Newman-Dailey Resort Properties real estate team recently reported sales increased 52 percent in 2012 over 2011. The team's success is representative of the positive growth in Destin real estate sales and the increased number of closings along Florida's Emerald Coast. The Emerald Coast Association of Realtors reported that home sales were up in 2012. In February, closed sales were up 2.5 percent, showing a positive indication that this trend will continue in 2013.
"The market has been depressed for quite some time," said Jerry Bielawski, the top real estate agent for sales and listings with Newman-Dailey in 2012. "We're finally seeing the pendulum swing back in the other direction. Sales are up and all indicators show that Destin is prime for strong growth in 2013."
This news comes on the heels of the U.S. Census Bureau announcement that the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which includes Okaloosa and Walton Counties, ranked third among the top 10 fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States.
"Growth in military as well as a growing number of retirees, second home buyers, investors and those who want to relocate to enjoy the relaxed coastal lifestyle are fueling the trend," said Mark DeSalvo, a 13-year Destin resident and realtor with Newman-Dailey.
The optimism in market growth for Destin follows the sentiment among real estate agents nationwide. A recent survey of 2,400 real estate agents by ActiveRain, a social network for real estate agents, revealed 84 percent of realtors believe that values and the number of real estate transactions will increase in 2013. The study also revealed 77 percent of agents believe that new construction starts will continue to increase and 74 percent believe that their local economy will improve.
"In working closely with the builder community, I'm seeing projects that had previously been on hold start up again," said Diane Green, a Newman-Dailey real estate broker who has specialized in residential real estate for 30 years. "You can always find a fresh approach to whatever the market bears, and right now there is a resurgence in new development, from ground breaking to design to completion."
Newman-Dailey real estate agent Trent Clark, who specializes in merchandising and home presentation services, agrees.
"I've experienced an increased number of queries from developers and builders,” he said. “Model home merchandising and the need for sales agents for new developments is definitely on the rise. There is also an increase in owners who are remodeling and making improvements and upgrades in anticipation of placing their properties on the market to purchase another."
The February ECAR report shows consistent growth in the average selling price received as a percentage of the original listing price received, further demonstrating that market conditions are recovering as buyers realize the need to match the selling price (or better it) to secure the purchase.
"We're seeing incremental growth in sales prices all along the coast," said Colin Kirkwood, a real estate agent with strong understanding of property value and Newman-Dailey's second strongest producer in 2012. "We are finally beginning to see the number of bank owned properties decrease and short sales lessen. The market is definitely starting to correct itself and now is a good time to buy."
"Since the Destin real estate market peak in late 2005, bank owned properties have dictated market value," said Newman-Dailey real estate agent Kerry McNulty, aka ‘The Wired Agent’. "Foreclosures and successful short sales have been bargains for savvy buyers. My daily summary of properties on TheWiredAgent.com is broken down by single family home, condo and townhomes and shows that foreclosures and short sales are on the decline."
A recent National Association of Realtors article reported that existing home sales jumped more than 9 percent in 2012 (the largest increase in five years) and home inventory levels hit a five-year low in December 2012. Along the Emerald Coast, ECAR reports that active property listings were down month over month for 2012 as compared to 2011.
"The decrease in inventory is another sign that the market is in recovery mode and we should see home prices continue to increase," said Eva Pickens, a Newman-Dailey real estate agent, specializing in condo and home listings for more than 16 years.
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties is a full-service real estate sales, property management and vacation rental company, which has been in business on the Emerald Coast for 28 years. The Real Estate Division is consistently listed by ECAR among the top 10 percent of real estate companies along the Emerald Coast for sales. Newman-Dailey’s main office is located in Fountain Plaza off U.S. Highway 98 in Destin. For more information, visit DestinSales.com or call 850-837-1071.