Plans for New FL License Plate to Benefit South Walton

The local nonprofit organization Scenic Walton Inc., which works to preserve the natural beauty of Walton County and improve the quality of life in the community, is working to raise awareness of the proposed state 30A specialty license plate, proceeds from which would go to the nonprofit organization. The plate, approved in this year's state legislative session, won't be manufactured by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles until 3,000 people have pre-ordered one.

The nonprofit Scenic Walton Inc. has begun promoting a planned state specialty license plate dedicated to Walton County Road 30A, the iconic beachside route.

Proceeds from the sale of the planned 30A specialty tags, which will cost $33, will go to Scenic Walton Inc. in support of its work to preserve the county’s natural beauty and enhance the quality of life not only along the beaches, but across the entire county.

State legislation creating the specialty tag, which can be used on vehicles in place of the standard state license plate, took effect Oct. 1 after being signed into law in June by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Oct. 1 effective date started the clock running on the next phase of the effort to get the tags onto vehicles and the sale proceeds headed to Scenic Walton Inc.

In order for the 30A specialty tag to become available, 3,000 pre-orders must be received by the state within the next 24 months. At that point, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will start manufacturing the tags.

Vouchers for the proposed 30A specialty tag can be purchased online at www.30Atag.com or at any tax collector’s office.

To get to the required 3,000 vouchers, Scenic Walton Inc. is embarking on a marketing campaign designed to raise awareness of the tag’s availability, according to Leigh Moore, executive director of the organization.

“We do think it’s doable,” Moore said Monday. But she also recognized the potentially limited reach of interest in the specialty tag, in that it is focused specifically on Walton County. However, she noted that the “30A brand” is known and appreciated across a wide area of Northwest Florida.

“It’s not necessarily just about 30A,” Moore said optimistically. “It’s about the beach lifestyle and the Gulf Coast region.”

The tag features a silhouette of trees rising above Western Lake, a familiar vista along 30A, along with an image of the ubiquitous blue, white and yellow “30A” promotional sticker that adorns vehicles across the country and places around the world as a memento of visits to the area.

In all, according to The 30A Company, a local lifestyle brand company that offers an array of beach-related merchandise, an estimated 3 million 30A stickers have been distributed.

The tag was created by Gulf Coast designer Jake Meyer with help from local residents and the 1.5 million social media fans of The 30A Company, who helped select the final design for the specialty license plate.

Mike Ragsdale, founder and CEO of The 30A Company, weighed in on the design in comments included in a news release announcing the campaign for the specialty license plate.

“Of course, we have amazing beaches here, as do many Florida towns, but our coastal dune lakes really are unique to Walton County,” Ragsdale said. “I think our community made an excellent choice.”

“We do not expect this to be easy,” Moore said getting 3,000 vouchers in hand for the 30A tag, “but we are determined to do it.”

She added that the hope is to have the 3,000 vouchers well before the 24-month deadline.

“A lot of it is just going to be boots on the ground,” Moore added, describing the approach that Scenic Walton Inc. is taking to get the word out.

If the tag is approved, it will become one of 120 specialty license plates offered in the state, promoting everything from the U.S. military services to institutions of higher education to manatees and the arts.

Interestingly, the legislation creating the opportunity for the 30A specialty license plates also included language that would cap the types of specialty license plates offered in the state at 150, meaning that some plates would have to be retired if new ones are desired when that threshold is reached.

If the 30A specialty tag is approved, sales proceeds will be used by Scenic Walton Inc., to help cover the nonprofit’s operating expenses, Moore said.

In turn, that will allow Scenic Walton Inc. to provide additional financial support to county government efforts and other local initiatives to improve not only the 30A corridor, but other locales in the county.

“We work to improve landscaping in roadway medians, reduce litter, promote underground utilities, expand infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, and other projects that enhance the quality of life for Walton County residents and visitors,” Moore said in the news release. “Money raised by the new tags will help promote beautification and safety projects throughout all of Walton County, not just along the beach.”

In particular, Moore said Monday, Scenic Walton Inc. would like to see its money used to fund design work for beautification and safety projects, which would allow the county and local municipal governments to allocate more of their resources to actual construction of those projects.

