Saturday, October 04, 2008

I ♥ Cocoa Beach

Ah, October in Cocoa Beach. Cool mornings, light winds, deserted beaches, hungry snook and continuation of one of the best surf seasons since the mid-90s. Yes, October 2008, outside the crises of Wall Street, has begun as one to remember with a magical combo of all the things that make this little town one of the gems of Florida's east coast.

Our condo market (at least the low to medium priced segment) has been amazingly resilient in the face of tightening lending standards and daily negative headlines about the world economy. For the second time this year, condo sales exceeded the previous year's numbers. We saw a total of 31 closed condos sales in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral in the month of September.

In the high-end condo market, only one unit over $500,000 closed in the month which brings the year's total sold in this market segment to 26 with 81 units actively for sale on the MLS this morning. The absorption rate looks reasonable at right around a 27 month supply, but, after adding in the unlisted developer inventory of new units, which I estimate at over 100, a different picture emerges, an over-5 year supply. Even if offered attractive incentives be cautious if you're considering a purchase in a complex with a high percentage of unsold developer units. There are critical issues that you need to consider that will not be brought up if you don't ask. Don't overlook units in older buildings with healthy associations. You can save hundreds of thousands purchasing in an exiting building and escape the uncertainty associated with some of the new complexes. And, most importantly, while you're looking, take the time to kick your shoes off and spend at least part of your day on the beach. Warm Atlantic water on one's toes is quite therapeutic.

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."
____Sidney Harris