Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Half full / half empty

Before I begin with this update, I'd like to share a photo I took at the Cocoa Beach golf course yesterday. Notice the ball under the back leg. Makes for an interesting golf shot. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

The housing market has become as discussed as America's foreign policy and, like that touchy subject, is home for many differing opinions. The following are news stories from the last week about Florida's housing market. Even though some writers are bold enough to express reservations about the continued upward trend, the tone of most Florida newspapers is still optimistic. That is understandable considering the amount of advertising revenue that the real estate industry generates for them. Of importance when reading these stories is the fact that the new condo markets and the single-family home markets are distinctly different. The level of investor involvement in the condo market has contributed to a disconnect from fundamentals. Personally, since the first of the year, I have seen greatly reduced investor interest but strong end-user buying activity. Investors may stop speculating, but those who want a place in Cocoa Beach for the weather, the ocean and river and the un-hurried lifestyle continue to buy.

from the Palm Beach Post "Some froth, no bubble"
Sarasota's Herald Tribune, "Real estate market is steady"
South Florida Business Journal, "Broward home prices continue rise"
Miami Herald "High home prices settle down"
Reuters "Florida median home prices dipped in December"
Commercial Property News "'Soft Landing' for Condo Investments"
Tampa Tribune "Anybody Home?"
Tallahassee Democrat "The forecast: sunny and stable"
WESH2 News "Florida's Real Estate Market Gets Cooler"

Our new MLS is still unreliable for statistics other than actual closed listings, so, I will limit my stats to that number. For the month of January 2006 we had the following closed sales of MLS-listed properties in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.


If you want a place on the beach or near it, there have been some excellent buys recently. How about this one, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath direct ocean unit at Royale Towers that sold Jan. 10 for an incredible $325,000, or $225 per sq.ft. Still active is a 3 bedroom, 3 bath direct river unit at River Lakes, 2 blocks from the beach with a boat slip available for $299,000. No matter what happens to the investor-dominated new high-end condo market, properties like these represent great value and an opportunity to own in desirable locations in our great little beach town. Email me if you'd like a list of my favorite current listings.

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