PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Panama City area is becoming a boomtown for second home buyers, according to financial advice website smartasset.com.
“To find the hottest secondary home markets in the U.S., we compared data for 400 metro areas across two metrics: number of mortgages for secondary residences and total number of mortgages approved in 2018,” they wrote.
Panama City came in 11. The area was right behind Kahului-Wailuka-Lahaina, Hawaii and ahead of Punta Gorda, Fla. The report says that nearly 23 percent of the city’s mortgages were for second-home buyers.
The city is still recovering from Hurricane Michael and an ongoing housing crunch has caused problems for renters and those looking to buy a home. However, local officials say they are seeing positive signs including rapid construction of new homes and an influx of businesses like Suzuki and Burlington.
“I think we should be flattered by that. That’s a good indication that we truly do live in paradise and others outside of our community see that and they want to make an investment,” said Carol Roberts, the President and CEO of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce. “Although they (second home buyers) are not living here, they are still adding to the tax base which supports infrastructure work and other needs in our area.”
You can read the full report here.