Home Values Projected to Continue to Rise

As we enter the final months of 2020 and continue to work through the challenges this year has brought, some of us wonder what impact continued economic uncertainty could have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what is to come.

Due to the under supply of homes on the market today, there’s upward pressure on prices. Consider simple economics: when there is high demand for an item and a low supply of it, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. That’s what’s happening in today’s real estate market. The housing supply shortage is also resulting in bidding wars, which will also drive price points higher in the home sale process.

There’s no evidence that buyer demand will wane. As a result, experts project price appreciation will continue over the next twelve months. Here’s a graph of the major forecasts released in the last 60 days:

I hear many foreclosures might be coming to the market soon. Won’t that drive prices down?

Some are concerned that homeowners who entered a mortgage forbearance plan might face foreclosure once their plan ends. However, when you analyze the data on those in forbearance, it’s clear the actual level of risk is quite low.

Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates and a highly-regarded expert in housing and housing-related industries, was very firm in a podcast last week:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With demand high, supply low, and little risk of a foreclosure crisis, home prices will continue to appreciate.

Bottom Line

Originally, many thought home prices would depreciate in 2020 due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus. Instead, prices appreciated substantially. Over the next year, we will likely see home values rise even higher given the continued lack of inventory of homes for sale.

Winter Real Estate Forecast Anything But Chilly

In the second half of this year, the housing market  with activity. Today, real estate experts are looking ahead to the winter season and the forecast is anything but chilly. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes:

           “It will be one of the best winter sales years ever.”

The typical winter slowdown in the housing market is simply not on the radar. Here’s why. While today’s historically low mortgage rates are expected to remain low, they won’t be this low for much longer. This could be the last chance for homebuyers to secure such low rates, and they’re ready to take action. In a recent , Bankrate explained:

            “If you’re looking to buy a home…expect mortgage rates to remain low into 2021. However, the possibility of rates falling to 2.5 percent or lower has faded as the U.S. economy has rebounded.”

As long as we continue to see low interest rates, we’ll see hopeful buyers on the hunt for their dream homes. Yun:

“The demand for home buying remains super strong…And we’re still likely to end the year with more homes sold overall in 2020 than in 2019…With persistent low mortgage rates and some degree of a continuing jobs recovery, more contract signings are expected in the near future.”

The challenge, however, is the lack of homes available for sale. With that in mind, all eyes are on homeowners to see if they’ll sell this winter or wait until spring. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com,

it’s best for to capitalize on this moment sooner rather than later:

“We currently see buyers sticking around in the housing market much later than we usually do this fall. If that trend continues, we will see more buyers in the market this winter, too. So, this winter is likely to be a good time to sell.”

With buyers ready to stay active this winter, sellers who want to close a deal on the best possible terms until spring to put their homes on the market.

Bottom Line

Experts agree the winter housing market could potentially be bigger than ever. Whether you’re ready to buy or sell, let’s connect today so you can be in your dream home by the new year.

Real Estate is Back According to Builders & Realtors

When shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt earlier this year, many believed the residential housing market would follow suit. Countless analysts predicted buyer demand would disappear and home values would depreciate for the first time in almost a decade. That, however, didn’t happen. It appears the opposite is taking place.

After the bottom fell out of the real estate market immediately following the shutdown, it has come roaring back – and seems to still be gaining steam. Here’s a look at two recent reports – one from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and one from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) – showing this growing strength.

Builder Confidence Hits All-Time High

Last week, it was reported that applications for new home purchases with home builders were 39% higher than in July of 2019. That has builder confidence soaring.

Each month, NAHB releases its Housing Market Index, a survey of NAHB members who rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at the present time and over the next six months, as well as prospective buyer traffic for new homes.

This month, they reported that builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased to the highest reading in the 35-year history of the series. NAHB Chairman, Chuck Fowke, explained:

“The demand for new single-family homes continues to be strong, as low interest rates and a focus on the importance of housing has stoked buyer traffic to all-time highs…Housing has clearly been a bright spot during the pandemic and the sharp rebound in builder confidence over the summer has led NAHB to upgrade its forecast for single-family starts, which are now projected to show only a slight decline for 2020.”

