Although they are adjacent, Destin and Okaloosa Island are two very different real estate markets.
Destin is established with a rich mix of single-family homes and condominiums. Destin was founded over 150 years ago around a flourishing fishing enterprise, and became known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” In the 1970s high rise condominiums and vacation rental homes started to be developed on its spectacular sugary shores. Championship golf course communities, resorts, restaurants and shopping venues followed, which were carefully planned for meticulous development. Unincorporated Okaloosa Island was created by tourism in the 1960s and is actually the “beach” for neighboring Fort Walton Beach. Okaloosa Island is comprised almost entirely of condominiums, many of which are on the glittering gulf. It is surrounded by water, which includes the gulf, Choctawhatchee Bay and the Intercoastal Canal. The densely populated portion on the western end shares the island that also has miles of undeveloped preserved shoreline set aside as part of the National Seashore. The following is a statistical comparison of condominium sales along with current listings in Destin and on Okaloosa Island.
Destin comprises two markets that consist of Destin West, which includes Destin proper, and Holiday Isle. Destin East comprises properties located in the eastern portion including those along Scenic Highway 98.
Over the last 12 months Destin West reports 73 condo sales from $174,000 for a 1,028 square foot unit at 134.99 psf. up to $1,495,000 for a 4,062 square foot property at $663.57 psf. The average came in at $605,955 for 1,883 square feet at $338.09 psf. Destin East had 42 sales ranging from $310,000 for 1,260 square feet at 193.70 psf up to $1,875,000 for a 4,730 square foot condominium at $636.36 psf.
Currently there are 272 condominiums listed in Destin West and another 69 in Destin East for a total of 341 compared to 144 on Okaloosa Island. In Destin West prices range from $139,000 for a two-bedroom unit with 970 square feet at $143.30 psf. to $3,000,000 for a five-bedroom unit with 4,400 square feet. The average listing is $632,000 for 1,825 square feet at $346.30 psf. At Destin East prices range from $139,000 for a two-bedroom unit with 970 square feet to $2,995,000 for a four bedroom with 4,556 square feet. The average priced listing is $680,000 for 1,810 square feet at $375.69 psf.
Okaloosa Island has had almost 70% more sales over the past twelve months than Destin since closed contracts have been generally half the price. A total of 194 condominiums have sold from a low of $49,000 for a 340 square foot studio at $61.25 psf to $885,000 for a 2,235 square foot gulf front condo at $562.87 psf. The average sale came in a $287,865 for 1,100 square feet or $256.97 psf. Currently there are only 144 condominiums for sale on Okaloosa Island ranging in price from $99,000 to $995,000. Prices have risen with the average property listed at $428,072 for 1,299 square feet at $321.12 psf. The lowest priced unit listed at $99,000 is for a two-bedroom unit with 756 square feet at 130.95 psf. The highest priced condominium listed for $995,000 has three bedrooms and encompasses 3,400 square feet at 292.65 psf.