Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Pictures and numbers

Mortgage rates have continued their plunge. Payments on a $200,000 loan for 30 years are now below $1000 per month. Monthly payments for the same amount for a 15 year fixed is only a couple of hundred dollars more than the 30 year payment was just two years ago.

Condo sales for August exceeded last year's numbers after July's faltering pace. Inventory continues to decline and it seems unlikely that the fall numbers will match last year's which were abnormally high. We'll see. Low prices and low rates have buyers on the prowl but the dearth of good inventory is hampering the search for many.

MLS inventory Sept 1, 2010 Cocoa Beach & Cape Canaveral

Condos, all prices_____541
over $500,000_________56 - 13 sold this year
Single family homes___117
over $500,000_________35

Snook season did not open today as it normally does. Season opening has been delayed until September 16th to allow the population a little recovery from the fish kill during last winter's prolonged cold snap. Surf has been big and sloppy the last few days from the Hurricane Danielle swell combined with hard onshore winds. We expect the swell from Hurricane Earl to arrive by tomorrow. Please be careful at the beach in these conditions. A little one can be swept away in a heartbeat and even strong swimmers can get in trouble with this much water moving around. We lost an experienced surfer last weekend when the swell was peaking. Condolences to his family and friends.

"Squalls out on the Gulf Stream,

Big storm's comin' soon.

I passed out in my hammock,

And God I slept till way past noon."

____Jimmy Buffett


  1. Yes rates are at all time lows. I kind of put that thought out there back a few months ago,then faltered slightly,but ultimately proved to be on the money. What percentage of the inventory numbers you list are Short sales or foreclosures. I have to think prices will fall another 20% before the bottom is found--possible ever worse than that. Low rates and the lack of buyers has to indicate no money by the majority. Paint me bleek--but it is what it is. Good inventory or high HOA's on many properties that have dropped to one third the price of a few years ago. I still maintain---HOA's should come down to match the massive price declines.

  2. Not gonna let you claim that one, Senator. You called for higher rates, not lower. I think your words this spring were "6% is right around the corner".

    Short sales and foreclosures make up 19% of the MLS inventory in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.

    HOA fees can't come down unless expenses come down. Property valuation has very little bearing on the expenses of maintaining a property. Insurance is the only portion of HOA fees that could be expected to come down with property values but since the insurance is for "replacement cost" that rarely happens. I believe "local appraiser" addressed that in a comment earlier this year when we were discussing this same issue.

  3. I'm a true politician---say one thing and claim another--then take credit--my long term memory went down the river on that one---Soooo sorry. I don't agree with the word can't.Expenses come down in hard times. Competition from services become fierce. Replacement cost should be based on lower total costs of materials and labor. Costs for all aspects of maintaining a complex should be dropping like a rock. Are Hoa's keeping way to much in reserve?????-and not actively seeking new contracts for services????--sorry--but a $435 HOA in 2008 should not be as high today-- Things just don't add up

  4. Just a question
    If a property is listed and priced as a-Short Sale-then is foreclosure at a later date---how much does it cost the bank to do the foreclosure process and would it not be prudent for the bank to agree to a lesser short sale price as opposed to a foreclosure price.

  5. "Prudent bank"? Does not compute. You may have missed my story about Wachovia turning down my offer of $89,000 on a short sale only to sell at foreclosure auction the next week for less than $50,000. There is no logic to how the banks are handling short sales. There is some incentive to foreclose in cases where back condo fees are far in excess of 12 months worth which is all the bank is responsible for in foreclosures. If the association is too stubborn to compromise on past due fees in a short sale, the bank can just foreclose and hand over only the required 12 months of fees.