Palm Coast, Florida Real Estate Market Gains Strength

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If real estate had a beta index to measure volatility like the stock market, Palm Coast's beta would be high. Palm Coast real estate peaked sooner and reaching bottom earlier than the rest of the market, according to real estate news website, GoToby.com.

Toby Tobin

The initial housing shortage quickly translated into increased prices and housing starts, followed by rampant speculation and over building, resulting in over supply and collapse.

The volatile estate market in Palm Coast and Flagler County, Florida has been driven by population growth. Flagler was the second fastest growing county in the country from 2000 to 2007 and Palm Coast its fastest growing small city. "The population surge created a huge imbalance in the real estate market," says Toby Tobin, publisher of real estate news website GoToby.com. (Article) "The initial housing shortage quickly translated into increased prices and housing starts, followed by rampant speculation and over building, resulting in over supply and collapse."

GoToby.com closely tracks Palm Coast lot sales. Unlike many evolving surrounding developments, these lots were platted when Palm Coast, a planned community, was first laid out by ITT in 1969. With roads and utilities in place, they were ready to be built upon. Their number (of the original 45,000, 10,000 are still vacant) and uniformity (most are 10,000 SF) make them a commodity, thus more susceptible to market fluctuations. In 2000, these lots traded at prices between $5,000 and $15,000. The median selling price rose steeply to $77,000. They've since settled down to a realistic median sales price of $30,000.

"Our housing market rose more quickly, it rose more steeply, and it peaked sooner than the market in general," says Tobin. Now it's acting like a leading indicator of recovery. Palm Coast's single-family residential housing market already shows strength while other areas of the country expect their slump to continue for months. Some other Florida markets show similar trends. Since the end of 2007, Palm Coast's inventory of unsold homes declined nearly 20%. The number of pending sales more than doubled. For the first time since 2005, the number of quarterly home sales will increase over the previous year's quarter.

Baby boomer demographics signal that Florida will continue to be a favored second home and retirement destination for that generation. "With Palm Coast situated as the most affordable warm climate coastal market on the east coast, it's likely that more cycles are in Palm Coast's future, with each cycle being above the previous one," says Tobin.

About GoToby.com LLC:
GoToby.com is the popular on-line news source for Palm Coast and Flagler County Florida's residential and commercial real estate markets, offering news, commentary, newsletters, articles, property listings, recent sales, and interesting rumors.

Contact:
Don "Toby" Tobin, Publisher
GoToby.com LLC
(386) 931-7124
http://www.GoToby.com

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