Saturday, June 24, 2017

Watch Your Toes

Sorry for the big gap between posts. I have no good excuse. Call it a summer slowdown, heat exhaustion or a touch of the vapors. Hold on. In 2017 "the vapors" could be construed differently than what my grandmother meant when she used the term. I'm using it in her context. Anyhow, as of this morning the Cocoa Beach MLS is reporting 349 closed condo and townhouse sales so far in 2017 in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. The actual number is probably a handful more. Tardy listing agents, you know, too busy to update sold listings. Fifty of those sales closed this month, so despite the seemingly slowed market, we are on track for another strong month. To put a little perspective on that number, there are only 199 existing units for sale right now in the two cities. At this rate the entire existing inventory will be gone by October 1.

Of the 50 sold units so far this month only five were east facing, direct ocean units, the traditional bread and butter of our market. As the inventory has dwindled, side ocean view, river units and non-waterfront properties have taken up the slack. Half of the sold units were purchased with cash and half sold in the first 36 days on the market, ten of them in the first week.

There are 63 single family homes for sale this morning at prices between $3 MM and $250,000 with the median over a half million. Nine have closed so far this month.

I like to scan the Weather Channel during cold months for a touch of Floridian schadenfreude but it has been equally entertaining this month. Portland hit 100 this week and in Arizona mailboxes were melting. Thank geography for the ocean breeze which kept things in Cocoa Beach quite pleasant, as usual.

A few big breeder snook have been caught in the surf the last few weeks for those who know the bait and the technique. Catch and release only until September 1 and then 28" minimum and 32" maximum, one per day. Enjoy these great summer days and please don't forget the sunscreen and don't attempt to walk to the ocean without flip flops. The sand will roast the bottom of typical American feet. How bout that Minutemen streetscape? If you haven't been downtown recently, check it out some night. The Minutemen corridor has been transformed and I give the finished product a double thumbs up and two snaps.

"Tortured numbers will confess to anything." __whodidntante

Sunday, June 04, 2017

June Flowers and Property Sales

It might have been nothing more than a cruel tease but we got our first long, soaking rain of the season on Friday after months of little to no rainfall. Every green and blooming thing in town is radiating happiness and it seems to be affecting the humans as well.

The month of May finished with a bang in the local real estate market. As of this morning, the MLS is showing 67 condos and townhomes closed in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral during the month. As is normal in our market, over half sold for cash and ten sold in the first week on the market. Average days on the market are creeping up as sellers, emboldened by low inventory and rising prices, are listing with ever more optimistic initial asking prices. As always, the market ultimately decides the selling price, not the seller. The MLS is showing 204 total existing condos and townhomes for sale in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral this morning and another 27 to-be-built units.

Action in the higher end of the condo market was subdued with only ten of the sold units closing for more than $399,000. Over half closed for less than $220,000. Decent oceanfront units were closing for prices mainly in the $230 to $285/sf range with only one smaller unit commanding over $300 per square foot. For perspective, there are 33 units currently asking over $300 per square foot. Only a few of them deserve that price.

Single family home sales continued at a strong pace with 16 closed in May, five of them over a half million. Only three of the homes sold for cash. A third of the homes sold in the first 30 days on the market. There are 73 homes currently for sale in the two cities.

Bottom Line
The song remains the same; know how to, or have a buyer's agent who does, accurately estimate fair value of properties for sale. If a listing is priced closed to fair value, it usually sells quickly. If a condo, know that over half the interested parties will likely be offering cash. Those who have been looking for a while will know that putting off an offer until travel arrangements have been made will likely contribute to being to the table too late. It's possible and usually advisable for out of town buyers to have their agent go ahead and offer on attractively priced properties sight unseen as long as they can negotiate a long enough inspection period to accommodate travel here for viewing. As we oldtime surfers used to say, "the lip does not linger".

SpaceX launched a previously flown Dragon Spacecraft on a resupply mission to the ISS yesterday and successfully landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket vertically at LZ1 at the Cape after stage separation. The tremendous sonic boom of the returning Falcon loosened caulking and fillings all over town.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."  __Robert Heinlein