And as local governments are competing for grants and other available funding for projects, having a design in hand before applying for those dollars can provide a competitive advantage, she added.

“We’re just trying to partner better with the municipalities,” Moore said.

Also according to Moore, Scenic Walton Inc. takes a longer-term approach to its work, which includes using landscaping to improve not only the aesthetics but the safety of roads in the county.

“Our vision is longer term — 10, 20, 30, 40 years,” she said.

In that light, she added that Scenic Walton Inc. supports of the county government’s efforts to develop a countywide transportation plan, a multifaceted effort to improve the county’s transportation infrastructure, including along 30A, over the next 20 years.

“I think that we’ve needed it for quite some time, and we would be thrilled to see them get it in place,” Moore said.

Source: The Walton Sun

https://www.waltonsun.com/story/news/local/2021/10/19/30-a-license-plate-could-help-walton-county-beautification-projects/8506628002/

Mountain Film Festival Going on Now in WaterColor

Mountainfilm on Tour  is one of SoWal’s most popular events, returning to WaterColor Inn & Resort’s Marina Park Amphitheater for its 21st anniversary this Nov. 5-6, with films that reflect Mountainfilm’s motto, “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit,” and use the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.

 

A two-night outdoor film festival dedicated to educating and motivating audiences about issues that matter, Mountainfilm on Tour at WaterColor brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films to Northwest Florida.

Marina Park Amphitheater offers a breathtaking outdoor setting against a backdrop of longleaf pines, under a starry sky to enhance the inspiring films. An event presenter will guide the audience through the program, providing insight on the films, filmmakers and subject matters.

Tickets and WaterColor Inn lodging packages are available at www.mountainfilmfl.com and is sure to be a sellout. Each evening, gates open at 5:45 p.m., with films beginning at 7 p.m.

Please Note:

  • Bring a blanket or low-back chair(s) for seating (maximum 30 inch height restriction applies and will be enforced).
  • Chairs are not allowed to be placed at the event prior to gates opening and will be removed.
  • Selections of festival fare, wine and beer will be available for purchase.
  • No outside food, beverage or coolers allowed in the Mountainfilm festival gates.
  • No pets allowed to the event.
  • Adult language is used in some films and may not be appropirate for younger children.
  • Mountainfilm on Tour at WaterColor is a rain or shine event; ticket purchases are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled or postponed.

Signature Event T-shirts -Limited-edition 2021 Mountainfilm on Tour at WaterColor long-sleeve shirts will be available for purchase with online ticket sales, at the event, or may be purchased at WaterColor Store ahead of the event.

Movie Playlist

 *Films may be subject to change.

 

Source: SoWal

https://sowal.com/story/mountainfilm-on-tour-at-watercolor-nov-5-6

Posted by Allea Sipper on

Groundbreaking for New Regional Beach Access in Miramar Beach

The Walton County Board of County Commissioners and the Walton County Tourism Department invite the public to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Scenic Gulf Drive Regional Beach Access on Wednesday,

Oct. 27, at 10 a.m. The new regional beach access will be located at 907 Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach (across from Amalfi Coast).

“This new regional beach access will include a restroom building with a large plaza, an ADA accessible boardwalk to the beach, as well as vehicle, golf cart and bicycle parking,” said Beach Operations Director Brian Kellenberger. “There will also be a picnic pavilion with access to the beach.”

Since August 2016, Visit South Walton has purchased a total of seven parcels to be used as new regional access points, as well as future parking facilities. One of the most notable properties is the “Grayton Grand” project on County Road 283.

The properties were purchased and will be maintained using bed tax dollars, a 5 percent tax collected on short-term rentals. Residents do not pay the bed tax unless they are taking a “staycation” in a local rental property or accommodation.

“Anytime we have an opportunity provide additional beach access for our residents and visitors to enjoy, it’s a priority for Walton County,” said District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson. “We understand that it can sometimes be a long process from the time we purchase a property until we open a new access, but it’s always great to see these important steps begin. This new beach access is going to be a great addition to Miramar Beach and our county.”

