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Daily Real Estate News  |  January 5, 2007  |   Florida Resort Expects Growth With New Airport
Panama City, Fla., is getting ready for what it hopes will be an influx of tourists and residents once its new airport is complete.

The traditionally blue-collar resort expects construction to begin in late spring on a $330 million international airport to replace the current one, which was originally built in the 1940s. The new airport will be able to accommodate more and larger jets, bringing a better-heeled class of visitor. Currently 83 percent of the city’s four million tourists arrive by car.

Housing prices are still low compared with Florida's other coastal resorts. The area prices have been affected by both the general slowdown in sales and the rising inventories created by a rush to build in advance of the new airport.

There are 2,000 condos in Panama City Beach for sale, and nearly 7,000 units are under construction, according to Katie Patronis, an associate with Century 21 Ryan Realty. Units stay on the market an average of 180 days before being sold.

The median price of a condo in Panama City Beach is $316,000, up from $118,000 in 2000. But that's down from the peak of $385,000 in 2005.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Julia Lawlor (01/05/07)

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