Saturday, January 24, 2009

Times Like These

Activity has been brisk so far in 2009 with 39 residential properties going under contract since January 1 in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Not surprisingly, over 40% (16) of the 39 were either short sales or foreclosures. Of the 16 contracts, two were on properties I mentioned in my post last week. Of the remaining listings that I profiled, the 2/2 ground floor unit at River Lakes has been reduced yet again to a remarkable $160,000, a price not seen there since 2003. Prices peaked at $330,000 in 2005 in this complex. A new short sale listing this week at Hidden Harbor in Cape Canaveral, a 3/2 offered for $119,000 will take prices at that complex back to 2003 as well.

We continue to see new short sale and foreclosure listings being offered and I expect that to continue. I just received notice yesterday that a unit in a small ocean building in south Cocoa Beach will finally hit the courthouse steps next week, 20 months after the last mortgage payment and condo fee was paid. I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating. Do your due diligence of the condo association in any complex that you are considering. In this particular case, the association has lost around $10,000 in missed assessment payments and stands little chance of collecting it. Guess who makes up the deficit... Correctamundo; the other owners. The specter of having to shoulder more than one's fair share of common expenses is especially scary for buyers in new buildings with unsold units. Condo associations are like people. Some manage their money well and others are a mess. Well run associations with excess cash can usually deal with delinquent owners without a heavy impact on the responsible owners but those associations who run on a shoestring, month-to-month budget (there are plenty of these) have to turn to the other owners to pony up the missing income. Consider yourself warned.

MLS inventory Jan 25, 2009 Cocoa Beach & Cape Canaveral

Condos, all prices_____720
over $500,000_________94 - 0 sold since New Year's Day
Single family homes___108
over $500,000_________33

"Somehow I know it will never be the same."
_________Jack Johnson