Thursday, August 26, 2010

Have I forgotten?

Lake Atlantic on a hot summer morning.

During the events of the last couple of months I may have lost contact with some of you. If I haven't responded to an email or call please accept my apology. I am back in Cocoa Beach now and ready to resume our conversations and/or property research. If you have been waiting on a response from me please contact me again at Again, sorry for the break in communication.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Supply and demand at work

Goodbye, Dad. I'm gonna miss the hot days picking vegetables with you in your garden. I won't forget about always doing the right thing.

Sorry for the gap between posts as I've been away from Cocoa Beach. Not surprisingly, not a lot has happened in the market in recent weeks. The slowing sales trend I noted in the last post has continued into August. The well-picked-over condo inventory is being reflected in the low sales numbers. Anecdotaly, the demand seems to still be there. As of this morning, only 15 MLS listed condos have closed in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral in August. Prices have ranged from $50,000 for a non-waterfront, foreclosed Cape 2/2 condo to $245,000 for a five year old 3/2 Bayport villa with 2 car garage.

Other sales of note included a 7th floor Royale Towers "C" building, south ocean view 2/2 with garage that sold fully furnished for $216,000.

A furnished 2/2 townhouse-style Royal Mansion with a peek of the ocean closed for $180,000. Open parking and on-site management for short-term vacation rentals (40% fee). Note that condo fees for the 2/2 units here is $568 per month.

A direct river ground floor 2/2.5 in Waters Edge West in south Cocoa Beach closed for $166,500. This unit has a big private garage and a deeded boat slip.

A foreclosed, big (1350 sf) 2nd floor, 2/2 Fountain Cove direct river with garage sold for $138,000. This unit last sold in 2005 for $315,000.

Another lakefront Harbor Isles 2/2 has closed for $110,000. This one was 2nd floor with private garage. Only one unit sold for less in this complex in the last ten years. That was in 2001 for $106,000.

Two of the popular Diplomats 2/1 units have closed, one for $85,500 and one for $85,000. These numbers take us back to 2002 levels in this complex.

A cute 2nd floor 1/1 south ocean view Beach Villas in south Cocoa Beach sold for $92,500. Open parking and a big wide balcony with a good ocean view.

I expect the slow sales rate to continue indefinitely as a result of the low inventory. My take on price trends is split. There are at least two stories there. While prices have been holding steady in the older direct ocean units in that sweet $200,000 to mid-$300,000 range, prices in the luxury buildings in the upper range ($500,000+) have continued to erode and I expect that trend to continue.

"I hate to say it but you're so much more endearing with the sound turned off."

_______from "Talk Shows on Mute" by Incubus

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

July roundup

My expectation of sales slowing in the 2nd half of 2010 seems to have been confirmed by the July numbers as they stand today. After beating last year in all months but one this year so far, July came up short with only 28 sales compared to 41 last year. My take on this is the well-picked-over, smaller inventory is leaving a lot of prospective buyers off the playing field when they can't find a suitable listing in their target property type. I mentioned a couple of posts ago about direct ocean upper floor units in the mid $200 and $300,000 range dominating the condo sales. That trend continued through the end of July with the 9 highest dollar sales of the total 28 fitting that description.

The highest price condo sale of the month in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral was $368,000 for a nicely remodeled, direct ocean, 4th floor northeast corner, 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit at Ocean Pines in downtown Cocoa Beach. Another nicely remodeled 3rd floor unit in the same building closed for $305,000 and a 5th floor, 3 bedroom, 2 bath next door at the 10 year old Palmas Majorca sold for $332,000.

The lowest price for a direct ocean unit in July was $191,500 for a 2nd floor, 2 bedroom, 2 bath foreclosure at Sun Club in south Cocoa Beach. It had no garage and needed work.

Now for a study in contrasts. Someone paid a surprising $295,000 for a 910 square foot, 2nd floor direct ocean, 2/2 with no garage at Chateau by the Sea. Three days later someone closed on a 1568 square foot, 5th floor 2/2 direct ocean Wavecrest with garage in south Cocoa Beach for $276,500. Both units were furnished. Imagine an astute buyer looking for comps to aid in formulating an offer on another unit and finding these two sales closing three days apart at prices of $176 per square foot and $324 per square foot. Which is relevant? Chateau is a weekly rental building which means income possibilities are much greater than Wavecrest. Wavecrest is 11 years newer and in much better condition. I think neither of these sales can be taken alone to form any conclusions about the market. I just mention them as an observation of extremes.

A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain."______Robert Frost