South Walton Real Estate Trends: Then & Now

Posted by Destin Real Estate Sales on Thursday, October 25th, 2018 at 7:50am.


Historic South Walton Real Estate

South Walton has always been blessed by a pure quartz crystal sugary shoreline that’s considered among the brightest in the world. Tiny natural plankton reflects in the sunlight from the white bottom creating a dazzling jeweled brilliance. The land along the gulf between Destin and Panama City Beach is forested with pines, magnolias, live oaks, palmetto palms, and other tropical shrubs. Rare coastal dune lakes along this route are found in very few places in the world. The unique salted freshwater composition supports abundant wildlife. Thousands of acres are protected as forest preserves and state beach parks. Scenic County 30A now rolls through this magnificent setting with sensational views of the glittering gulf. Many charming picturesque pre-planned coastal villages were created here and most were built in recent years. Going from west to east they include Santa Rosa Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Watersound, Alys Beach, Seacrest Beach, Rosemary Beach, and Inlet Beach. The villages here are unique and beautiful each with its own gracious “personality.”  Only Dune Allen, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, and Seagrove Beach were established here beforehand. Timber mills in the 1840s were replaced by turpentine plantations with the first ones established in Dune Allen and Grayton Beach. The oldest homes in Grayton Beach and Dune Allen were built in the late 1800s with wood frames and pine clapboard exteriors. Early settlers worked there living in cabins or cottages while fishing, growing corn and raising cattle.  Nothing much happened for many decades since there were no paved roads or electricity. In 1935 a paved road finally connected Destin to Panama City as Highway 98. It linked down to Grayton Beach and electricity was established in 1948. In the mid-1950s an eighteen-mile paved county road was paved connecting these coastal towns which later became designated as Scenic 30A due to its natural splendor. Tourists discovered this precious piece of paradise and built new homes on stilts or made them from cinder-block in Dune Allen, Grayton Beach, and Seagrove Beach.

Seaside received international fame when it was created in the 1980s ushering “New Urbanism Design” as an idyllic pedestrian friendly picture-perfect coastal village. This was followed in the early 2000s by Old Florida styled communities at Watercolor on Western Lake and the gulf, Watersound south of Scenic 30A on the coast, laid back Seacrest Beach and rural Inlet Beach; A Gulf Place town center in Santa Rosa Beach; Luxury dune top condos in Blue Mountain Beach; A charming Dutch Colonial inspired Rosemary Beach and the white bright Greek influenced village of Alys Beach.

These village locations are now split up between east and west Scenic 30A. Dune Allen, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, and Grayton Beach compose the “west” while Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove Beach, Watersound, Alys Beach, Seacrest Beach, Rosemary Beach and Inlet Beach are in the “east.”


South Walton Real Estate Trends

Currently, there are 246 single family homes and condos for sale on West Scenic 30A priced from $214,000 for a 367 square foot furnished studio at Gulf Place in Santa Rosa Beach up to $5,695,000 five bedroom homes with 6,619 square feet overlooking a coastal dune lake in Blue Mountain Beach. The average list price is $1,161,853 with 2,502 square feet at $451.23 per square foot. Sixty-three homes are currently pending a closing and were priced between $294,000 to $7,500,000. Within the past twelve months, 433 homes and condos have sold ranging from $187,000 for a two bedroom home with 2,079 square feet up to $10,900,000 for a seven-bedroom home on a coastal dune lake east of Blue Mountain Beach with 6,993 square feet. The average sold price was $875,131 for 2,222 square feet at $341.25 per square feet.

There are 614 homes and condos for sale now on East Scenic 30A priced between $156,500 for a 325 square foot furnished studio in Seacrest Beach up to $14,750,000 for a seven-bedroom beachfront home with 10,035 square feet in Rosemary Beach. These come in at an average of $1,723,101 for 2.647 square feet which comes in at $594.37 per square feet. There are 194 properties pending a closing that were listed between $225,000 up to $6,495,000. Within the past twelve months, an astounding 1,034 homes and condos have sold here ranging from $128,000 for a 504 square foot furnished studio near Watersound up to $10,750,000 for a 6,462 square foot gulf front home in Seagrove Beach. The average sale price was $1,342,649 for 2,259 square feet coming in at $461.39 per square feet.

Contact our Ocean Reef Real Estate Office today at 877-392-6085 if interested in a purchase and arrange a consultation that provides detailed property information. This can include rental income estimates if interested gleaned from our sister division South Walton Rental Management who professionally manage hundreds of such properties for owners who rent them out when they are not on their own family vacation. Let’s begin touring them soon! 


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