At this time in 2016, we were forecasting a good year. As it turned out, 2016 exceeded all sales expectations and was the second best year for residential real estate sales in the history of the greater Pensacola area.
As you can see in the above chart, real estate sales have been growing continuously year-over-year since 2011. Some of the key reasons for the ongoing upward trend are listed below.
- Pent-up demand - have waited for better times to buy a second home or investment property
- Employment - After unemployment hit a high here in January 2010 at 10.8% is now at 5.1%.
- Population growth - The population in Escambia County as increased by 4.2% since 2010
- Few Distressed properties - in January 2011 distressed properties (both foreclosures and short sales) made up 18% of all listings; in 2016 this number is 4%.
- Fewer Upside down mortgages - More people can now buy and sell homes
- Mortgage rates are still very low - Currently, rates are slightly over 4%
- Credit is getting easier to obtain - Lenders are loosening up on down payments and credit scores
- Bad credit scores are getting better - People with foreclosure or short sale in their past (7-10 rears ago) are now able to qualify. Everyone’s credit is improving for the most part.
- Growing number of retirees - Aging population want to move to Florida
2016 closed out with a strong December, the third best December ever for properties listed in the Pensacola MLS. We anticipate 2017 to be as strong a year as 2016, but most likely better.
The number of condominium sales has remained stable since 2013, nearing 600 units per year. This plateau in condo sales appears to be a result of no new units have been built since 2008. There are currently several condo complexes under construction or in the planning phase that will affect future sales numbers.
Beach condos are still very popular with families and retirees alike. Everyone loves the beach, but not everyone can perform the upkeep a beach home requires. The low maintenance benefit makes owning a condominium a winner for many buyers. Beach properties are often placed on the vacation rental market with not in personal use to reduce the net cost of ownership.
There are some important economic changes that will influence sales to the upside.
- New construction of homes and condominiums
- Changes in personal and corporate tax rate
- Reduced bank regulations
- Wage and job growth
- Downtown business and residential developments
- Continued population growth
In 2016, Emerald Coast Realty exceeded projections and completed our best year in real estate sales. Our expert team of real estate agents worked hard with sellers and buyers to provide the best experience possible during their transaction. We pledge to do the same with you in 2017.
See more detailed home sales data and information about the Pensacola real estate market.
Written by: Emerald Coast Realty