Monthly Market Update – Mexico Beach to Cape San Blas, FL

I hope everyone is doing well and is looking forward to some time at the beach.  We are settled in to our new office and have a full time office manager for the first time.  This is a huge help to me and we are already seeing benefits in organization and efficiency.  I hope to have more time to focus on my sometimes monthly, sometimes quarterly, and sometimes annual newsletter.  I want this to once again be something you can count on to see each month.
My goal is to provide you with information on what’s selling, how values are trending, updates on factors affecting the market, and events going on in the area.  I’ll also highlight what I think are the best deals on the market.  For those of you interested in the market from Mexico Beach to WindMark, I’m regularly updating The Top 25 Houses and Top 15 lots on  If you’re on Facebook and want to follow us, the 98 Real Estate Group Page usually has 3-4 updates a week including hot new listings.
The market is plugging along and has done fine for what is usually our slowest time of the year.  It’s slower every year until people start thinking about and visiting the beach in the Spring.  Many of the buyers that have been looking for months or years get more serious in later February because they want a place to enjoy for the season and they know the best deals will start selling much more quickly when more people are here.  The number of properties on the market has slightly increased from 614 on 1/15/14 to 623 properties on 2/15/14.  Overall I’d still say the inventory is going down.  It went up a little due to a number of interior lots being listed along with a number of listings that expired at the end of the year being renewed.
Here are my favorite deals for the Cape San Blas listings:
Here are my favorite deals for the Port St. Joe listings:

There are still plenty of active buyers out there right now for homes priced near their likely appraisal values.  I’m working on another mailout that we will be sending out again to all of the property owners this month.  We are working hard to get new listings and I’d love to talk to anyone that wants to sell.  I’m proud to say that 98 Real Estate Group has listed 72 homes from Mexico Beach to Cape San Blas since 2013.  We have successfully sold 56 of these as of 1/31/14.  Counting vacant lots and commercial properties, we’ve sold 126 properties since the start of 2013.

In 2013, the market set a record with the most sales since 2005.  From January 1st to February 15th of last year, there were 53 sales:  In 2014 for the same time period, there have been 51 sales  Most of these closing prices are slightly higher than they were for similar properties that sold in 2013 for most of these.  A handful of the closings this year have been resales where people have sold for a profit from what they paid in 2011 and 2012.  98 Real Estate Group has had 9 closings.  Our sales so far for 2014 include 2 lots on Cape San Blas, 2 lots in Mexico Beach, a condo in Mexico Beach, a beachfront townhouse in St. Joe Beach,  a vacant lot in St. Joe Beach, a very nice single family home in St. Joe Beach, along with a house on St. George Island  There are also 68 properties under contract on MLS from Cape San Blas to Mexico Beach
We’ve not had the problems our friends to the North have faced this winter, but we have not been immune to the cold weather.  It’s certainly been the longest and most drawn out cold winter I remember in my 10 years living here.  I’ve heard locals say there hasn’t been anything like the freeze we saw a few weeks ago since 1989.  Here are a few pictures from our “freeze”.

There have been a couple of items in the news lately that might have in impact on our job market. Eastern Shipbuilding is one of the companies that have signed a lease with the Port of Port St. Joe.  They are based out of Panama City and there are a lot of “ifs” with this, but this could be huge for the area.  They were selected as one of 3 finalist selected for a $10.5 Billion contract with the Coast Guard.  Here’s a link to more information about this:
There was also a small cruise line that announced they would be making Port St. Joe a stop for one of their cruises in 2015.
It has warmed up some days and been absolutely gorgeous.  Here are some of my favorite pictures I’ve taken in the past couple of weeks.

If you missed the annual Gumbo Festival in Mexico Beach this past Saturday, you missed a good time.
We look forward to having a great spring and summer.  Please let me know if I can help with anything.
Zach Childs
98 Real Estate Group