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A Sea Change Is Coming

Destin Real Estate Is Becoming a Seller’s Market

Newman-Dailey Resort Properties has recently uncovered positive news for Okaloosa and Walton Counties. The company’s real estate agents have compared notes and agreed: as evidenced by a decline in real estate listings, the local market is shifting into a seller’s market, thanks to the rising economy. The Destin area is growing strong in population and businesses, seeing new additions such as the new South Walton Walmart, Rooms to Go, and Lowe’s in Destin, and Vision Airlines’ new Ft. Walton Beach hub, with flights to twenty-four destinations including Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Atlanta, Asheville, St. Louis, Las Vegas, and Houston.

Population in the area has gone up significantly in the past few years as well and is expected to see an increase of 23 percent in Miramar Beach and 6.5 percent in Destin by 2014, according to demographic information from CLRSearch.com. Such a rise would produce an increase in job growth of 34 percent in Miramar Beach and 24 percent in Destin.


“It seems that we are doing far better here in Okaloosa and Walton Counties than many other areas of Florida and the nation in terms of both growth and real estate sales” says Newman-Dailey president Jeanne Dailey. “We all feel that, due to the low levels of inventory, sellers sticking to their prices, a strong and growing local economy, and the influx of our traditional buyers, we have hit the bottom of the market—given no unforeseen disasters.”

There is no question that potential real estate buyers in the area still want to find good deals, but that is becoming increasingly difficult with the declining inventory and price demands. If buyers want to invest in a second home or vacation property at the low rates they’ve seen in the past years, they will need to do so quickly.

VIE Magazine, Newman-Dailey

“The Destin market consists of two inventories—property that is priced to sell and property that will have to reduce to sell. To determine attractive pricing, our job is to factor in price per square foot and days on the market with price reduction history,” says six-year veteran agent and top sales producer for 2010 Kerry McNulty. 

Mark DeSalvo, who has been a broker associate with Newman-Dailey Resort Properties for ten years, says his buyers are becoming more anxious about finding a property quickly. “I’ve heard things like ‘If I don’t buy something in the next five or six months, I’m going to miss the deals!’” DeSalvo says.

Similarly, two-year Newman-Dailey sales associate Colin Kirkwood has gotten comments from buyers such as “If we’re not at the bottom, I can’t afford to wait another month to possibly save another 5 percent!”

Other agents within the company have heard similar remarks and are experiencing the same issues when it comes to shrinking market inventory and rising prices. “I’m seeing the market in a settling process,” says Jerry Bielawski, who has worked with Newman-Dailey for nine years and was named top sales associate in 2008 and 2009, “with more traditional buyers purchasing second homes or affordable family retreats to enjoy the quality of life that the Destin area has to offer.”

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