The number of newly constructed homes being built will be almost at the same level as last year, even though the economic shutdown crushed home building earlier in the year.

Existing Homes Are Also Selling Like Hotcakes

Last Friday, NAR released its Existing Home Sales Report. The report revealed that month-over-month sales increased by 24.7%, setting another record for the category. The Wall Street Journal reported that the increase crushed expert forecasts:

“Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 14.2% monthly increase in sales of previously-owned homes, which make up most of the housing market.”

Home sales increased by 8.7% year-over-year.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR, explained how the resale market is just as hot as the new construction market:

“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days. With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

In addition, the Housing Market Recovery Index, which is released monthly by realtor.com, also showed the market is recovering nicely. The latest index reading was 104.8, which means the housing market is doing better than it was in January and February of this year. As a reference, the highest point in the index was a 106.5 in early March, just prior to the health crisis setting in.

Bottom Line

Both the newly constructed and existing home sale markets are posting numbers greater than a year ago. Real estate is back. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, let’s connect so you have the expert counsel you need along the way. Cathy Turner 850.502.3422

Homebuyer Demand Is Far Above Last Year’s Pace

Couple holding keys to their new house

Homebuying has been on the rise over the past few months, with record-breaking sales powering through the market in June and July. Buyers are actively purchasing homes, and the momentum is continuing into the fall. It is, however, becoming harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. If you’ve been thinking about selling your house, the coming weeks might just be the timing you’ve been waiting for.

According to the Pending Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

Pending home sales in July achieved another month of positive contract activity, marking three consecutive months of growth.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, rose 5.9% to 122.1 in July. Year-over-year, contract signings rose 15.5%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.”

This means that for the past several months, buyers have signed an increasing number of contracts to purchase homes – well above where the market was at this time last year. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR notes:

“We are witnessing a true V-shaped sales recovery as homebuyers continue their strong return to the housing market…Home sellers are seeing their homes go under contract in record time, with nine new contracts for every 10 new listings.”

Below is a graph that shows the impressive recovery of homes sales compared to previous years. The deep blue v marks the slowdown from this spring that turned into an exponential jump in sales that followed through the summer, skyrocketing above years past:

What Does This Mean for Sellers?

If you were thinking about putting your house on the market in the spring, but decided to wait due to the health crisis, it may be time to make your move. Buyers are in the market right now. With so few homes available to purchase, homeowners today are experiencing more bidding wars, creating an optimal time to sell.

Is This Trend Going to Continue?

As CNBC notes, there are no signs of slowing buyer demand this fall:

The usual summer slowdown in the housing market is not happening this year. Buyers continue to show strong demand, spurred by the new stay-at-home world of the coronavirus and by record low mortgage rates.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, concurred:

“In a typical year in the housing market, buyer interest begins to wane before seller interest causing the usual seasonal slowdown as we move into the fall. Due to a delayed spring season and low mortgage rates, we could see buyer interest extend longer than usual into the typically quieter fall. Whether this means more home sales will depend on whether sellers participate or decide to stay on the sidelines.”

As Hale mentioned, homeowners who are willing to sell their houses right now will play a big role in whether the trend continues. The market needs more homes to satisfy ongoing buyer demand. Maybe it’s time to leverage your equity

and move up while eager home shoppers are ready to purchase a house just like yours.

Bottom Line

If your current home doesn’t meet your family’s changing needs, let’s connect to help you sell your house and make the move you’ve been waiting for all year. Call me for a market analysis of your home. Cathy 850.502.3422


Second-Home Boom… YOLO

Record-breaking demand for drive-to destinations. In July 2020, the Sierra Tahoe MLS logged its highest residential dollar volume in history, up more than 200% year-over-year. Sales at Long Cove, an upscale masterplan on Cedar Creek Lake south of Dallas reached an all-time high in June and again in July. Pending home sales in Bend, Oregon rose 150% year-over-year in July. And in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, sales doubled compared to the same time last year, fueled by demand from New York and New Jersey.

