Daytona Beach, FL - The condominium market around Daytona stayed strong throughout 2018 as inventory improved but experts fear 2019 may bring a different story.
A total of 1,555 condo units were sold in 2018 for a median sales price of $209,000, according to the Daytona Beach Multiple Listing Service.
Compared to the year prior, that's a 3.5% jump in sales and a 10% increase in median sales prices, which confirmed the predictions of some real estate experts in Florida.
"We started this year with cautious optimism as experts predicted Florida would continue to see the strong median price gains for another year," said Ron Wysocarski, Broker and CEO of Wyse Home Team Realty in Port Orange. "We were thrilled to see those predictions holding true as 2018 progressed."
Another positive outcome, according to Wysocarski, was the rise in the number of available condos after inventory levels became critically low in 2017.
And while inventory levels did not recover completely in 2018, area buyers saw a steady increase in the number of units listed on the MLS and the previously steep competition.
All in all, 3,329 new listings were added to the MLS in 2018. The total remains 2.7% below inventory levels in 2015, but it's higher than the 3,256 listed during 2016 and the 3,169 units listed in 2017.
"Inventory conditions are finally improving, but it was a slow progression and we saw many buyers give up the search and leave the market in 2018 before ever closing a deal on something," said Wysocarski.
As median prices and total sales rose in 2018, so did the condo sales volume across Daytona, according to the MLS. The total volume sold in the area climbed by $32 million, or 9.6%, to more than $365.3 million.
Real estate market experts at the national level are predicting a somewhat rocky year for 2019, mainly due to fears of mortgage rates going up. But the Daytona Beach metro area is projected to be among the top five areas for growth with an estimated 6.3% increase in home prices, according to Realtor.com.
"The Daytona Beach area condo market relies heavily on vacationers and seasonal residents, which makes it particularly vulnerable to changing economic and financial market conditions," said Wysocarski, commenting on some of the forecasts. "While some predictions for our local real estate market are optimistic overall, there is chatter of a possible economic growth slowdown in 2019. If that happens, it could absolutely affect Daytona area condo market conditions."