Friday, April 20, 2012

Uncontrolled descent

The incredible shrinking condo inventory made another big move this week with 30 units going under contract since last Friday. That brings our total condos for sale inventory in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral down to just 325 units this morning, April 20, 2012. That's a reduction of 28% since March 2011. Distressed sales make up 14% of the total with 24 short sales and 23 foreclosures. That's the lowest level of distressed properties since 2008, the year the first short sale was seen in our market when 15% of condo sales were distressed. (Click on either chart for a larger version.)

Single family home inventory is in a similar shrinking trend with a total inventory in the two cities of 65 homes for sale. Only 6% are distressed, four short sales and no foreclosures. Buyers with specific criteria have a very small basket of matching properties from which to choose. One consequence is an increase in the frequency of multiple offer situations. A note to buyers here; if your buyer's agent tells you that there are other offers on a property you want, don't assume the listing agent is playing games. If you want the property, stay engaged. Withdrawing or not offering because you distrust the Realtors involved doesn't accomplish anything other than eliminating a property from your list. With the abundance of lowball offers floating around, the fact that there are multiple offers may have no impact on your eventual purchase price. One of my clients was the winning offer this week at 83% of asking price in a three offer situation. Keep in mind.that, while distrust of real estate agents is a healthy thing, some of us can be trusted. Blanket distrust can be counter-productive to your goal. As I've said before, if you don't trust your agent, get another one.

"Weaseling out of things is important to learn; it's what separates us from the animals...except the weasel." ___Unknown


  1. I trust you fully understand the banks are holding millions of properties that are not being offered.I think you can realize the problem that would be created in the market if said property was unleashed and made available for sale.BUT------comes a point where these properties WILL be forth coming.I could also make a case for future property that is now underwater and not yet being pursued by your local savings and loan. The educated consumer is the best buyer and time is on his or her--side.

  2. News is chock full of existing private equity funds buying up properties and new funds being set up to get in on the action. Low prices, high rents and interest rates that have investors looking for yield anywhere are driving people into the market.

    You can stand by and watch, but it appears like a lot of money is deciding to go to work instead.

  3. Absolutely correct.Buying up property is the new avenue to riches in the industry.BUT-----they can't touch property that is held by the banks until said property is released. It's open field time for all,not just the big funds.I believe you will see a big jump in all inventory sooner rather than later.This action will reduce prices to new lows at some point.also the economy is really not improving to any degree,NASA is pretty much shutting down reduceing employment and gasoline prices by themselves -- are the new tax on America. Add it all up and things will get depressed rather than euphoric.I'll stand by and watch until such time as deemed necessary.

  4. Millions of bank-owned properties? Not in Cocoa Beach. Here are the facts: Out of the 95 properties owned by Bank of America in our county, four are in Cocoa Beach and two of those are the bank's own offices. Wells Fargo? 116 total, two in Cocoa Beach. RBC? 208 total, In Cocoa Beach? Zero. In this sample of three of the largest bank property owners in our county, their holdings in Cocoa Beach are less than 1% of the total. Draw your own conclusions. The constant media stories about the huge backlog of foreclosed and soon-to-be-foreclosed properties might be misleading when applied to specific small markets.

    If I wanted to own in Cocoa Beach I would be more concerned with finding the perfect property than timing the exact bottom of the market. Considering how far prices have come down, the amount of downside risk appears to be very limited at this point. Time works both ways. I might buy 10% above the rock bottom but I might also get a few more years on the beach than the market timer waiting on the sidelines for the bottom bell to ring.

  5. You will not fine or be privy to the info you mention on any banks books.Fanny and freddy hold the key. A million units is a low side figure.Time will be the proof of the pudding.As far as ringing the bell----"For whom the bell tolls"the market could BLOW UP with the phantom properties you suggest do not exist.

  6. In a recent random sampling of 30 Cocoa Beach condo projects (mid-range to high-end), I found 38 units in the foreclosure pipeline - not listed in MLS. Recalling that the banks pretty much put the brakes on filing new cases due to the robo-signing scandal, I'm leaning toward the middle of this issue - more inventory coming, but dribbled out by the banks in hopes of rising prices vs. a flood of new inventory all at once.
    -Local Appraiser

  7. They can only dribble so long. People are still living in a whole lot of these properties.Mortgage free.The banks can't afford the loss on the books.Neither can the tax paying public.You know we are footing the whole bill to date.Granted--the Gov. is backing the whole procedure--this is not a good thing---The backing is in the form of Freddy/Fanny.The dollar amount is staggering. No light at the end of the tunnel at this point.

  8. Sno – agreed that there is more in the shadows, knowing of one that has not paid for 3.5 yrs and still not foreclosured.

    Govt intervention, mark-to-fantasy accounting has allowed the banks to do what is in their best interest only. I have scratched my head over this issue for 3 yrs now. If they can’t afford the losses, why drag things out causing more loss?

    Yes, they are dumping losses onto FNMA. One such property in Melbourne went into FC by FNMA (courtesy of BOA) in 2009. Uncontested, as the owners turned in keys and left. Case was filed by David Stern firm. When his FC mill was shut down, FNMA transferred case to new Atty in 1/2011 where it has sat untouched since that time with no more court papers filed. The property, once a nice pool home, has been vacant & rotting in sun for 3+ yrs while the lender cuts the grass and pays the taxes and ins.…Why? - L.A.