Market Watch with Tonya Zimmern: Bigger is Better & Luxe on the Rise!
Tonya Zimmern shares that bigger is better and luxe is on the rise in Pensacola. People are looking for larger homes with more flexible space to accommodate at-home lifestyles.
There is something about coastal living that feels like luxury. Northwest Florida’s 100-mile stretch of coastline – from Panama City to Gulf Shores – is a hidden gem known as the Emerald Coast. “The laid-back casual vibe, coastal meets southern cuisine, and authentic southern hospitality combined with some of the country’s top-rated sugar-sand beaches make this region a great place to call home or home away from home,” said Tonya Zimmern of The Zimmern Team powered by Keller Williams Gulf Coast Realty. A recent study of “100 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental in 2020” reported the Florida Panhandle ranks #1 for offering the best returns on vacation-home investments in the U.S., according to Weiss Analytics (2020).
Although the area offers a wide range of home styles ranging from traditional ranch style to hip downtown lofts, historic Victorians and cottages to quintessential beach homes, trends show a shift towards larger homes, especially in the luxury market. Buyers are looking for homes with increased square footage and floorplans that provide more “flex spaces” than previously required as the need for working, learning, and working-out from home has all become the (somewhat) new-normal thanks to COVID-19.
“My clients are looking for homes that provide space for one or more home offices/virtual classrooms, gyms, and even extra spaces anticipating the need for potential quarantining. Clients are saying the bigger, the better right now,” said Tonya.
Home sales in this region are up 13.3% year over year. This incredible growth rate supports the early signs of buyers’ preferences to relocate to lower density areas where communities are less commercialized and more exclusive, making our area perfectly suited to welcome out-of-state and local buyers alike. From Destin, Fort Walton, Navarre/Navarre Beach, Pensacola, and Pensacola Beach as well as Perdido Key into Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, these locales offer a great value per square foot with a solid rate of annual increases reaching a high of 6.6% (Keller Williams Realty, n.d.).
With some of the lowest interest rates in the last eight years hovering around 3%, those shopping for a home today can afford 10% more home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment unchanged. According to Black Knight/Mortgage News Daily, low lending rates translate to nearly $32,000 more buying power.
What does all of this mean for those looking to buy or sell luxury homes in a top-rated market? Between low-interest rates and a strong economy, there has never been a better time to invest in Emerald Coast real estate. Now is the perfect time to regain balance, spend time with family, and focus on well-being with confidence while knowing that an investment in Gulf Coast property is a smart decision for both short and long-term investment strategies.
Tonya Zimmern has over 23 years of experience and is one of the highest-rated, most award-winning Realtors in northwest Florida. As a Gulf Coast native, she is an active member of the community and continuously remains on top of the trends affecting the real estate market. As an expert in the Gulf Coast real estate market, Tonya Zimmern aspires to not only place her clients in the right home but command the best price, whether buying or selling.