History has shown us that 2005-2006 was not a good time to buy St. Augustine condos here or almost anywhere else either for that matter. But, the pendulum is swinging. Housing has hit bottom and started back up here, and condos will follow.
The market is transitioning from a buyer's market to a seller's market. Inventory has shrunk dramatically in the past year. Complexes that had 18 or more units for sale typically have only 3 or 4 now. I think even the most inexperienced buyer knows that the best time to buy is when the prices have hit bottom and to buy before they start back up. With a few exceptions, St. Augustine condos are at bottom. it's time to buy!
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Fortunately for sellers prices did not go up here as much as in other Florida areas. For that reason, the drop in prices has not been as dramatic as it has been in neighboring counties. But prices did fall. St. Augustine condos are approximately at 2001-2002 prices - that what you would have paid 10 years ago. What was the price of gas then compared to now? Think about that - that will put the current prices in perspective.
It has been difficult since 2006 to obtain mortgages for St. Augustine condos and everywhere else in the state with the guidelines laid down by the FHA, and Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae. Until 2 years ago we didn't have any mortgage products available. Lenders are starting to loosen up. There are now 15 & 30 year conventional mortgages with 25% down. This past week, I even heard from a lender now making mortgages to investors!
The rental market is booming. Many buyers want to buy St. Augustine condos now and rent it out for several years until they can move. Rentals are scarce and the good old law of supply and demand has kicked in - rental prices are also up! Most condos along the beach can rent for a weekend, a week, or long term. Condos away from the beach mostly rent for a minimum six months and a day or more. You can let a property management firm rent, collect the money, take care of the upkeep, and send you a check monthly! It's a great time to buy!