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2009 In Pensacola Real Estate



What happened in Pensacola real estate in 2009? Here are summaries of some of the bigger stories in real estate for 2009, especially those that had an effect on the local market.The obvious big story is the economic slow down, which is affecting real estate all over the country, not just in Pensacola. That story is covered extensively in the media, so I’ll skip writing about that. It’s not much fun to write about anyway and we all know it is bad.

The Strengthening Real Estate Market

According to the Florida Realtors sales reports, residential home sales have increased statewide in 2009. We have also seen an increase in Pensacola homes for sale, especially in the latter part of 2009. That is good news.I will continue to publish updates throughout the coming year on the Pensacola real estate market because the future performance of our market is not clear right now. With the extension of the home buyer tax credit, the Pensacola real estate market should remain strong at least through April of 2010. However, we are also looking at the possibility of many new foreclosures as more adjustable-rate mortgages readjust in 2010. We might also be looking at mortgage rate increases in the near future.

Credit Issues

Credit CardReal estate agents I’ve spoken to the past year are all lamenting the same problem. They have clients who want to buy homes, and there are plenty of well-priced homes on the market, but the banks are being real tight about lending out the money. The supply of mortgage money and the strict underwriting rules have prevented many seemingly qualified home buyers from obtaining a mortgage. I believe the stricter lending rules were the biggest factor holding back the growth of the local real estate market.Don’t even waste your time trying for a conventional loan unless you have 20% cash for a downpayment. These stricter guidelines resulted in a resurgence in applications for FHA loans, which require only a 3.5% downpayment. Additionally, Pensacola is blessed with many military and ex-military citizens who are eligible for VA loans. That at least kept the market afloat, along with a few other factors as discussed in a previous Pensacola Real Estate News article. According to the Florida Association of Realtors, banks are beginning to loosen up some loan restrictions and money is starting to flow, but only for residential loans, and not to the extent needed to really infuse life into the real estate market.

State Farm Decides To Stay In Florida

Insurance has been another intriguing story of 2009, especially as it applies to State Farm. I personally have insurance with State Farm, and they have been very good to me. I was very happy with the way they handled damage after hurricane Ivan back in 2004, although I heard from others who were not so happy in their dealings with State Farm. I did feel a bit betrayed when I found out they were leaving the Florida market because Florida insurance regulators refused to allow State Farm a ridiculous rate hike of 47%. State Farm already cancelled policies of all home owners who lived within a mile of the water, which means they effectively left Gulf Breeze.

However, State Farm also needed the approval of regulators to leave the state, and this caused conflict on how best to handle the exit. Finally, on Dec. 16, 2009, the Florida Department of Insurance announced an agreement: State Farm would stay. It could drop no more than 125,000 policies and raise rates only 14.8 percent. Wow, only 14.8%. Sounds like State Farm customer came out real winners on this deal. I guess it is better than getting dumped and having no choice but to pay for insurance through Citizens Insurance. I’ll monitor the insurance situation and report on anything of interest that develops.

I previously reported on my dislike of the tactics of Allstate. I still cringe when I see their commercials. Check out my article Allstate to Pay Fine

Chinese Drywall Disaster

Yet another disaster caused by the Chinese manufacturing process has hit Florida hard. They’ve threatened the health of our children with lead paint based toys, killed our pets with tainted dog food, and now they are ruining our homes and our health with bad drywall. We are paying a big price for getting cheap products from overseas. I’d like to see America start producing quality products again, but with our Walmart mentality, look for more defective products coming your way (end of rant).

From 2005-2007, the U.S. imported defective drywall from China. It smelled bad, corroded metal, and caused healthRuining_Our_Health_Bad_Drywall problems. It has not yet been determined how many homes had this defective drywall installed, but the numbers will likely be in the tens of thousands. Lawsuits are also in process right now over this disaster. I feel for the poor families who thought they were purchasing a quality-built new home only to find out they had purchased a home that had to be gutted just to be habitable.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of good news for real estate in 2009. Let’s hope 2010 is brighter. Check back at Pensacola Real Estate News for continuing updates.

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Pensacola Real Estate Market Report For Week Ending June 14, 2008

Pensacola Real Estate Market Data
Weekly Update For Residential Listings 
In Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties

 Pensacola Real Estate Market Data

Pensacola Real Estate Market Data

Pensacola Real Estate Market Data

  

  

Here is another weekly Pensacola real estate market report. This one covers the week of June 8-14. We saw a big jump in sales at the end of May, but that is attributed to an end-of-month spike in real estate sales, since more closings tend to take place toward the end of the month. It was just a bigger spike than we are used to seeing. However, this may indicate that the Pensacola real estate market starting to creep back up again. I’ll be watching closely for the end of June numbers to see if the market continues to show some signs of life.  

The overall home sales for May were 437, which is higher than any month since August of 2007.  

For June of 2008 we appear to be seeing the same slow market as we’ve seen all year. None of the numbers really jump out and tell us anything new. It is nice to see the inventory of homes on the real estate market continue to drop, albiet slowly. 
  

  

   Median Home Sales Price Jumps    

Surprisingly, the median home sales price took a significant jump. The median sales price is the price that lies in the middle of the prices of home sold. In other words, half of the homes sold for more, and half the homes sold for less.

 

  Why are all these great home values just sitting?  

