Many things like Hurricane Michael and the pandemic have impacted the real estate market here in Bay County

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:58 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A quiet Lynn Haven neighborhood was perfect for new homeowners, who learned very quickly this is a seller’s market.

“It can be a stressful period of time, but looking back, ours went smoother from what I hear others can go,” new Lynn Haven homeowner Danielle Chizmar said.

Chizmar said she and her husband bought their house back in November, the day it went on the market.

“We put in an offer right there for over-asking and that is the reason why because there were so few houses available for what we were looking for in the price range we were looking for, so when we found something that met the criteria, we knew we had to act on it right away,” said Chizmar.

The reason for the rush, Chizmar knows there are more people wanting to buy houses here than there are to sell. A report given at the Bay Economic Development Alliance meeting Wednesday morning showed the time a home stays on the market is now cut in half from what it was immediately after Hurricane Michael.

“We’re at about two and a half months worth of inventory and what that means is it’ll take two and a half months to exhaust all the inventory we currently have on the market. A healthy market, which means it’s a balanced market between buyers and sellers, is typically six to eight months,” Central Panhandle Association of Realtors CEO Debbie Ashbrook said.

Ashbrook said people are just now getting insurance money and repairing their homes two years after Hurricane Michael and many are deciding to upsize. Ashbrook said this low listing inventory trend can be seen across the country, not just Bay County.

“If you look at the National Association of Realtors research, they predict the real estate market is going to go up ten percent in 2021 and with interest rates still significantly low, we predict they’re going to stay right around three percent in 2021 and that’s going to affect the market as well,” said Ashbrook.

Ashbrook said if you’re thinking of selling your house, now is the time. She adds the median sale price for Bay County is about $270,000 for residential properties. Ashbrook says that as the prices for houses go up, the number of houses on the market goes down. Chizmar said this trend shows after their old house sold in a short 12 days.

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