Local residential real estate starts 2014 with a bang

Special to The Log

While buyers may not have included real estate in their shopping plans for the holidays, they came back full force in January with a 25.4 percent increase in single family home sales across the Emerald Coast, according to sales statistics released by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors. Townhome and condo sales fared similarly well in January, with a 20.6 percent increase in sales when compared to January 2013. 

“We expect the local real estate markets to experience minor ups and downs over the course of the year,” said Ed Smith, ECAR president. “You don’t achieve a first down on every play, but overall, you expect to move the ball in a positive direction. Accordingly, on average, the gains we are seeing in real estate are very positive.” 

Local residential real estate continued the gains made last year into January. Median prices for single family homes in the region rose during the month by 6.3 percent when compared to 2013, while townhome and condo prices increased 3.7 percent. The length of time single family homes stayed on the local market dropped by 16.7 percent to 70 days, while the days on market for townhomes and condos fell 13.2 percent to 105 days. Inventory fell for single family homes as well as townhomes and condos by 1.6 to a 7.3 months’ supply and by 3.9 percent to a nine months’ supply, respectively.

“The single family home market is different from the townhome and condo market,” said Smith. “The condo/townhome purchases tend to be more discretionary. Both are moving in the right direction in terms of sales, inventories, and pricing. We certainly expect to see continued improvement in 2014.

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