Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sellers get aggressive with pricing

I'm still not convinced of the accuracy of our new MLS but I will report the stats as they are showing in the system.

I have seen a burst of activity in the last four weeks with serious buyers out and making offers. There is a disconnect at the moment with both buyers and sellers seemingly on different pages. Buyers are somewhat over-confident in their power to make low-ball offers and many sellers are still clinging to the idea that each new sale must be higher than the last. That is the reality in many of the scenarios that I directly observe. Of significance at the moment are those motivated sellers who have priced their properties to sell. I showed several condos yesterday and two of them are priced well under the market. One is a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1574 sq.ft. ground floor unit at River Lakes in Cocoa Beach that was just reduced to $299,000. That is a lot of direct waterfront condo in a great complex with boat slips for $299K. The other priced-to-sell unit was a direct ocean, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1753 sq.ft. unit at Waters Edge in south Cocoa Beach for $459,900. That is $263 per sq.ft., a rate we haven't seen for oceanfront in quite some time.

Whatever you believe about the future of the real estate market in Florida, if you want to own a waterfront condo, now is the time to get out and start looking. Although I believe that the high-end condo market will see even more downward pressure on prices because of too much investor involvement and increased supply, I think that quality units in existing complexes that are primarily resident-owned represent a great opportunity at these prices, at least the ones that are aggressively priced like my 2 examples above. You can choose between a brand new riverfront condo at $402/sq.ft. or a nice older unit on the same shoreline for $189/sq.ft. The difference leaves a lot of money for upgrades.

Here are our stats for today. Remember that our new MLS lists properties somewhat differently than the old one so some of these numbers will appear to have changed dramatically from my last stats reporting in December. For instance, some townhomes now appear under single-family homes. The important number here is the combined number of all listings. It is at an all-time high at 887 total listings in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.

MLS listed properties, Jan. 12, 2006

condos all prices__785
_over $500,000__196

homes all prices__102
_over $500,000__53

Another significant number is the 57 price reductions in the last 7 days. Don't think that you can get a great deal on most of the listed properties because of our high inventory levels. A large number of sellers are willing to wait as long as it takes to sell their properties or even not sell at all. Others don't have that luxury and may have to sell because of a relocation or simply because they are over-extended. These are the ones you want to buy from. They're there and I'll be glad to help you sniff them out. I can be reached by email at larry@southcocoabeach.com or at my new office, Walker Bagwell Properties in downtown cocoa Beach at 321.868.3151.