Family refuge in less than four hours. Most second-home buyers, particularly those with school-age children, prefer to drive less than four hours. They desire a getaway to “invest in family,” as well as a place of refuge for the future.

The new “primary” home means longer stays. Because parents can work remotely and children can learn remotely, homeowners now measure second-home stays in weeks and months, rather than days. This use pattern flips the traditional weekend second-home model on its head. Now, households may stay at their second home for most of the time and travel back to their primary home on occasion. Elements such as high-speed internet, home offices, and learning spaces for children have become just as important in second homes as primary homes.

Buyers want to move in soon, which means a priority on a finished home. Today’s buyers are less interested in purchasing a homesite and spending years designing and building a custom home. Resort developers across the country tell us buyers prefer finished product so they can experience their second-home lifestyles right away. We recommend developers in second-home destinations focus on completed homes that are ready for purchase. For to-be-built homes, the build process should be simple and short and include design elements consumers want most. We are tracking consumer preferences and offer great resources to keep you on top of the latest trends.

YOLO in addition to FOMO. Last week, we featured FOMO (fear of missing out) as a reason that buyers are rushing to purchase new homes. The psychology of “you only live once,” or YOLO, is driving the surge in second-home sales. Households who may have otherwise waited have decided now is the time to buy, often using funds that would otherwise be allocated to more traditional vacation travel. Today’s buyers are showing more interest in lifestyle and use than rental potential and future appreciation. Developers who emphasize the lifestyle in their marketing programs will experience stronger sales.

Florida Panhandle Named Top Rental Investment in US

Weiss Analytics: Fla.’s Panhandle offers the best returns on vacation-home investments in the U.S.

NEW YORK – Real estate investors are scrutinizing second-home markets as they hunt for growth opportunities, even during the pandemic. After all, “travel doesn’t stop when the economy weakens – it changes where people travel,” a new report from rental management site Rented Inc. and Weiss Analytics notes.

“In 2020, travelers want to stay closer to home, and they are seeking genuine experiences. High on the list are Instagram-worthy, outdoor locations, and the highest returns come from homes that enhance the guest experience,” the report states.

Rented and Weiss note a “dramatic shift” in drive-to destinations and markets within two to five hours of major metro areas, which are seeing some of the highest returns in vacation home rentals.

Rented Inc. and Weiss Analytics’ fifth annual analysis of top vacation rental markets looks at properties based on the highest return on investment. The rankings use a three-bedroom, two-bath stand-alone home rental as a base and then compare this vacation housing across hot spots based on homeownership, short-term revenue potential, cost to acquire, annual appreciation and projected changes in asset value.

Overall, the report found that Florida’s Panhandle is the top vacation-home investment area in the U.S. with an index score of 98.7, though Siesta Key and Miami Beach also made the top 20. Out of 100 cities rated, El Paso, Texas, came in last with an index score of 13.9.

Top 20 U.S. vacation-rental investment spots

1. Florida Panhandle – 98.7 (index score)
2. South Jersey Shore, N.J. – 93.4
3. The Poconos, Pa. – 93.0
4. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee – 77.8
5. Central Texas – 77.7
6. Phoenix Metro Area, Ariz. – 77.0
7. Ocean City, Md. – 74.4
8. Siesta Key, Fla. – 74.2
9. Charleston Metro/Coastal, S.C. – 73.5
10. Hampton Roads, Va. – 73.3
11. Hudson Valley, NY – 72.9
12. Leavenworth, Wash., D.C. – 72.4
13. Inland Empire, Calif. – 72.1
14. The Adirondacks, NY – 71.3
15. Chattanooga, Tenn. – 70.6
16. The Hamptons, NY – 70.2
17. Columbus, Ohio – 69.9
18. Portland, Maine – 69.4
19. Miami Metro Area, Fla. – 68.6
20. Omaha, Neb. – 68.5

