Local Housing Market May Have Turned Around

Bay County's housing market made a huge comeback in February, leading the state in percentage of sales over February of last year.

The Florida Realtors Association released the February sales figures Friday. Only Panama City showed an increase in the number of single-family existing homes sold in Northwest Florida.

The local numbers showed sales up 21%, while Ft. Walton Beach was down 27%, Pensacola was down 19% and Tallahassee dropped 20%.
Ft. Walton Beach was the only panhandle city with greater losses than the state average.

As far as prices are concerned for existing home sales, prices are down 3% statewide, down 4% in Ft. Walton Beach, Down 9% in Panama City and down 2% in Tallahassee.

Maybe the reason Panama City enjoyed more home sales is because buyers got better deals. The median selling price was down about 9% from last year, and 6% less than the state average.

The existing condominium market in Panama City saw a major jump, percentage wise., although we're only talking about 20-more units than February 2006. Tallahassee also saw a large percentage jump, while the rest of the region mirrored the declining state average.

Locally, condo prices might have had something to do with the increase. The median selling price for existing condos was down 8% from 2006. Experts say continuing lower mortgage rates helped spark buyer interest.

They also think housing prices have stabilized and that the outlook for Florida's single-family residential housing market is brightening.

In fact, one University of Florida researcher says it doesn't look like prices are going to fall anymore