ORLANDO — Northwest Florida’s real estate market continued its slow recovery last month as Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa counties each showed signs of improvement mixed with some bad news.
Florida Realtors, the largest real estate organization in the state, recently released its market updates for September sales in the three counties. Okaloosa County’s single-family home sales rebounded slightly from August, but its condominium and townhome market continued to struggle.
“The local market is continuing its recovery, aided by cash buyers, investors and buyers who can get credit,” wrote Judi Rutland, president of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, in an email. “There are fewer listings on the market and levels are finally coming down to what’s considered a healthy market. Investors are buying up property to rent and fewer sellers are coming on to the market; both contribute to a lowering of inventory.
In Okaloosa County, 226 single-family homes were sold last month, a slight increase from September 2011 when 223 single-family homes were sold. The average sale price also rose slightly, from $219,634 last September to $227,440 last month.
Okaloosa County’s townhome and condo market was down for the second month in a row in September. The county had 55 units sell last month; that’s a decrease of 17.9 percent from September 2011 when 67 units were sold. The average sale price of $273,965 was virtually even with last year’s average.
Single-family home sales in Walton County increased compared to September 2011, but the townhome and condo market was down more than 25 percent.
Walton County had 118 single-family homes sold last month, a 15.7 percent increase from last September when 102 homes were sold. However, the average sale price for those homes was down slightly, from $458,603 last September to $456,938 last month.
Townhome and condominium sales in Walton County were down 27.4 percent, from 62 units sold in September 2011 to 45 units sold this September. However, the average sale price for those units increased by nearly 24 percent, from $306,924 last year to $380,413 last month.
September was a strong month for Santa Rosa County’s real estate market. Single-family home sales increased from 168 closings in September 2011 to 177 closings this September, and the average sale price of $194,454 was a 6.1 percent increase from the previous year.
“The outlook for the local market continues to be positive,” Rutland wrote. “Agents are reporting that some listings are receiving multiple bids and are going under contract shortly after hitting the market.”
Contact Daily News Business Editor Dusty Ricketts at 850-315-4448 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DustyRnwfdn.