Once construction is completed on the Scenic Gulf Drive access, as well as the proposed regional beach access in Seagrove Beach, across from Café Thirty-A, the total number of regional beach access points in South Walton will increase to 11. Each regional beach access point includes parking, bathroom facilities, and a lifeguard station.

For additional information regarding the groundbreaking or the Scenic Gulf Drive beach access, contact Brian Kellenberger at (850-267-4578 or Brian@visitsouthwalton.com.

Source: The Walton Sun

https://www.waltonsun.com/story/news/2021/10/20/walton-county-break-ground-new-scenic-gulf-drive-beach-access/8537336002/

Posted by Allea Sipper on

Real Estate Market Report Destin to 30A

To describe the real estate market on the Emerald Coast in the last 18 months as brisk would be an understatement.  It has been red hot.  Since the lifting of the short-term rental ban in May 2020, the market has seen a rapid growth in the number of transactions.  This growth subsequently reduced the amount of available inventory.  The graph below (Chart #1) shows the number of properties listed for sale (orange line) and the number of pended transactions (turquoise line) for each month during the last three years through 9/30/21.

As the chart indicates, the number of pended transactions jumped in June 2020. Most of this increase was from pent up demand from buyers that could not view homes during the COVID shutdown in March and April.  This demand outpaced the number of new listings in the market causing a steep decline in inventory that lasted through March 2021.  During this period, it was very common to hear of listings that were on the market for only one day with multiple offers being made for the property.

It’s clear that something happened in March 2021 that resulted in a decline in pended transactions.  The chart below (Chart #2) helps to explain this.

This chart (Chart #2) shows the average list price for active properties (orange line) and the average sold price (turquoise line).  This chart shows the rapid growth in list prices starting around December 2020, peaking in May 2021.  Interestingly, the average sold priced maintained its consistent price growth with a little leveling off during the last six months.  In contrast, the average list price has had a decline since its peak in May.  Keep in mind that even with this pull back in list prices, prices remain higher than in the pre-COVID period and for a year after the lifting of the short-term rental ban.  In addition(Chart #3), the inventory of available listings remains very low at 2.0 months of inventory.

Putting it all together leads to the following conclusions, the rapid increase in listing prices was too much too fast.  The market was not willing to purchase properties at the same pace as it was 6 to 12 months ago at those now higher relative prices.  Inventory in the market will continue to rise until listing prices correct to a level that is more attractive to buyers.  As seen in Chart #2, this decrease in listing prices has started.  Remember, the average price for pended transactions is stable, further supporting that the recent decline in pended transaction is a function of overpriced supply versus lower demand for property.  Sellers have options.  They can be patient at their current price and be willing to wait, reduce their list price, or make improvements to justify a higher price, just to name a few.  Demand remains strong and buyers are ready to buy at the right price!

St. Joe Major New Developments in Hospitality Offerings

The St. Joe Company continues its exciting transformation with additional hospitality offerings in the area. The company currently owns or operates five hotels, with an additional six hotels under development or construction.

Once complete, these projects will bring St. Joe’s hotel portfolio to 1,170 rooms. Owned or managed: WaterColor Inn (60 rooms), The Pearl Hotel (55 rooms), Watersound Inn (11 rooms), TownePlace Suites (124 rooms), Hilton Garden Inn (143 rooms). In the works: The Guest House (75 rooms), Embassy Suites (255 rooms), Homewood Suites (131 rooms), Hotel Indigo (124 rooms), The Lodge30A (85 rooms), Home2 Suites (107 rooms).

 

Embassy Suites by Hilton: 255 guest suites – Panama City Beach, next to Pier Park with Gulf views
Planned opening date: 2022
Broke ground: August 28, 2019
Photos/Artist renderings: https://joe.canto.com/b/RSAMA

This is a joint venture by the St. Joe Company and Key International. Once complete, St. Joe Hospitality will manage the day-to-day operations of the hotel, which will feature 255 guest suites, a pool, meeting space, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant and an upper-level, Gulf-view social, catering and event space. Guests staying at the Embassy Suites will be treated to complimentary cooked-to-order breakfasts and a daily evening reception.

Construction partners: Killian Construction is the General Contractor. Joint Venture partner is Key International.

