This article will demonstrate that (1) we are not in a bubble situation and (2) our local real estate is a strong protection against inflation.
Our data was extracted from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of our local REALTORS® association, ECAR. The values presented are for the following markets only: Eagle Bay, Eagle Bay Landing, Stone Gate, Hidden Grove, Bayou Point, Topsail Walk, Tradewinds at Topsail, Mikerri Acres, Elizabeth Farms, and Royal Palms – known as “Hewett Bayou”. The area consists of all of the neighborhoods and small streets off East and West Hewett, in North Santa Rosa Beach; a quiet area with bay access, just a few minutes from the beautiful beaches of 30A.
The table on the right shows, for each year between 2002 and 2022, the median price of house sales (column 4) and the median price adjusted-for-inflation (column 5). Although most statistics use the raw numbers, or numbers as recorded in the courthouse, we have chosen to add the extra step of adjusting these numbers to inflation. The compounded inflation rate between 2002 and 2022 has been 65.5%. In other words, one dollar of 2002 had the buying power (thus the true worth) of $1.66 in 2022. Our logic becomes obvious: lumping together such unadjusted values is meaningless; it is comparing apples to oranges.
This is why all data considered below in this article will factor the median prices adjusted-for-inflation.
The graph below visualizes the median prices variation after the adjustment for inflation is made.
What do we see?
- Prices increased by 53% between 2002 and 2005, the three years preceding the infamous ‘real estate bubble’.
- This jump, from $348,377 to a stellar-for-the-time of $534,162, was caused by speculators that were, for the most part, highly leveraged.
- Then, the median price of a house in our community fell from an adjusted-for-inflation value of $534,162 in 2005 down to $224,947 when the market hit bottom in 2011. This was the return of the pendulum: the overpricing of 2005 was followed by the underpricing of 2011. Because hindsight is always 20/20, the year 2011 was when inspired buyers went shopping!
- After this long and painful stall of 2005-2011, it took from 2012 until 2020 for prices to gradually come back up to a more reasonable level of $433,286 in 2020, at the onset of the Covid crisis.
- Covid-19, the new habits of working from home, and the massive migratory flux from other states to Florida, all contributed to give 2021 and 2022 an energetic price boost that ended up bringing our pricing back to a sustainable and average level of $642,427, where the market now stands.
In conclusion, our quaint neighborhood of Hewett Bayou stands in contrast to busier and more expensive 30A, more congested and city-like Destin, and the commuting traffic and other inconveniences of the communities located north of the Bay.
We represent a hidden gem, where life-style is not hindered by sky-high pricing. Hewett Bayou is where you can co-exist in perfect harmony with beauty, nature and peace. Bay and beach access are added bonuses!