Condo Bubble Burst

By: Adam Kramer
By: Adam Kramer

Real estate developers, managers and agents throughout Bay County say in the last six months they've experienced a major decline in the number of new condominium buyers.

The new condos continue to go up, but the number of prospective buyers doesn't.

"It's gone from great to nothing."

Jeff Mynard has been selling condos for Dunes of Panama for 20 years and says 2004 and 2005 were his best years ever.

"So together that's about 80 units, or a third of the property turning over in two years," said Jeff Mynard of Dunes of Panama. "In contrast this year, we've sold two units. Actually, only one of them has closed."

Real estate experts in Panama City Beach say the condo bubble may have finally burst.

"We just got so much supply and we've got a high demand, just not as high as it has been," said Nathan Trent of Coldwell Realty.

And Panama City Beach isn't alone. Phoenix, Arizona, Richmond, Virginia and Las Vegas, Nevada are among the dozens of cities across the country all experiencing the same thing.

Experts say the problem is too many condos and not enough buyers.

"It might be a little slower now just due to the fact of the market. We've got so much inventory," said Nathan Trent of Coldwell Realty.

The 28-story development on the west end of Panama City Beach stopped construction shortly after groundbreaking because of a lack of sales.

Jeff Mynard says after watching the market for 20 years, the only winners in the condo market are the ones who aren't in it for the money.

"They bought here for reasons other that purely economic and trying to flip a unit or make money," said Jeff Mynard.


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