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Palm Coast Monday, Apr. 27, 2020 1 year ago

Early indicator of coronavirus impact on real estate: Pending home sales drop 22% in Florida

Also in business news: Bubble Pup, Coldwell Banker Premier Properties, Ruby Tuesday, Weichert Realtors-Hallmark Properties, Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, MediQuick Urgent Care Centers

New pending sales, which is the count of how many home sales went under contract during the month, show how the landscape in Florida’s residential real estate markets was changing as the coronavirus pandemic hit hard in March, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor said in a press release. However, prices might not be as dramatically impacted.

“On the single-family home side, we had a year-over-year drop in new pending sales of 22.6%, while over on the condo and townhouse side, we saw a decline of 35% compared to last year,” O’Connor said. “New pending sales were really the first metric to turn in a downward direction after the stock market began to fall in late February.”

In March, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales and higher median prices year-over-year, but pending sales, new listings and pending inventory showed lower levels compared to March 2019.

“Many buyers and sellers have understandably pressed the pause button,” said 2020 Florida Realtors President Barry Grooms, a Realtor and co-owner of Florida Suncoast Real Estate Inc. in Bradenton.

Statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties in March rose year-over-year for the 99th consecutive month. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $275,000, up 7.4% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations.

“We should expect to see significantly lower sales counts for April and May than we did last year,” O’Connor said, “but movement in sale prices will be more stable for the time being, since the reductions in both supply and demand have countervailing impacts on home values. However, the longer-term forecast is still hazy.”


In other business news ...


Bubble Pup Grooming Spa to open

Vicky Crosby, Shawn Crosby, Ashton Shumaker, and David Crosby. Courtesy photo

Although the coronavirus pandemic has been an unwelcome obstacle so far, Shawn Crosby has opened Bubble Pup Grooming Spa, a luxury pet spa, in Palm Coast along with his mother and father, David and Vicky Crosby, and sister Ashton Shumaker.

Unless the governor's stay-at-home order is extended, the company will take appointments beginning May 2.

“I was born and raised in Flagler County and moved to Missouri to get away from home for a while, and that’s where I learned to groom dogs,” Shawn Crosby said in a press release. “I moved back about a year ago and just opened the spa. … We pride ourselves in providing everything your dog needs to be healthy.

Bubble Pup allows slightly longer groom times — from one to three hours — for each pet so they have time to de-stress and relax, a press release stated. Visit or call 386-262-9641. Bubble Pup is located at 4490 U.S. 1, Suite 108.


Merger of real estate companies

Coldwell Banker Premier Properties has merged with the Schmidt Family of Companies to create one of the largest, independently owned Coldwell Banker franchises in the world, and one of the nation’s largest real estate firms, with over 90 offices and approximately 2,000 agents, the company reported in a press release.

With 11 offices and 250 agents serving St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties, Coldwell Banker Premier Properties will retain its name and continue to be led locally by Steve Cupolo as region vice president.


Ruby Tuesday matches donations

For $7.99, you can call Ruby Tuesday at 866-460-2283 and order a boxed meal for a first responder, and the restaurant will match your donation. “Thank you to all first responders and health care workers for taking such great care of our communities,” a restaurant message says.


Weichert adds six real estate agents

Weichert Realtors-Hallmark Properties, at 9 Harbor Center Drive, Suite 15, has added the following individuals to their team: Donald Davis, Jacquelyn Nichole Turnage, Renee Wickowski, Nadia Alkaysey, Sharon E. Davis and James Paul Miller.


Chiumento law firm creates ‘Response Team’

The law firm of Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant has established a COVID-19 Response Team to help address legal issues businesses may face related to COVID-19. The law firm has been consulting with local businesses, restaurants and others to review their business insurance policies at no cost to determine whether the business can recover profits lost because of COVID-19. Call 386-445-8900 or email Art Zimmet ([email protected]) or Michael Chiumento ([email protected]).


MediQuick offers telemedicine option

MediQuick Urgent Care Centers is now offering telemedicine appointments to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients. Offices are located at 6 Office Park Drive (447-6615) and 140 Pinnacles Drive (597-2829).


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