Sunday, March 18, 2007

Deja Vu, All Over Again

I thought I'd revisit my comments from a year ago as, by this time last year, the slowdown was beginning to catch everyone's attention. This excerpt is from March 22, 2006.

"Are there problem areas in our market? Yes, most definitely. I've been cautioning about speculation in high-end condos for some time now. I suspect that there will be a lot of pain among the pre-construction investors in high-end condos this year. But at the same time, thousands of homeowners will be enjoying Cocoa Beach for it's beaches, surf, fishing, wildlife and all the other things that make this such a special place in the world. Will the speculators' departure affect this underlying market? Probably. All markets operate on supply and demand."
Read the entire post here.

Sales in 2007 have slowed from the same period a month ago and condo inventory continues to creep upward. Single-family home inventory took another big jump and is at a record-setting 173 MLS listed homes in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. I'm happy to report that our office participated in a large number of the few sales so far in March.

Here's the steal of the week; south Cocoa Beach direct river, 2/2 condo across the street from the beach listed for $274,900 ($60,000 less than the owner paid 2 years ago). This is the view.

Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral MLS Stats

Sold March 1 through 18
Single-family homes_5

Active for sale
Single-family homes_173

If you have ideas for future posts or comments, please email me.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Inventories and Sales numbers

I thought I'd do a little more deep analysis after the responses to the "Under the hood of the MLS" article. I went back and pulled up inventory and sales figures for the last three spring seasons. The results were surprising. I expected to see the rapid increase in inventory but I did not expect sales in 2007 to be as strong in comparison as they were. Here goes:

Inventory of MLS properties in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral

April 2005
SF homes______45

August 2005
SF homes______62

October 2005
SF homes______63

January 2006
SF homes______102

May 2006
SF homes______138

March 4 2007
SF homes______154

Sales from Jan. 1 through March 4

2005-Condominiums__139--SF homes__9
2006-Condominiums___73--SF homes__10
2007-Condominiums___54--SF homes__11

The shocker for me in these numbers was the constant rate of sales for single family homes. 2007 has actually been the busiest Jan-Feb season for sales of homes. Condo sales, as expected, have been in a constant decline since peaking in 2005. Another surprise is the level inventory number. We first topped 1000 in total condo and townhouse listings in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral in May 2006, but have hovered around the 1000 number since while single family home numbers have continued a slow increase.

Our inventory has gone from a 6 month supply for condos and 10 month supply for homes in spring 2005 to a 38 month condo supply and a 28 month home supply in 2007.

Conclusions; If you're selling, don't despair. Sales are happening. There is just much more competition and prices have declined. Do your market analysis and be realistic with your pricing. Don't be insulted by low-ball offers. They are the norm now. Reframe your take on a low offer as an invitation to negotiate, not as an insult. Be prepared to take longer to sell unless you price aggressively to move to the front of the line. If you must sell, you cannot afford to price at or above competing properties. You must lead the pack and price under the competition, all other things being equal. Don't forget your carrying costs if you're willing to wait until you get your price. The cost of an extra 6 months selling time on a $500,000 property can easily exceed $20,000 in interest, taxes and insurance. If you want straight advice about selling your home in this difficult market, call me at 321.917.5786 or email me. Things have changed and successfully selling a home requires adapting to the changed market.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Seven Reasons for Cocoa Beach in February

Manatee and baby in one of the Minutemen
canals Wednesday morning this week.

The rocket launch last week as seen
from south Cocoa Beach.

Pelican #235 Tuesday this week at one of the
magic bends in the canal system of Cocoa Beach.

Spotted dolphins playing around the boat last
Thursday off the coast of Cocoa Beach.

Sunset over Merritt Island this past Tuesday
evening as seen from Houseboat Cut.

Last Wednesday morning on the river side of
the Port Canaveral locks.

My godchildren from France enjoying a ride
through the Banana River canals of Cocoa beach

Wherever you spent it, I hope your February
was as magical and enjoyable as mine.