The Guest House: 75 guest rooms – Fazio Dr. at the Camp Creek Golf Course
Planned opening date: Summer 2022
Broke Ground: October 3, 2019
Hotel manager: Manny Belete
Photos/Artist renderings: https://joe.canto.com/b/QTRAP

In 2022, St. Joe Hospitality is slated to open a 75-room, three story boutique inn located near Watersound Club’s Camp Creek Golf Course. As part of an expansion of Watersound Club amenities, The Guest House will have the most expansive wellness and fitness facilities in the surrounding 30A area. In addition to a health and wellness center, it will be the home to two dining venues, pickle ball courts and tennis courts, a resort-style pool complex with a separate adult pool, multi-sport fields and a golf teaching academy.

Guests will have access to all Watersound Club amenities during their stay, including Watersound Beach Club, Shark’s Tooth Golf Course and Camp Creek Golf course. Whether for golf, relaxation, or a private club experience, The Guest House offers the perfect fit nestled within the 30A community and surrounding state forests.

Construction partner: The Highland Group is the General Contractor.

Watersound Club amenities expansion (including The Guest House)
Photos/Artist renderings: https://joe.canto.com/b/IU1P4

Watersound Club will receive a major amenity expansion adjacent to Camp Creek Golf Course. Part of the expansion includes adding The Golf Performance Center, which opened in early April 2021. Construction is also underway on a planned Wellness Center, complete with men’s and women’s steam rooms and saunas, an exercise facility and an adults-only lap pool.

The entry lobby of the wellness facility will be designed by the Chicago-based interiors firm, The Gettys Group. Their plans call for the incorporation of colors that celebrate the richness of Watersound’s natural setting to provide a luxurious space that sooths and invigorates guests.
The wellness facilities are being designed by Atlanta-based firm KDC Architecture.

In addition to The Guest House and restaurant, other new amenities being added will include 9 new tennis courts, a family-friendly pool with a slide, lazy river and a poolside dining venue, grass fields for sports or recreation and a kids club. Facilities for basketball, pickleball and bocce will be available as well. The upcoming amenity expansion is expected to open to club members in early 2022. https://clubsbyjoe.com/home
Membership office: 6652 E. County Hwy 30A, Suite 140 / Watersound, FL | 850 213-5181

Construction partner: The Highland Group is the General Contractor.

Hilton Garden Inn: 143 guest rooms – Located at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), near the corner of Venture Crossings Blvd. and West Bay Parkway at the entrance of VentureCrossings Enterprise Centre.
Opening date: Now Open! (Opened 7/8/2021)
Hotel Manager: Katja Chatfield
Photos/Artist renderings: https://joe.canto.com/b/QMO4G

The Hilton Garden Inn’s site at VentureCrossings Enterprise Centre and the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) is just a short drive to Panama City Beach’s world famous white-sand beaches and the Pier Park area, making it a convenient option for both leisure and business travelers. Meeting space, a pool and fitness center and a full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week ensure all guests are well taken care of during their stay. https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/ecppcgi-hilton-garden-inn-panama-city-a…
5625 Venture Crossings Blvd., Panama City Beach, FL 32409 | (850) 231-7200

Homewood Suites by Hilton: 131 one and two-bedroom guest suites – Chip Seal Parkway, adjacent to the Panama City Beach Sports Complex
Planned opening date: Spring 2022
Broke ground: November 5, 2020
Photos/Artist renderings: https://joe.canto.com/b/Q8JDF

The Homewood Suites by Hilton is a four-story hotel, with 131 one and two-bedroom guest suites, each equipped with a full kitchen and refrigerator. Planned amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center and complimentary hot breakfast served seven days a week. The hotel is adjacent to the $40 million Panama City Beach Sports Complex (completed in 2019) and a short drive from the area’s world-famous white sand beaches, making it an ideal “play-cation” destination for sports visitors and their families.

Construction partner: Cardella Construction Company is the General Contractor.

