Gulf Coast Real Estate Blog


Gulf Front Condo Prices seem to be leveling off along the Alabama Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle!

Real Estate Market Analysis and Sales Data: Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan and Perdido Key, FL
Updated: October 17, 2008

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

WOW! We are busy at the beach. The phones are ringing and people are here looking every day - prospects seem to be considering real estate investments again. My latest review of this year's sales stats tells me that these prospects may be on to something!! All year, we have watched the prices fall and sales volume increase which have lead me to believe that stabilization might be occurring. If the prices continue to stabilize through the 4th quarter, we may be on the road to a healthy real estate market with normal appreciation and a BIG sigh of relief!!!

In the tables below, you will notice that the gulf front condo listing inventory and price per square foot averages both dropped since my last analysis in August. The closed sales analysis tables below show increased sales volume year to date over 2007 sales year to date. Increased sales volume has been a consistent trend that we have noticed each month and each quarter this year over last year. Our sales volume is currently up 17% over last year.

The most exciting segment of my analysis today is what I have found in my 2004 - 2008 gulf front condo sales quarterly analysis! The sales volume and the sale price data from the 3rd quarter of 2008 show us that our real estate market is showing signs of stabilization with prices flat lining and not dropping for the first time since the 1st quarter of 2006!! I can not tell you how good that line was to type!!!

Personally, I think that the 4th quarter of 2008 may bring more good news for the Alabama Gulf Coast and Perdido Key Real Estate Markets. There are excellent investment opportunities currently available! Many that qualify for the GoZone Act (accelerated depreciation that can equal to HUGE tax relief). The GoZone Act for our area will expire December 31, 2008 - as a result, I believe we will see a run on GoZone  properties over the next 2 months - this should stimulate sales during our typically quiet 4th quarter. Also, be sure not to let the high real estate inventory fool you! It may seem like there are unlimited choices, but once you begin to really analyze the current will see that there are only a few really good deals that make sense either short term or long term.

Income producing gulf front condos that are priced correctly or aggressively and with a track record of high rentals are moving. A handful of these properties are within $1,000 of cash flowing with 20% down; heavy rentals; moderate HOA fees; among other factors. A bank just released a few GoZone qualifying direct gulf front units for $275/SF - these were built in 2006; have nice amenities and strong rentals - prefect investment property - not to mention, you can enjoy this investment choice yourself from time to time.

Luxury gulf and bay front condos are also moving very well! The Baldwin MLS shows that 42 area condos have sold this year at a price over $700,000 (11 of the units have sold over $1MIL). I think this is a great time to buy a luxury unit at a fantastic price and have an amazing TANGIBLE investment to enjoy with your family and friends. The luxury units are great long term investment properties.

Beach houses are really seeing some action this year!!! 13 gulf front houses have sold year to date, ranging in price from $641,500 to $3,150,000. This is up from ONLY 4 sales year to date in 2007!! THIS IS GREAT NEWS!!

Beach lot sales are up just slightly over last year, but I feel that we are going to see increases in sales volume on beach lots soon. There are a few beach lots available right now for fantastic prices (75' Gulf front lot in Gulf Shores for $995K). If you have ever dreamed of having a beach home then now is the time to do your shopping. When looking at beach lot and beach house data, you have to keep in mind that the beach property that currently exists is not increasing. We do not have many vacant beach lots left! This lack of supply will catch up with us at some point - may be several years, but it will happen.

Lagoon front lot sales are about the same as last year - there are some amazing buys on lagoon front and non waterfront lots right now! Sellers are reducing to get the lots sold - just another long term investment option to consider.

Bay front properties in Orange Beach and Ono Island are down from last year - the major reason why is this: sellers and their agents have not known where to price their bay front properties due to lack of sales. Without comps, pricing becomes a guessing game and can get quite frustrating. However, we are seeing price reductions on these properties, so my advice is to keep an eye on the activity. There are several bay front properties. These prices will not be around forever, so if you have ever wanted to be on our fabulous is the time to buy.

Be sure to review the actual data below that I have referenced in my analysis. Please email or call me with any questions that you have! I am happy to provide personalized analysis on any property - just ask! Also, email me if you want a list of my favorite investment properties currently available!

Please take a moment to look over our current listing inventory - we work very hard to price our listings correctly and we have some GREAT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES!!

Click here to view The Helton Group Listings - Houses, Condos, Lots, Commercial!


Current Active Listing Analysis:
Gulf Front Condo Units (1062 Total Gulf Front Listings as of 10/17/2008)

  Low High Average
List price $119,000 $2,795,000 $540,348
Price/SF N/A $749 $392
Days on market 2 1483 280


Closed Sales Analysis: 313 Sales YTD 2008
Gulf Front Condo (All types): 01/01/2008 - 10/17/2008

  Low High Average
List price $102,900 $3,400,000 439,655
Selling Price $99,500 $2,775,000 407,031
Price/SF $146.55 144 $314
List/Sold % 70% $556 93
Days on market -6 1148 141


Closed Sales Analysis: 260 Sales YTD 2007
Gulf Front Condo (All types): 01/01/2007 - 10/17/2007

  Low High Average
List price $149,000 $2,500,000 $520,412
Selling Price $135,000 $2,500,000 $482,222
Price/SF $168 $687 $379
List/Sold % 67% 100% 93
Days on market -95 819 219

All info herein obtained through the Baldwin County MLS System.
Info is deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed.


Comment balloon 1 commentElizabeth Helton • October 18 2008 02:59AM


Great news Elizabeth!

Just goes to show you that properties that get priced right can find buyers and many of those buyers are cash buyers so financing isn't an issue. 

It's too bad that prices escalated so rapidly a couple years back, a healthy market for buyers and sellers will always be better in the long run than boom and bust.

Posted by Cal Carter (Keller Williams Realty Alabama Gulf Coast) over 11 years ago