As always, I am wondering when buyers are going to recognize the incredible deals that are available out there right now. It will probably be once the market starts moving up again, and then you will hear everyone lamenting that they didn’t buy when the market was at its lowest. They may also be lamenting having to pay a higher interest rate in the very near future.

See my article: Buy Now Or Pay Later – Pensacola Real Estate Mortgage Rates Are Rising

- The table shows the weekly market data for Pensacola residential property.
- These numbers include only residential homes and condominiums in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties that are listed in the Pensacola MLS.
- They do not include vacant land or lots, mobile homes or manufactured homes or Pensacola FSBOs.
- The numbers above are created using data from the Pensacola MLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Click on Pensacola Real Estate News for a list of articles indexed by category.

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Pensacola Real Estate Market Weekly Update – January 5, 2007

Pensacola Real Estate Market Data
Weekly Update For Residential Listings 
In Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties

Pensacola Real Estate Market Data

I hope everyone is having a great Pensacola new year. As the table shows, the Pensacola real estate market slowed down for the holidays. While sales are weak we do see that there was a drop of over 100 active listings. This shows that perhaps the trend towards fewer properties on the Pensacola real estate market is continuing. 

If you are a regular reader, you may notice some changes in the table. I have added the Median price of homes sold in the Pensacola real estate market. This gives a more accurate depiction of what is selling in our market. Note that the average price jumped significantly, but that was only because 2 Pensacola condos sold for over $2 million. That is not typical and does not reflect Pensacola real estate sales overall. Sorry for taking this long to have this epiphany.   

 – The table shows the weekly market data for Pensacola residential property.
- These numbers include only residential homes and condominiums in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties that are listed in the Pensacola MLS.
- They do not include vacant land or lots, mobile homes or manufactured homes or Pensacola FSBOs.
- The numbers above are created using data from the Pensacola MLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Click on Pensacola Real Estate News for a list of articles indexed by category.

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Pensacola Real Estate Market Data For December 2007

Residential Properties in 
Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties

Pensacola Real Estate Market Data

The inventory of homes for sale in Pensacola has continuted to drop, but the Pensacola real estate market is still a buyer’s market. The most noteable statistic in this month’s data is the large number of withdrawn and expired listings. The Pensacola MLS data shows that 282 listings expired or were withdrawn on December 31. Apparently many listing contracts were expiring at year end.  

- The table shows the monthly market data for Pensacola residential property.
- These numbers include only residential homes and condominiums in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties that are listed in the Pensacola MLS.
- The numbers do not include vacant land or lots, mobile homes or manufactured homes.
- The numbers are generated using data from the Pensacola MLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Click on Pensacola Real Estate News for a list of articles indexed by category.

 

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Pensacola Real Estate News – East Pensacola Heights – Part 3 – How Times Have Changed

East Pensacola Heights Residential ListingsThis is Part 3 of a 3 part series on the neighborhood of East Pensacola Heights. For parts 1 and 2, click on the links below.

East Pensacola Heights – Part 1 – A Perspective In Local History
East Pensacola Heights – Part 2 – Some Facts And Some Stories Shared

East Pensacola Heights still has a lot of charm and character even though it has built up a bit more over the past years, including a high rise condo called Scenic Terrace overlooking Escambia Bay. This Pensacola condo was completed in 1999 amid a lot of controversy.  In the picture below, you can see the view of East Pensacola Heights from Bayview Park, which is in East Hill. The Scenic Terrace condo is in the background.

East Pensacola Heights

East Pensacola Heights View From Bayview ParkEast Pensacola Heights View From Bayview Park

My feeling is that most people who live in East Pensacola Heights would like to stay there. As you drive through the area, you see very few homes for sale. It is not like East Hill where there are multiple homes on every block for sale. But then, East Pensacola Heights is considerably smaller than East Hill. 

Many of the homes in East Pensacola Heights are older. Of all the homes sold in 2007, over half were built prior to 1960, with the oldest home sold built in 1928. There are also a lot of nice old oak trees in just about every neighborhood.  The area has a historic homey feeling to it. Here are a couple of random homes I believe capture the feeling of living in East Pensacola Heights.

East Pensacola Heights Home

East Pensacola Heights Home

Shown below are the current residential homes for sale in East Pensacola Heights. This gives you a general idea of the values of homes in the area.

The 2 highest priced homes in this list are waterfront properties.

In the next table you can see the condos for sale in East Pensacola Heights.

  

The highest priced Pensacola condo in this list is in the Scenic Terrace Condo on Escambia Bay. East Pensacola Heights Condos For Sale

East Pensacola Heights also has several very nice restaurants.  Of particular note  are Georgios Pizza, Jerry’s Drive-In, Hunan, The New Yorker Deli and Mediteranean Plus. If you want to spend a little more, consider Skopelos which has  a beautiful view of Escambia Bay, or the Angus for steak and seafood.

In an end-of-year follow-up post, I’ll show you the Pensacola real estate sales numbers for East Pensacola Heights.

I hope this series on the history of East Pensacola Heights was informative and entertaining for all my readers. It is truly a delightful community, and a highly desireable area for real estate in Pensacola.

Click on Pensacola Real Estate News for a list of articles indexed by category.  If you are interested in purchasing any real estate in East Pensacola Heights, please Contact Me and I will be happy to show you any properties available in this historic area of Pensacola.

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