The Lodge 30A: 85 room boutique hotel – Seagrove Beach
Planned opening date: 2022
Photos/Artist renderings: https://joe.canto.com/b/ORTPL

The Lodge 30A will be a boutique hotel located on Scenic Hwy 30A in Seagrove Beach. Plans call for a picturesque three-story hotel with amenities such as a fitness center and outdoor pool. Architecture plans and interior design concepts employ the use of natural materials in a modern way, taking inspiration from the surrounding area. The Lodge 30A will be adjacent to the planned Greenway Station development that abuts the 15,000-acre Point Washington State Forest, providing a convenient trailhead to access the state forest’s expansive network of hiking and biking trails. Greenway Station’s plans include multiple restaurants and shops that will make this area a destination for shopping, gathering and dining in Seagrove Beach.

Construction partner: EMJ Construction is the General Contractor. Joint Venture partner is BRW Midgrove.

Hotel Indigo (IGH hotel brand family): 124 room boutique hotel – Panama City Marina (waterfront, downtown PC)
Planned opening date: Early 2023. Adjacent stand-alone restaurant is expected to open in fall of 2022.
Broke ground: A groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 31, 2021.
Photos/Artist renderings: https://joe.canto.com/b/OFDET

This $30+ million waterfront hotel project will feature a sky bar, meeting space, outdoor space and a standalone restaurant, as well as a promenade along the waterfront. Guest rooms will offer sweeping views of the St. Andrews Bay. Hotel Indigo properties are designed to be as individual as their surroundings and reflect the local culture. Each hotel is part of the pulse and rhythm of a place, drawing on the unique story of its local area to inspire every aspect of the hotel, from intriguing design to distinctive local ingredients on menus.

Construction partner: Cardella Construction Company is the General Contractor on the hotel. ReliantSouth is the General Contractor of the restaurant.

Home2 Suites by Hilton: 107 guest rooms – Santa Rosa Beach near West Hewett Road just north of US Highway 98.
Opening date: 2023 (groundbreaking TBA for late 2021)

Plans call for the four-story hotel to features 107 guest rooms, with amenities including a pool, fitness center and an outdoor lounge with a fire pit. The location is convenient to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the bike and pedestrian paths of the famed Scenic Hwy 30A. All Home2 Suites hotels provide guests with free WiFi and complimentary breakfast. Once complete, the planned hotel will be managed by St. Joe Hospitality.

WaterColor Inn: Renovations and new rooms – construction planned to begin August 22 of 2021 and finish in the spring of 2022.

WaterColor Inn will be undergoing a major renovation to bring more family-friendly amenities to the award-winning hotel, adding 7 new suites (three 1-bedroom suites – two with a bunk bed area – and four 2-bedroom suites). Each of the suites will all feature private patios. Additionally, a new zero-entry family pool with a kids’ area will be added, along with an expanded outdoor lounge area complete with tables and umbrellas. Finally, a new indoor/outdoor bar will also be added.
Hotel Manager: Gabby Testa
www.watercolorresort.com
www.facebook.com/WaterColorInn
www.instagram.com/WaterColorInn
Reservations: 888 991-8878
34 Goldenrod Circle, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

The Pearl Hotel: Guest rooms refresh/remodel – begins in late fall of 2021 (November 21 – March 22).
Hotel Manager: Dave Merryman
Preview photos of the room refresh design concept: https://joe.canto.com/b/GFNT4

The Pearl Hotel’s 55 guest rooms will be getting a full refresh, with work planned to begin in November of 2021 and finish in March 2022. The work will be carried out floor-by-floor to limit any inconvenience, and in most cases guests will not notice the activity taking place. The planned room refresh is being overseen by Duncan & Miller Design of Dallas, Texas, the firm that created the original plans for The Pearl Hotel and more recently renovated the Havana Lounge, part of the Pearl’s Havana Beach Bar & Grill. Initial plans call for new flooring and brighter, more modern interior design choices to create a lighter and more tropical atmosphere. Currently, a test room has been completed and guest feedback is being taken into account as the final design takes shape.
www.thepearlrb.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ThePearlRB
Instagram: www.instagram.com/PearlRB
Reservations: (877) 935-6114 | 63 Main Street, Rosemary Beach, FL

