "Other Research Reports" page under the "Research and Statistics" link.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
It has been said, “Numbers lie and liars figure.” Assuming the numbers are true, how do I paint such a dramatic picture? Up 502% from the low yet 41% below the peak??
The single most important statistic to the average homeowner is the value of their home. They want to know if home prices are rising or falling. How fast? And by how much? That is why we tend to measure the health of the housing market by tracking selling prices. But that’s not the only way to look at the market.
For instance, we don’t read about the average price or the median price of a new car. Instead, the car market is typically measured in the number of cars sold while individual auto manufacturers are measured in gross sales (and profits).
Real estate agents and brokers are compensated through commissions. Their income is directly related to total sales; a combination of price and the number of homes sold. In their case, the gross sales numbers mentioned above truly represent the fluctuations they have experienced through both the rising and falling market. Real estate practitioners’ incomes fluctuate more wildly than do home prices.
The total sales value of SFR (single-family residential) Flagler County homes dropped a whopping 88.3% in only two and one half years. That’s true, but the high was in June 2005 and the low was in January 2008. Not a valid comparison. January is typically the slowest month for home sale closings in our market. June is typically among the best months.
In 12 of the most recent 13 years, more home sales have closed in June than in January, averaging 59.7% more. So agents and brokers expect a seasonal swing in monthly sales volume. Still, comparing January and July sales statistics without noting the seasonality is misleading.
On an annual revenue basis, local realtors had their best year in 2005 when SFR sales totaled $792.7M. Their worst year was 2010, when SFR sales totaled $235.1M, a 70.3% drop. Still big, but not as bad as the true but misleading 88.3% above. (Of course, by 2010, there were fewer agents and brokers to share the commission pie.)
By comparison, total SFR sales revenue over the past 12 months was $482.7M. Total sales have exceeded $500M in only on year (2005), so the past 12 month period is on a par with 2004 and 2006