Are interest rates, election results or BOTH driving the market?

Every year after Thanksgiving, we spend a lot of time business planning and organizing since the beach is not on too many people's minds.  This year is dramatically different.

Surprisingly, the overall real estate market in Panama City Beach has felt more active than normal for the fourth quarter.  I decided to take a look at some statistics to see if this is just something I am feeling or if, in fact, something different is going on in the market. 

I researched the number of units on the market for sale, units under contract and closed sales to see if any of these figures were different.  I ran these reports for both condos and detached single family homes.  

Here is what I found:

- Condos - There are 6% fewer units available for sale, 2% less under contract and 14% less sold in the OVERALL condo market.

- Detached Single Family Homes (DSF) - There are 11% fewer homes on the market, 9% MORE under contract and 2% less that have sold.

Again, these numbers represent year over year comparisons so far for the entire 4th quarter.  But let’s dig a little deeper and see if the election had any effect on activity.

- Condos - Before the election, condo contracts were off about 7% and are now UP OVER 4%.

- DSF - Before the election, contracts on homes were up 5% year over year and are now UP 24%.

That's an INCREDIBLE 11% increase in condo contracts year over year and 29% in home deals just since election day.

Spiking interest rates certainly could have something to do with it.  Rates have moved up on average from 3.56% to about 4.08% just since the election.   Home buyers that have been on the fence are far more motivated to get to contract sooner rather than later when compared to the overall condo market where more of those buyers pay cash.

I won’t be surprised to see these numbers continue to go up.  Like I said, we have been unusually busy for this time of year, so this all bodes well for everyone that is looking to sell.