The Powder Room
This 17,000 square foot facility in Panama City Beach was completed in December 2020 and includes a retail store with firearms and ammunition sales, as well as training and educational space, virtual shooting and 14 indoor shooting lanes. The Powder Room is qualified as a GLOCK Master Dealer, Kimber Master Dealer, Nighthawk Custom Preferred Dealer and is the only SIG Sauer Elite Dealer in North Florida. A variety of other brands, equipment and firearms training classes are also available year-round. The Powder Room uses the Ti Outdoor Gunfighter Simulation and Training System to offer a realistic ammunition-free shooting experience for groups or individuals, employing a variety of simulation options.
General Manager: Joe Preston
Photos: https://joe.canto.com/b/QURIR
Website: www.powderroompcb.com
Facebook: www.faebook.com/powderroompcb
Instagram: @thepowderroompcb
Phone: (850) 249-1003 | 106 Griffin Boulevard, Panama City Beach

Bay Point Marina
Hurricane Michael necessitated a complete overhaul of the marina, including repairs and replacement of the sea walls and bulkhead, re-dredging the marina canals and boat slips and replacement of the docks. Work is well underway, with plans calling for 135 boat slips for boats ranging from 25- to 125-feet in length. The marina is expected to be open for visitors and customers in early 2022.
Marinas Director: Daniel Fussell
www.baypointmarina.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BayPointMarina
Phone: 850 235-6911 | 3824 Hatteras Lane, Panama City Beach, FL

Construction partner: RJ Gorman Marine is the General Contractor.

Port St. Joe Marina
Plans call for a new dry boat storage facility (approximately 63,000 square feet with 252 dry boat slips, the largest of which will be capable of accommodating boats up to 45 feet in length), plus 48 wet boat slips, a ship’s store and other amenities. Phase I of this project, including the dry boat storage facility, is projected to be open in late 2021. The ship’s store and wet slips are expected to be available by mid-2022.
GM of the marina: Preston Sutter
www.psjmarina.com
www.facebook.com/PortStJoeMarina
(850) 227-9393 | 340 Marina Drive / Port St. Joe, FL

Construction partner: JM Phelps Construction is the General Contractor.

Memorial Weekend Celebrations at The Village of Baytown Wharf

The Village of Baytowne Wharf is gearing up for Memorial Day Weekend festivities with two nights of family friendly events! Necessary precautions will be taken to ensure social distancing and everyone is staying safe. Admission is free and open to the public.

Saturday, May 29: Concert 7-9pm
Forrest Williams Band will take the stage from 7 p.m. until 9pm. Guests are invited to dance the night away as they listen to South Walton’s own Forrest Williams Band, an award-winning favorite on stage among locals and visitors to the area.  Forrest and Pherrel Williams perform a variety of music from southern rock to country and blues.

Sunday, May 30: Live music, kids activities, fireworks 6-9pm
Baytowne Wharf will host free children activities, including face painting, balloon animals, and lawn games from 6-9 p.m. Live Music with Jarred and The High Aces. After the show, Baytowne Wharf will light up the sky above the lagoon with a patriotic fireworks show at 9:15 p.m.

The Village of Baytowne Wharf is the heart and soul of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and the gathering place for many locals and visitors along the Emerald Coast of Florida. The village is sitting on the shores of the Choctawhatchee Bay and features restaurants, bars, shops, adventures, and family-friendly events throughout the year. Walk over to the nearby marina with docks, boats, water adventures and views across the bay. Follow The Village of Baytowne Wharf on Facebook for updates on upcoming festivals and events. And check Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort on Facebook for lodging specials and beautiful scenes from the beach.

Memorial Weekend Celebrations at HarborWalk Village

HarborWalk Village invites you and your crew to spend a fun-filled weekend on the beautiful Destin Harbor. Kick-off the Summer season with Live Music, Fireworks & a Silent Disco Party at HarborWalk Village. $10 On-site parking fee

Saturday, May 29th || Flash Flood @ 7:00pm
Sunday, May 30th || Cadillac Willie @ 7:00pm, Fireworks @ 9:00pm
Monday, May 31st || Silent Disco Party – DJ Chubby & DJ D Funk @ 7:00pm

HarborWalk Village is home to the Destin Fishing Fleet, the largest charter fishing fleet in the country.  Here you can experience the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village aboard one of Destin’s finest charter boats or stroll along the docks and witness the catch of the day.  And where there is great fishing, there are great seafood restaurants, HarborWalk is no exception. Here you’ll find an array of cuisine that is fresh, local and delicious.

