Saturday, March 25, 2006

MLS statistics and inaccuracy

I had an unsettling experience this week with our MLS. I searched for all contingent and pending listings in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. I was shocked to see transactions from as long ago as June of 2003 still showing as not closed. One particular listing I knew had closed and sold again but was showing in the MLS as still pending. I reported this to the MLS and, Voila, it changed to closed that same day. Now anyone pulling stats from the system will have at least one sale in March 2006 that actually closed in April of 2005. Are there other inaccuracies in the system? Most certainly. Treat any numbers that are pulled from our local MLS as suspect. Having said that, here are some interesting numbers from our system. Accuracy should be questioned but the trend is clear, lots of new, high-end units and a tepid sales rate.

Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral Active Listings March 25, 2006

condos over $500,000________________233
condos all prices built in 2005 or later___250
closed since Jan. 1___________________84
total condos for sale_________________987

Note that 28 of those closed sales were of units that were contracted months ago in new complexes that are just now closing. There are also 75 other active condo units that show up in "residential" rather than "condo" that will bring the total number of active units for sale to 1062. Do some quick math and you get about a 20 month supply. That spring rebound that sellers and real estate people are hoping for had better hurry up. If you're waiting for the market to turn around, it would be prudent to prepare for a long wait. Sellers, if you can't afford to wait, it's time to get aggressive with your pricing. There are buyers out there and the successful sellers will be the ones who accept the changed market and price aggressively.

As always, there are exceptions, especially for sellers of special, one-of-a-kind properties. For everyone else, it's time to get real.