We're all aware of the thousands of barrels of crude oil are pouring into the gulf every day from ruptured lines. The spill is still miles from our shores but what many people don't know is that the local housing market is already feeling the effects. We live in an area where property values are dependent on access to our white sandy beaches and anything that threatens that has to be taken into account. Part of what we sell is the lifestyle of living on or near the beach.
10 Calle Traviesa is a Team Sandy Blanton exclusive listing located in the Lago Bonita subdivision on East Pensacola Beach. This home is a perfect example of how the oil spill is already taking a toll on the Pensacola Beach housing market. Once the seller, who lives out of state, got wind of the oil spill she immediately dropped her price to $125,000. Not only is that $20,000 off the previous list price and the lowest price on Pensacola Beach but at just under $110 per square foot, this home is priced at nearly what the current owner paid in 2001 and one of the lowest prices per square foot in the last 10 years! The new price is significantly lower than offers we received on this home just a couple weeks back. We're very optimistic and working hard to sell this home and we have had some recent activity, but it's still available.
We still meet homeowners who refer to home prices in "pre-Ivan" and "post Ivan" terms referencing the dramatic rise and eventual fall of prices after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. We think it's possible that owners of beach property will look back at this oil spill and do the same. There's really never been anything like so all we can do is assess the situation and take all the factors into account. We have to consider the loss of jobs for local fisherman and people that work on the beach or rely on its' resources that may have to find other jobs in town or relocate. We also expect a lot of coastal homeowners may have difficulty making mortgage payments when they're faced with loss of rental income from properties which are rarely vacant during the summer season. This could create a whole new wave of distressed property owners which could lead to more foreclosures and short sales which will only aid in decreasing prices. The question isn't if coastal property values will continue to drop but how further will they drop, and long will they stay depressed once the oil is factored into the already declining waterfront market? No one knows for sure. We do know this crisis is making for some great opportunities for potential buyers in the meantime. Now may be the time to invest in that beach property you always wanted but couldn't afford at the escalated prices we saw just a few years back.
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