Officials say real estate is booming in Panama City Beach

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas, property values in the area are on the rise and with that increase, comes new construction.

"There's an awful lot of building going on out here. There are a lot of new permits being issued every day. We've got like four top-end hotels being built out here right now," Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas said.

He said apartments, houses, condos and hotels are being built as the real estate market takes off in Panama City Beach.

Some townhomes are being built on Alf Coleman Road. Others are under construction on Back Beach Road and adjacent roads, like Clarence Street off of Hutchison.

Chris Ballenger, a listing specialist with The Payne Group, part of Keller Williams Success Realty, said new construction is needed, since inventory is currently lower than usual.

"The market is extremely hot right now as far as sales. The only thing that we see different from last year is the actual total number of listings that we actually have or homes for sale on the market. That has taken just a slight dip year over year from this time last year, however the percent of sales is 13 percent up from what it was last year at this time," Ballenger said.

Ballenger said for Keller Williams, one specific market is thriving more than others. "Attached single units and condominiums themselves are going up. Right now, condominiums sales are up 28 percent year over last year... A lot of the things that are going on with Panama City Beach are definitely helping stimulate that real estate economy as well."

"This is not a bad place to be and people around the United States are figuring that out and they're coming," Mayor Thomas said.

Many vacant lots near Thomas Drive and in the unincorporated area of the beach are also being brought up.