With families headed home to start the new school year and rainy weather including a tropical storm, real estate sales remained slow for August, according to sales data released by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors (ECAR). Single family home sales dropped just over 8 percent in August compared to last year.



“Bad weather, tourists leaving for the summer – these things contribute to real estate sales,” says Judi Rutland, president of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors. “One month does not predict the year.”



Across the Emerald Coast, single family homes decreased by 8.1 percent in August, while median sales prices dropped 2.3 percent and average sales prices decreased by 3.1 percent. Pending sales continued to trend positively with an increase of 24.8 percent over last year. Sales of townhomes and condos increased by less than 1 percent. Median sales prices rose 13 percent, while average sales prices increased 23.8 percent.



“In every market, there are bright spots to be found,” says Rutland. “The townhome and condo market is a very bright spot.”



The difference in sales for single family homes versus townhomes and condos may be a tale of two counties. Okaloosa and Walton experienced very different results in August compared to last year.



Single family home sales in Okaloosa County for the month of August dropped 19 percent; townhomes and condo sales dropped 7.8 percent. The days on market increased by 24.1 percent for single family homes and 28.4 percent for townhomes and condos – more properties stayed on the market in August than the same time last year.



The month’s supply of inventory in Okaloosa County decreased by 32 percent to a 6.6 month supply for single family homes and by 31 percent to a 12 month supply for townhomes and condos. A healthy real estate market is a six month inventory. Pending sales increased for single family homes by 25.8 percent, although pending sales dropped for townhomes and condos by 29 percent.



In Walton County, the story is much different. Single family home sales increased by 39.6 percent while townhomes and condos increased by 6 percent. Median sales prices dropped for single family homes by 3.9 percent, but increased for townhomes and condos by 30.2 percent. Days on market decreased by 28.8 percent for single family homes and 26.8 percent for townhomes and condos.



Pending sales were up across the board – 36.6 percent for single family homes and 18.6 percent for townhomes and condos. The month’s supply of inventory continued to drop in August, decreasing 36.5 percent to 9.4 months for single family homes and 32.2 percent to 10.3 months for townhomes and condos.



“The difference between Okaloosa and Walton counties illustrates an important point that Realtors try to convey to everyone they know,” says Rutland. “All real estate is local – very local.”



This article was contributed to The Log by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors.