Alys Beach Sales and Construction Update
Alys Beach is celebrating the arrival of fall. We had a great Labor Day weekend, including a fun-filled day at the Inaugural Alys Beach 5K run. The event had approximately 250 runners and another 50 kids participating in the 1-mile fun run.
With the close of summer, we're encouraged by the numbers. This was the best spring and summer season we've experienced in five years. This is on the heels of a much improved 2011 market, indicating sustainability in both the vacation rental and real estate markets. Occupancies were up 30% over the very active 2011 season. We've enjoyed welcoming back our traditional southeastern markets to the gulf coast, as well as introducing Alys Beach to new visitors, many from Texas.
Sales in the market have reflected a continued increase from 2011. With two years of increased sales activity and robust growth in housing starts, we are experiencing a solid trend in the overall real estate market in this region. Real estate sales from January through September, 2012 along 30A have increased greatly, resulting in a 23% increase in home sales and a 62% increase in homesite sales compared to the same period in 2011.
The improved market conditions are most likely due to several factors: (1) the initial correction in the markets, (2) buyers understanding the value of current real estate opportunities, (3) the rapid decline in the real estate inventories, especially in the town developments along 30A, has created a renewed sense of urgency in the market and (4) homesite price points along 30A reflect two years of increases, with an 18% increase generated in 2012.
In Alys Beach, we have experienced a 133% increase in sales from January through September, 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. Right now, there are five homes on the active market in Alys Beach with four homes sold or contracted in the last eight months.
Homesite sales in Alys Beach have been strong as well. Twenty-four have closed or are pending closing in 2012. We anticipate 28 to 32 new home starts in the next two years, reflecting continued growth and validation that our customers are seeing real value in Alys Beach.
We are about to begin construction to extend Sea Garden walk, our pedestrian path that begins at Lake Marilyn and currently ends at 30A, all the way to the beach. Turtle Bale Park, our new beach access, is now open and a "must see" during your next visit to Alys Beach. We anticipate breaking ground on the new Alys Shoppe in our Town Center very soon and are completing the final plans to begin construction on the Alys Market & Restaurant this winter.
Many of South Walton's best events take place during our fall Autumn Tides season, including Back to Nature Festival (Oct. 18-21), Taste of the Beach (Nov. 2-4) and Flutterby Festival (Nov. 10-11) , and we hope you're planning a fall beach getaway. If so, we invite you to visit Alys Beach and see the many exciting new improvements and property offerings currently available to you.
If you have been considering purchasing a property in Alys Beach, I would highly encourage you to move your decision forward. As you can see, the market has certainly picked up and we are experiencing a continued reduction in our property inventories, especially in homesites.
We encourage you to make your fall plans to return to Alys Beach to take another look at the availability of our property offerings. Many have waited only to see their preferred property be purchased before they made a final decision. Annie Mangrum and Robbie Roberts would be happy to review the current availability of the properties offered to determine what best fulfills your family needs. We can also assist with your Alys Beach fall stay, just give us a call.
Should you already have plans to visit 30A, I hope that you will stop by the Alys Beach Sales Center while here and let us update you on the sales activity and the progress taking place in Alys Beach.
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