Other Florida metro area rankings

26. Tampa Bay Area – 66.1
36. Orlando Metro Area – 61.6
38. Cape Coral – 60.8
51. Jacksonville – 56.8
68. Daytona Beach – 52.2
75. Cocoa Beach – 49.4
89. Marco Island – 41.8

Source: “100 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental in 2020,” Weiss Analytics and Rented (2020)

© Copyright 2020 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Exclusive Listing Not in MLS

The Empress in Miramar Beach Offered at 1,300,000

Custom luxury and a hint of Tuscan warmth with intricate details that remind you of your favorite Tuscan villa, dangling just outside the most beautiful view of emerald waters and set atop a petit boutique size condominium building is this rare luxury residence.  This home’s unique floor plan affords both spectacular 180-degree unobstructed beach views of the entire coastline off an expansive 40 ft long Gulfside balcony as well as a separate oversized north-facing terrace off the second living room with stunning Lake & Bay views.

The Empress in Miramar Beach Offered at 1,300,000

:Just under 2700 sq ft

:3 bedrooms with ensuite baths

:2 of the bedrooms are gulf front master suites

:Multiple living rooms

:40 ft long gulfside balcony

:Perfect sunset views looking right out at the Gulf

:Stunning Lake and Bay views from the second living room

:Beautiful oversized terrace off 2nd living room with room for outdoor dining


:Semi private elevator and foyer opens to only two units

:No detail has been overlooked

:Owners completely gutted this residence and completely remodeled.

:Custom solid wood cabinets from master cabinet maker

:Very rare opportunity, unit has never been rented by owners but does have the ability to be rented if buyer would like the option

Not in MLS. Call Cathy for more details and additional photos, or to schedule a private showing 850.502.3422

Ground Breaking at Destin’s Newest Beach Resort

If you have driven through Destin’s exclusive Crystal Beach community in recent months, you have likely seen a flurry of activity underway at the site that will soon become the much anticipated Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort. Now that initial civil site work is completed, Dunavant Enterprises, The Premier Development Group (PDG)  and The Premier Property Group (PPG) are excited to announce that a formal groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday, February 7, 2020 beginning at 4 p.m.

The community is invited to commemorate the groundbreaking, and guests will receive complimentary valet parking upon arrival. Representatives from Dunavant Enterprises and The Premier Property Group will be in attendance to speak about the new project and upcoming plans for future expansion of Dunavant’s Henderson Beach Resort. Immediately following the groundbreaking ceremony, guests are invited to a reception on the Henderson Hotel Terrace to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

The ceremony will initiate Phase 1 of the development, which includes three of the four planned buildings—the main Parkview Building overlooking the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and two pool-view buildings—along with the resort pool. Notably, nearly two-thirds of the 32 residences that will encompass the first phase are already reserved within this distinctive retreat that will provide an elegant addition to the Henderson Beach Resort portfolio of accommodations.

 Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort features one-, two- and three-bedroom residences. Floor plans are thoughtfully designed for easy, everyday living, and PPG’s commitment to quality construction means residences come with high-end stainless steel appliances, polished chrome plumbing fixtures, quartz countertops, all-wood cabinetry, frameless glass shower enclosures and a craftsman-style interior package. Residences are equipped with extras that include a wet bar and undercounter wine fridge as well as a generous balcony for entertaining or simply enjoying a quiet evening watching the sun set.

Owners and guests will also enjoy full access to the expansive Henderson Beach Resort amenities package that includes a full-service spa, fully-equipped fitness center with classes, multiple resort pools including a lazy river, poolside cabanas, free shuttle service and a private beach. An onsite kid’s club ensures parents get to unwind as their children enjoy daily camp and kid’s night out activities as well as live entertainment provided on the resort property. Bicycle, kayak, snorkel and paddleboard rentals are also available.

