‘BUYING AND BUILDING FRENZY’ Walton County development on the rise

Published: Friday, October 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM.

Local Realtor John Paul Somers says Walton County ’s real estate recovery has been considerably robust for most prime resort residential and commercial projects that cater to viable business models.

"Finally, since the peak in 2005, development concepts are being introduced and should begin releasing new opportunities to our marketplace," he told The Sun in an email. " Walton County has encountered significant absorption of existing, improved property, leading to scarcity of listing inventory, thus fueling appreciation in valuations due to the basic principles of supply versus demand."

For Somers, broker at Somers & Company, the next step in the recovery process involves new development, both residential and commercial, especially as more lending capital becomes available from banks and private equity.

Although cash is still king when it comes to purchasing property, "attractive mortgage rates are making the borrowers more apt to invest in our market with the anticipation of further upside in property values," Somers wrote. "I suspect 2014 will usher in further optimism."

  An economic energy

As the head of the Walton County Tourist Development Council, Jim Bagby knows what makes Walton County special, and he says there is no shortage of reasons why people are flocking to the beach.

According to Bagby, a combination of a recovering economy and "desirable" beaches play a key role.

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