Panama City Real Estate Market Update May 2012

The numbers are in for May 2012, and the news is good!  135 single family houses sold in Bay County in May 2012.  That gives us three months in a row with sales in the 130’s.  These are some of the best sales numbers we’ve seen in quite some time.  However, to keep it in perspective, back in 2005 we were selling around 250 houses a month.  So even though things are better, we’re still nowhere near the numbers we saw back in the boom.

There are currently 1190 houses on the market.  The trend for this number is creeping down, so that we now have 8.8 months worth of inventory.  That is the lowest inventory number we’ve seen since 2005.  However, remember that back in 2005 we were selling houses at a rate of 250 a month.  We had 231 new houses come on the market last month , so houses are still coming on the market at a much higher rate than they are selling off.  The net result is that a lot of houses are expiring from the MLS unsold.

The average “days on market” for the houses that sold was 146, or about 5.5 months.  That number is creeping down, also a good trend.  The average dollars per square foot was $99.  That number is creeping up, close to the magical $100 a square foot number that we used to see.

The sweet spot in the market is still below $180,000.  66 of the houses that sold last month were priced below 180.  But we did have 12 houses sell between $260,000 and $300,000, and one house of over $1,000,000 sold.  So we are seeing some activity in the upper price ranges.

The foreclosure picture is still somewhat bleak.  We had 95 houses taken back by lenders last month, and 132 new foreclosure cases filed.  Compare that with 135 houses that sold last month, and you can see the inventory simply has to increase unless the rate of sales increases.  Looking into the future, I still expect inventories to rise , and for prices to remain flat or perhaps even drop a little bit.  This trend will continue until the foreclosures work their way through the market.

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