PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – White sandy beaches and a global pandemic seem to be the perfect mix for vacation home sales to explode in Panama City Beach.
“You know, there’s something about having something like this happen that makes you then turn around and say, ‘Wow I want a plan B,’” said Panama City Beach vacation home owner Lisa Ward.
The world’s most beautiful beaches are also the perfect place for many vacationers who don’t want to get on a plane.
“People are apprehensive about getting on airplanes, and if you look at the location of Panama City Beach, it’s a drivable distance from large metropolitan areas,” said Counts Real Estate Agent Bob Thomas.
Zillow conducted a study showing the Panama City area vacation home views for-sale listings were up 74.4% from a year ago. Zillow researchers say this usually leads to houses selling faster and for more money.
Realtors in the area say the research explains why they have been so busy.
“As soon as the beaches opened back up, business picked up and it has not stopped since,” said Thomas.
When homeowners aren’t staying in their vacation homes, many say they use them as vacation rentals, and they have been booked solid.
“It’s rented constantly, we would have to kick them out if we wanted to move there,” said Ward. “I mean, it is rented all the way until next year.”
Many new homeowners say they are thankful the pandemic helped them find paradise.
“For us, I mean there was no question,” said Ward. “I’ve been to Destin, I’ve been all over. Panama City Beach was it for us. We knew we would buy there, and then the pandemic pushed us along.”
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