Market Report - Palm Coast and Flagler Beach
The quieter side of Florida wasn’t so quiet last weekend as buyers searching for Palm Coast homes had the opportunity to easily tour gated neighborhoods during the 20th Annual Flagler County Parade of Homes. We were there too on a picture perfect day, a day of cloudless baby blue skies. Palm Coast Florida is seaside town without a real identity and not much commercialization. The 1,557 acre Town Center at Palm Coast hopes to change that one day. The center is a huge planned urban mixed used development located just west of Interstate 95.
Last year, we thought Palm Coast would lead the real estate market in Florida in recovery but we were wrong. Oceanfront condominiums are still plentiful even though prices have steadily climbed since 2012. The average condo price in December is down 22% from the year prior at $151,000. Home prices average $142,000 up 12% from the prior year. Homes in Naples Florida will cost you twice as much and condos in Vero Beach Florida will cost you half as much. Condominiums in Palm Coast for the most part are situated in luxury gated communities or beachfront resorts with expensive club dues, fees not in style with today’s Baby Boomers. We believe this may be causing a stalemate between buyers and the condo market.
Here’s an update below for the Palm Coast neighborhoods we monitor and a few new ones we visited for the first time. If you’re learning about Palm Coast and are exploring the best places to live in Florida, ask us for a free Palm Coast relocation package.
GRAND HAVEN - (The Parade’s 2014 Showcase Community)
Hugging the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway, Grand Haven spreads across 1,400 acres and has 17 individual neighborhoods inside the gates. It’s a highly amenitized Palm Coast neighborhood with a private golf course, two resort-style swimming pools, an extension walking trail system, tennis, bocce ball and croquet courts, and more. The community looked great and we saw dozens of families riding bicycles enjoying the beautiful day. Approximately 30 new homes are under construction. We observed no change in the status of the partially built condos (still an eye sore) near the golf clubhouse. On the drawing board since 2008, The Shoppes at Grand Haven are planned to be built across the street, a 60,000 square foot retail, restaurant and office plaza. HOA fees increased slightly to $2,178 per year. Membership fees held steady at $3,600 per year for golf and $927 for a sports membership. Initiation fees are $15,000 for golf and $5,000 for sports. Grand Haven property owner reviews scored the community at 88 out of 100. In 2013, the were 92 single family homes sold at an average price of $330k and 6 condo/townhomes were sold at an average price of $181k.
PALM COAST PLANTATION
It was nice to see all the new homes and homes under construction since our visit last year. Four new homes were featured in the Parade of Homes, homes built by Stoughton Luxury Homes, Olsen Custom Homes, Keystone Homes, and Gold Coast Custom Homes. The average selling home price in the neighborhood since September 2013 is $375k and the lot price is $69k. Palm Coast Plantation is another refined gated community bordering the Intracoastal Waterway, this neighborhood without a golf course. The community has a lakeside Key West style clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, and spring fed fishing lakes. Folks are pretty happy living here. Property owners scored Palm Coast Plantation at 94 out of 100.
Signs looked a little weather-beaten yet Hidden Lakes had several homes under construction as the tight knit Palm Coast neighborhood begins to fill up with new homes. The attraction to Hidden Lakes is its close proximity to the Town Center of Palm Coast, a 1,558 acre planned urban mixed used development within biking distance to the community. Signs in the neighborhood indicate they will be building a clubhouse and pool soon. We suppose they are waiting to do that because they want to have enough homes paying the HOA to support the building and maintenance with out raising the fee. HOA fees at Hidden Lakes are now $500 per year. New home prices at Hidden Lakes begin just over $200k, up 23% from two years ago. Frugal buyers searching for new homes without amenities will find Hidden Lakes a good option. Property owners scored Hidden Lakes at 86 out of 100.
TIDELANDS ON THE INTRACOASTAL
The attraction to this gated Palm Coast community is its location on the Intracoastal Waterway, high quality condo construction and close proximity to the beach. Security gates are now locked all the time so you’ll need to be with our trusted colleague to see the neighborhood. Distressed condos can still be found around $100k. On the north side of the neighborhood are single family homes. The community has 2 swimming pools, tennis, fitness center, game room, and picnic areas. Intracoastal Park and beautiful waterfront walking trails. Tidelands on the Intracoastal is located less than 3 miles from Hammock Beach. Property owners scored Tidelands at 82 out of 100. In 2013, there were 29 condos sold with an average price of $146k.
HAMMOCK BEACH RESORT
When folks think of Palm Coast Florida, most likely Hammock Beach Resort comes to mind. Its incredible resort-style neighborhood on the beach has just about everything a vacationer could want. Two championship golf courses, seven eateries, the Fantasy Pool Complex, a nearby private marina and two and half miles of private beach. This Palm Coast beach community looked great and we found a number of condominiums for a steal of a price! Could it be because Hammock Beach Resort is phasing out short term vacation rentals by 2018? Good news for property owners who want limit the amount of short term vacationers using all their amenities. Bad for investors relying on high rental income returns. A six month minimum rental may become the new norm. Monthly membership fees are high at $775 a month for golf or $417 per month for social plus the $400+ per month for HOA fees. But Hammock Beach Resort is a one stop destination when it comes to owning a vacation home in one of the best places to live in Florida. Property owners scored Hammock Beach Resort at 86 out of 100. In 2013, there were 33 condos sold at an average price of $300k.
