As 2021 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the real estate market, and the changes that we are observing in each of the areas we serve along the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. The past year has been an unprecedented year for real estate sales in our area, and we strive to keep you up to date with the latest market trends so that you can feel confident in your decisions.
2020 produced a record-breaking run for both sales prices and number of transactions, bringing new buyers into our market and pushing sales prices to an all-time high. In 2021, while we have observed a flattening in the number of sales, our average sales prices are still rising with average days on the market decreasing.
Per an article recently published in Forbes, median home prices in Florida cities have jumped 32%, the biggest gain in the U.S. We have recorded similar gains in the markets we serve in Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties with average home prices rising anywhere from 22% to 38% in 2021, and this is on top of similar gains in the year prior.
As we look ahead towards 2022, we anticipate many of the trends we are seeing such as increase in off market sales with multiple offer situations on premium properties and an increase in occupancy rates and nightly rental rates for vacation rental properties to continue. With more people having flexibility to work from home, the appeal of Florida as a full-time residence has increased, and we have observed an increase in new buyers choosing to make Northwest Florida their permanent home.
Interest rates are also expected to remain favorable for buyers wishing to finance into 2023, making it a key time for educated investment decisions.
Now more than ever, having a trusted and knowledgeable real estate agent representing your best interests whether you are buying or selling property is essential. We look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals along the beautiful Gulf Coast in the new year.