Saturday, February 02, 2008

Gimme Shelter

Thoreau said, "On tops of mountains, as everywhere to hopeful souls, it is always morning." From this hopeful soul, here is a beautiful morning last week in south Cocoa Beach.

One month into the new year and, as expected, activity has picked up even though January's closed sales are down over 50% from our peak year of activity, 2005. We have had a total of 23 closed MLS sales of condos in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. There were 6 single-family sales in the month with only one over $500,000. Three of the condo sales were in oceanfront, short-term rental buildings. That particular area of our market is getting a lot of attention as prices have now retreated to the point that income levels start to make them attractive. When you can get into a unit with $2000 of monthly costs including mortgage payment that rents for $900 per week, cash flow becomes possible. It's then all about occupancy levels. Prices of side-ocean view units have dropped from the $300,000+ range to the $260,000 neighborhood.

Prices of closed condos in January were all over the map with an 1804 sq.ft. Crescent Beach Club top floor unit closing for $350,000 within days of a top floor 2678 sq.ft. unit next door at Casa Playa closing for $600,000. Side ocean view 2/2 units at Spanish Main and Chateau went for $260,000 and $255,000 respectively while a bank owned direct ocean 2/2 Cape Winds unit sold for $265,000. A brand new 1864 sq.ft. Puerto del Rio was purchased for $235,000. A quick-draw party pooper stole a 6 year old Solana Lakes 2/2, 1698 sq.ft. fully furnished unit for $195,100. The neighbors are probably less than thrilled with that especially considering that 2 identical units closed one year ago for $300,000 each. In 2005 these units peaked at over $400,000.

MLS inventory Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral Feb. 3, 2008

single family homes__135

Weather for the last week has been in the 80s with light winds and a persistent chest high swell that has made at least one realtor very happy. Our sandbars have returned to old-time Cocoa Beach shape making for long, fun waves and the water has warmed back up enough to retire the wetsuit for another year. For fishermen, the good news is that schools of pogies are showing up just off the beach which means the spring run of cobia can't be far behind. Further offshore, dolphin, wahoo and bottom fish like grouper and snapper have been chewing hard and it promises to get better as the weather continues to warm. It's a great time to be a Cocoa Beachling, or should that be Beachonian, ... Beachite? Whatever, it's a good time.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson