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2018 Real Estate Year in Review – Inventories and Absorption Rates

Unlike 15 years ago, Palm Coast and Flagler County are not out in front of the national real estate market. They are following at a nice steady pace, and that’s a good thing.

By Toby Tobin
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PALM COAST, FL – January 21, 2019 – Unlike 15 years ago, Palm Coast and Flagler County are not out in front of the national real estate market. They are following at a nice steady pace, and that’s a good thing. While other areas of the country have surpassed their housing bubble pricing peaks, the local market remains shy of that goal.

Single-family Homes

Flagler County single-family home sales (MLS-reported) totaled 2,485 in 2018, up 6.5% from 2,334 reported in 2017. This marks an uptick from a year ago when 2017 home sales exceeded 2016 home sales by only 3.8%. This, while other areas of the country are reporting sales slowing down.

Median selling prices are also on the rise. The 2018 median selling price was $227,000, up 4.7% from $216,900 in 2017. The median selling price in 2016 was $200,000. The total value of single-family home sales for 2018 was $670,900,421, up 10.65% over 2017.

1,149 single-family residential building permits were issued during 2018. That’s a 17.2% increase over the number of 2017 permits. More important, the number of duplex permits issued rose 276.7% to 83. Duplex permits increased the total new residential dwelling units to 1,315, or 27.2% greater than in 2017.

Top Gainers (2017 to 2018)

The overall county median selling price for single-family homes rose 4.7% from 2017 to 2018. The top median price increases were all within traditional Palm Coast subdivisions; Woodlands 18.4%, Matanzas Woods 14.9%, Lehigh Woods 14.3%, and Belle Terre 13.3%. Only Woodlands (138.6%) and Belle Terre (121.4%) have seen post-recession prices more than double levels seen at the bottom of the market in 2011.

The smallest median year-over-year price gains were registered in Flagler Beach -2.2%, Seminole Woods 1.0%, Grand Haven 3.5%

Inventory and Absorption Rate

The inventory of single-family homes available for sale through MLS remains in the low to mid 800s, about where it has been for the past few years. The overall absorption rate for the county was 4.0 (four months of sales inventory), but the absorption rate for selected markets within the county varies, illustrating the connection between absorption rate and median selling price.

Absorption Rates by Community

Year: 2018

Ave. Homes

Median

Currently

Absorption

 

 Sold/Mo

 Price

 Listed

 Rate

 Woodlands

 3.33

 $162,250

 5

 1.5

 Quail Hollow

 6.58

 $194,000

 19

 2.9

 Belle Terre

 7.00

 $195,500

 10

 1.4

 Pine Grove

 14.50

 $196,500

 32

 2.2

 Seminole Woods

 10.42

 $199,000

 27

 2.6

 Lehigh Woods

 18.83

 $200,000

 61

 3.2

 Indian Trails

 23.08

 $202,500

 50

 2.2

 Pine Lakes

 20.17

 $210,250

 65

 3.2

 Matanzas Woods

 8.00

 $229,754

 15

 1.9

 Palm Harbor

 28.67

 $247,950

 112

 3.9

 Cypress Knolls

 6.83

 $265,950

 16

 2.3

 Flagler Beach

 11.67

 $323,750

 140

 12.0

 Grand Haven

 10.25

 $370,000

 52

 5.1

 Palm Coast Plantation

 0.92

 $420,000

 10

 10.9

 Hammock Dunes CDD

 5.08

 $670,000

 61

 12.0

         

 Flagler County

 207.08

 $227,000

 823

 4.0

 

All the original Palm Coast subdivisions have absorption rates below the overall county level. Woodlands and Belle Terre have the two lowest absorption rates and represent two of the lowest three median priced markets (the last bastions of affordability).

Inflation Warnings?

The underlying value of all real estate is the value of the land. Palm Coast lots are similarly sized and there are still over 15,000 undeveloped within the city. They are the closest thing to a commodity in the Flagler market.

Over a decade ago, the first sign that the local market was overheating was when Palm Coast lot prices suddenly shot up as builders scrambled to grab inventory. By the end of 2005, the median price of a Palm Coast lot (excluding those on a salt water canal) reached a staggering $76,100. Today, lot prices remain subdued. Palm Coast lots sold for a median price of $20,000 in 2018, up only $1,000 from the previous year.

Affordability remains a deterrent for many potential home buyers. That aside, the local market is in pretty good shape.


Toby Tobin: REALTOR®, SRES®

I am a Florida licensed REALTOR®, SRES®, affiliated with Grand Living Realty in Palm Coast, Fla. I have years of experience and a treasure trove of relevant analytics. By consulting with me, developers, builders, homebuyers, and sellers achieve improved outcomes and reduced stress, knowing that their real estate decisions are fact-based.

Call me at (386) 931-7124 or email me at Toby@GoToby.com.

Listen to my radio show, Real Estate Mattersevery Saturday morning right after the 11:00 A.M. news break on WNZF News Radio 1550 AM or 94.9 FM. Download the Flagler Radio App from the App Store so you can hear Real Estate Matters anywhere in the world.

reader comments
Real Estate Year in review
Posted by ASF
Jan 23, 2019, 10:16 pm
It doesn't seem to me to be such a great thing that the lowest cost properties are the ones that are selling.
Lot sales/Impact Fees
Posted by Donna Pettinati
Jan 23, 2019, 10:16 pm
When the neighborhoods have too many vacant lots it remains under constant strain to have construction going on with trucks, trades and traffic going in and out of the neighborhood with no end. Would the county consider a temporary break in the impact fee to single family lots to push the completion once and for all, especially in the older neighborhoods, before sprawling into untouched land. Encourage and create completed communities so kids can be safe in neighborhoods without worries of sporadic wooded hide-outs, dump sites and construction traffic going in and out of partially completed neighborhoods.

 
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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.