2009 was a tenuous year for real estate along the Emerald Coast. One key area that everyone has been watch and analyzing is the Panama City Beach condominium market. How the first full summer of Pier Park dining and shopping would influence the condo market in 2009 and how the opening of the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in May of 2010 with Southwest Airlines will increase world wide exposure of Panama City Beach.
Consistent with our 2009 Market Analysis of South Walton Beach, Panama City Beach condos saw a 23% decrease in new inventory from 2008 and healthy increase in pending sales of 31% and sales transactions of 3%. Although the increase of sales from 2008 to 2009 was only 3%, it still was an increase that we are all excited about. Consistent with the real estate market downturn we saw Average list and selling prices of condos drop 37% and 32% respectively from 2008.
2010 is going to be another stressful year for condo sales as condo financing continues to be a significant roadblock for sales. Cash buyers for condos represented less than 30% of all transactions for condos in 2009. Foreclosures and short sales will continue to be a major driving force for condos sales and condo prices and we expect an even great number of foreclosures and short sales in 2010.
There is still excess developer inventory that must be worked through to keep condo prices in check and expect to see rental rates continue to stabalize and demand for Panama City Beach as a top vacation destination increases with the opening of the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in May of 2010.