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: Brooke Estates, Carnegie Hills, Charleston Place, Dorchester Place, Everwood, Lee Farms, Liberty Oaks, Linene Woods, Rolling Hills Estates, Silver Creek Estates, Silver Oaks (where my home is), and Zachary Estates.
The table shows, for each year between 2002 and 2022, the median price of house sales (column 2) and the same median price adjusted-for-inflation (column 3).
Although most reports use the actual unadjusted numbers because they are the prices recorded at the courthouse, we have chosen to add the extra step of adjusting these prices for 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 prices over a long period (20 years) is meaningless… it is comparing apples to oranges.
This is why this article will compare apples to apples and give special consideration to the median prices adjusted-for-inflation. The graph below compares the median prices, not adjusted, and adjusted.
What do we see?
- If looking at the non-adjusted data, the 2022 prices ($351,088) were 29% higher than the peak of 2006 ($273,000). This certainly would be substance for concern if we were comparing apples to apples… But we are not.
- The picture becomes quite different when we compare the adjusted data. The $351,790 value in 2022 is noticeably below (13% below) the $398,580 of 2006! The adjustment for inflation shows that we are now comfortably below the speculative peak of 2006.
- The 2006 Bubble was caused greatly by speculators who were, for the most part, highly leveraged. They also came from a small pool: Georgia and Alabama for most of them. Now, the picture is quite different.
- We must add that the average house in our communities is, today, substantially larger than the one in 2006. Therefore, this increase in quality and lower price level combine to create a stable and sustainable market. After the long and painful stall of 2005-2011, it took from 2012 ($274,577) until 2019 ($281,880) for prices to gradually come back up to a more reasonable level. The adjusted median reached $310,385 in 2020, at the onset of the Covid crisis.
- Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the new habits of working from home, and the massive migratory flux from other states to Florida, compounded by the higher proportion of cash buyers, have resulted in a strong and stable market. The 2022 data confirm this trend: the adjusted median reached $351,790 – reasonably but sustainably higher (13%) than the pre- pandemic level of 2020.
In conclusion, our quaint neighborhood, located in the Crestview city limits, encompasses the most sought-after subdivisions and homes in what I consider the best and my favorite part of town! Not only does it offer quality education and affordable living, but it is also situated in a growing surrounding area, providing additional opportunities for development and prosperity. Additionally, the peaceful atmosphere and convenient location make it an ideal place to reside… And the fishing and the beach are never too far away!