Everyone’s Question: Will The Housing Market Maintain Its Momentum?

bicycles-watercolor-bridge

Last week’s Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows sales have dropped by 3.7% compared to the month before. This is the second consecutive month that sales have slumped. Some see this as evidence that the red-hot real estate market may be cooling. However, there could also be a simple explanation as to why existing home sales have slowed – there aren’t enough homes to buy. There are currently 410,000 fewer single-family homes available for sale than there were at this time last year.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains in the report:

“The sales for March would have been measurably higher, had there been more inventory. Days-on-market are swift, multiple offers are prevalent, and buyer confidence is rising.”

Yun’s insight was supported the next day when the Census Bureau released its Monthly New Residential Sales Report. It shows that newly constructed home sales are up 20.7% over the previous month.

Buyer demand remains strong. With more of the adult population becoming vaccinated and job creation data showing encouraging signs, existing-home inventory is expected to grow in the coming months.

What will this mean for home sales going forward?

Fannie MaeFreddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) have all forecasted that total home sales (existing homes and new construction) will continue their momentum both this year and next. Here’s a graph showing those projections:

Will the Housing Market Maintain Its Momentum? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Living through a pandemic has caused many to re-evaluate the importance of a home and the value of homeownership. The residential real estate market will benefit from both as we move forward.

May is Art Month in South Walton

ART MONTH SOUTH WALTON

Art Month South Walton is an initiative of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County with the purpose to bring communities, organizations and businesses together to present quality arts and entertainment to the community. Spanning the month of May, Art Month will feature visual, performing, and literary arts programming in diverse formats and in various venues throughout South Walton.

2021 Art Month South Walton features events and programs presented in locations throughout Walton County, including the South Walton Street Art Festival, an online Art & More Auction benefiting the CAA, Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach, Arts Night in DeFuniak Springs, Music on Main, performances by the Emerald Coast Theatre Company, and more.

We’re accepting applications through April 19 for those interested in participating in the Street Art Festival in three categories including: Artists, Friends and Family teams and School teams. Apply online today!

Scroll to view the official event calendar for Art Month South Walton and get ready to activate your imagination!

To learn more about the event, visit:

https://www.culturalartsalliance.com/art-month

34th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival

The 34th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival will take place April 15-18, 2021. The Sandestin Wine Festival has been named the “Best Annual Event” by Destin Magazine, and is known as the Best event in the Visit South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival area. The Sandestin Wine Festival is the most established and continuously running wine festival on the Emerald Coast and has affectionately been called the “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals” because of its popularity and grandeur.

The main events, know as our Grand Wine Tastings, showcase more than 500+ domestic and international wines over a two day span. Guests can enjoy the opportunity to talk to vineyard owners and wine makers about their favorite appellations, or maybe try something new. During the Grand Wine Tastings, guests are also treated to a gourmet experience courtesy of some of the best chefs on the Emerald Coast. Savor South Walton tents are sprinkled within the festival to allow guests to pair delectable bite sized appetizers with their current glass selection. And, a new festival favorite, The Bubbly and Boozy tent returns to the Grand Sandestin Lawn, featuring bubbles and spirits galore.

Local and regional music also set the vibe for fun days of discovery. And all ranges of knowledge are encouraged to attend the festival – wine novices to aficionados alike. Festival goers are able to learn more about wines and sample from a comprehensive selection in all varieties, styles, and price ranges. Wine aficionados enjoy meeting winemakers, asking detailed questions, and acquiring hard to get selections.

Ticket holders also receive a beautiful Riedel glass etched to commemorate each year’s event for their tastings. An added bonus is the opportunity to immediately purchase your favorite selections at The Retail Tent at a discounted rate. Everyone gets to enjoy the live music, interactive experiences at the Culinary tents, and shops and dining of the Village of Baytowne Wharf.

To learn more about the event, visit http://www.sandestinwinefestival.com