CINNAMON BEACH AT OCEAN HAMMOCK
We were informed short term vacation rentals will only be permitted Cinnamon Beach at Ocean Hammock in the future as Hammock Beach Resort changes the rules by 2018. We’re concerned because the amenities at Cinnamon Beach at Ocean Hammock are just too darn small for the amount of people in the neighborhood. The community is cute located inside Ocean Hammock’s gated entrance. There were approximately six homes under construction during our visit and 40 or so more already built. More importantly, there are 12 high rise condominium buildings in a very confined area on the north side of the neighborhood. Membership fees and initiation fees are the same as Hammock Beach Resort. To me, the jury is out on the long term happiness by property owner by moving the short term rental traffic to this small neighborhood. In 2013, there were 19 condos sold at an average price of $369k.
We would say Hammock Dunes is the most elite Palm Coast gated community. It is not a resort community open to the public. Security is tight and the curb appeal is divine. The community is one of the Platinum Clubs of America, a distinction only a handful of residential neighborhoods have. Golf membership is pricey. Full membership will cost you a $90k initiation fee plus monthly club dues and HOA fees. Hammock Dunes Club has 1 1/2 miles of private beach and two championship golf courses. Home choices include Palm Coast oceanfront homes, condominiums and golf course villas. One home was featured in the Parade, The Kabir built by McCarthy Building Collaborative. Homes can easily exceed $3 million. Property owners scored Hammock Dunes at 82 out of 100. In 2013, there were 20 single family homes sold at an average price of $444k and 32 condos sold at an average price of $606k.
FIRST TIME NEIGHBORHOOD VISITS:
One of four distinct neighborhoods in the Hammock Luxury Communities collection, The Conservatory is located on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway and is off the beaten path. Construction stalled when the real estate recession began in 2008. As of today, we observed 8 homes built of the 340 planned spread across 556 acres. Two more homes were under construction. It’s Tom Watson Signature Golf Course is open for play and is quite beautiful! Elevated bunkers and water hazards challenge even the most experienced golfers. The 44,000 square foot Renaissance inspired golf clubhouse is gorgeous! There were two new homes on the Parade; one built by Charles Rinek Construction and the other, by Saltwater Homes. Lots for sale can easily be found under $50k and homes in the $500k’s. Like its sister communities, golf club memberships will cost you $40k to join and $775 per month plus HOA fees. Memberships include access to the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort and access to all the resorts amenities. We plan to keep our eye this Palm Coast gated golf community as it continues to mature.
BEACH HAVEN - (The Parade’s Featured Community)
Located on the northern end of the barrier island, Beach Haven is a gated Palm Coast neighborhood with an adorable Key West style feel. St. Augustine is only 15 miles to the north. 190 new pastel colored cottage homes are planned within walking distance of the beach. The project began in 2006 by developer McGarvey Residential Communities and stalled in 2008. Today, almost a dozen homes are built and the neighborhood is back on track. Amenities include a completed lakeside swimming pool, BBQ entertainment area, accent lakes, walking trails and deeded beach access. HOA fees are low at $1,200 per year. Turnkey cottage homes built by Generation Homes start in the low $300k’s.
Calling all boaters! Every beach home in this Palm Coast neighborhood has an assigned boat dock in a protected inlet off the Intracoastal Waterway. At low tide, the water depth is 4-5 feet. There were six homes under construction during our visit. 8 homes have been sold to date of the 31 homes planned. Sunset Inlet has deeded beach access. Gorgeous sand dunes are just steps away from this tight knit Palm Coast boating community. Amenities include a nature preserve and fishing pier on the Intracoastal Waterway. Pastel colored carriage two and three story homes start just under $400k built by Emerald Homes, affiliate of DR Horton Homes.
YACHT HARBOR VILLAGE
One of four communities in the Hammock Luxury Communities collection, this gated Palm Coast waterfront community caters to boaters. The Intracoastal Waterway community has 209 marina slips for boats from 30 to 100 feet in length. Concrete floating docks, electric power, pump out facilities, a ship store and 24 hour security add to the marina’s features. Boat slips are leased by the foot. The community also has a swimming pool and tennis courts. Single family homes for sale are priced in the $500k’s and condominiums are available in the $200k’s. Lots on the Intracoastal Waterway can be found in the mid $100k’s. A social membership will cost you $417 a month plus the $20k initiation fee but provides access to the resort amenities at Hammock Beach Resort or golf membership is available. HOA fees start around $2,600 per year.
If one of the best places to live in Florida is of interest to you, ask to be introduced to our trusted colleague in Palm Coast and/or for a free Palm Coast relocation package.