In addition to its upscale interior residence package, Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort is raising the bar on coastal condominium living through high-end concierge and valet services, in-room and poolside dining, daily cleaning, courtesy shuttles and beach chair and umbrella service. Two upscale restaurant options are offered on the property including Primrose and the area’s celebrated Beachwalk Café, Destin’s only fine dining located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. To engage in a more social atmosphere, Horizons octagon-shaped beachfront bar has quickly become a Destin hot spot for guests and locals alike. The resort also offers casual dining at Sea Level Poolside Bar and Grill, Sprinkles Ice Cream Shoppe, Beach Cantina grab and go offerings and the soon-to-be-built North Pool Bar and Grill.

On-site resort rental management and maintenance is available, and unit pricing begins in the low $500,000s.

Click here for all units available for sale in Parkside at the Henderson

Former Coach Les Miles’ Beach Home for Sale

Destin is full of SEC football fans and someone is going to get this fantastic 6 bedroom, 3 story home in Crystal Beach owned by former LSU coach Les Miles. Great income investment to boot.

Click here for all details and photos

A Legacy of Entertainment

Sinfonia Gulf Coast

A legacy of entertainment, education and giving back

In 2020, Sinfonia Gulf Coast will celebrate its 15th year of bringing world-class music and entertainment to the Emerald Coast. Demetrius Fuller founded the organization 14 years ago with a vision of introducing the area’s first stand-alone, fully-professional symphony, and since that time, he has helped redefine the cultural landscape of Northwest Florida through more than 575 “inspiring and artistically evocative” performances that have reached over 350,000 patrons.

“We started with a mission and vision to educate, inspire and entertain,” Fuller said. “But, the level of artistry that we’ve been able to produce from Sinfonia’s concerts and events has been pretty mind-blowing.”

From names like Vanessa Williams—headlining Sinfonia’s recent November gala—and Roberta Flack to Bernadette Peters and Patti Lupone, Sinfonia’s reach has exceeded Fuller’s expectations. He credits the success to a supportive community.

“This community allows us to be able to produce this caliber of artistry. We have a very supportive corporate community and patron following,” Fuller said.

Concerts and events are just one component of Sinfonia’s mission, Fuller emphasized, pointing to his passion for music education. Sinfonia Guest Artists in the Schools program currently includes a collaborative partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute of Music called Link Up. The program is provided free of charge and features a year-long curriculum that culminates with a live recorder performance with the Sinfonia orchestra. In 2019, approximately 3,600 third-fifth graders in Okaloosa and Walton counties participated in the program.

“It’s always one of my favorite memories from Sinfonia—just to see and hear all the kids. If you ever wonder what 2,000 recorders sound like at one time…it’s a sound only a mother could love,” Fuller laughed.

Music outreach is not limited to the classroom. Sinfonia musicians are frequently seen out in the community, whether that be at nursing homes or the library, interacting and performing. Notably, Fuller himself is very active in the community serving as a Trustee of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, a board member with both the Okaloosa Arts Alliance and Alaqua Animal Refuge and as the past chair of the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball.

Fuller is a versatile conductor who has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious conductors and orchestras. An advocate of contemporary music, he has premiered, commissioned or collaborated with such names as Augusta Read-Thomas, Dorothy Hindman, Thomas Schneller and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. Fuller is also an accomplished clarinetist and award recipient from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, the Werner Foundation and the International Music Foundation.

Looking ahead, Fuller noted that Sinfonia’s 15th year will mark new campaigns to create the kind of sustainability that ensures the organization remains viable for the long-term. High on his list is a home venue for Sinfonia that will help advance not only the caliber of events but also the organization’s education efforts.

Upcoming Sinfonia opportunities:

Holiday Pops feat. Matthew Morrison

Village Baptist Church, Destin FL
Friday, December 13, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Classical Connections feat. Van Cliburn Bronze Medal Winner Daniel Hsu

Village Baptist Church, Destin, FL
Saturday, February 1, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Jurassic Park in Concert

Emerald Coast Convention Center, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Saturday, May 16, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Sinfonia Events