The National Market
Interest rates maintained a level below 3% for two solid years. During that course of time, refinancing volume reached an all-time high, along with new and used home purchases. Then on April 5th the 30-year mortgage reached the unimaginably high level of 5.0%. So is the par-ty over? According to American Banker, refinancing is expected to decline by 77%. That is, from 2.4 trillion in 2020 vs an anticipated $573 billion in 2022.
American Banker also stated “A sharp decline in refis will put more pressure on bankers to fight for mortgages tied to home purchases, where volume should remain relatively steady as rates increase. That will intensify competition among mortgage lenders, forcing many to focus more on marketing, relationships with real estate professionals and customer service to drive volume.” So in other words, in spite of increased mortgage interest rates, home sales num-bers should remain fairly strong, inflation, fuel prices and conflicts abroad be damned?
The Local Market
No one seems to discuss covid anymore. Now all conversations seem to focus on the future of the markets. It should be no surprise that 20% + annual appreciation rates in real estate are not sustainable. Yes, the markets will absolutely level out. The diminishing increases in sales numbers were in part a reflection of the lack of inventory in segments of the market, more particularly Walton county. However, the overall number of active homes on the market has now increased from 347 last March to 468 (Stats at a Glance) this year which represents a 34.9% increase in inventory. Sales stats reflect a similar albeit opposite pattern. Single family sales numbers for March 2021 stood at 738 units. March 2022 sold units number 436, or a decrease of 40.9%.
So what now? It is good news/bad news. First and foremost, the elements which contributed to the market meltdown 15 years ago simply do not exist today. Government policy and regu-lations will play the biggest factor in the market direction in the near-term. And certainly, our sun here still shines and the beaches remain pristine. The things that make our area unique remain unchanged. Buyers from near and far continue to be attracted to Florida and our Em-erald Coast. At the end of the day, we see no imminent signs of a bursting bubble. The signs today would imply that 20% appreciation this year is unlikely.
Stats at a Glance
Ft. Walton Beach to Inlet Beach
Single Family Homes
• Active For Sale: 468
• Sold: 436
• Avg Active / Avg Sold Price - $2,474,213 / $1,366,826
• Active For Sale: 223 Sold: 233
• Avg Active / Avg Sold Price - $1,164,276 / $624,666
• Active For Sale: 263
• Sold: 57
• Avg Active / Avg Sold Price - $1,015,510 / $880,560
Ed, Terri, Kay, Denis, Mary, Nick and Denise
The monthly recap of our market’s diverse Average “Sold” Prices:
Single Family Condo
30-A $2,364,928 $1,159,474
Destin/Miramar Beach $1,272,084 $572,309
Ft. Walton Beach $393,266 $465,742
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