Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Rare bipeds

MLS condo and townhome inventory June 7, 2011 in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral is 389 units. There are 44 listings asking over $500,000. This year so far seven units have closed for more than that number so we have enough half-million dollar plus units to last a few years. Not so in the lower price ranges. There are 66 units asking less than $100,000. Since January 1, a total of 86 sub-$100K units have closed. That pool is getting skinny. Of the total 389 units for sale, 16% are distressed sales (13 bank-owned and 51 short sales).

Single family home inventory stands at 80 properties with 30 asking over $500,000. Since the first of January 60 properties have closed, 19 of those since April 1. Six of the 60 closing for over $500,000. Of the 80 currently for sale, 2 are bank-owned and 5 are short sales. New listings are appearing at a rate far below the sales rate.

I am anxiously awaiting new (fairly priced) inventory. Much of what supply we have is over-priced and has been sitting on the market for a long time, years in many cases. The severely over-priced listings can't be considered actual supply so our real inventory numbers are lower than the MLS total numbers of 389 condos and 80 homes. The appraisal prevents (in most cases these days) borrowing buyers from overpaying. Cash buyers aren't likewise constrained and represent hope for unrealistic sellers. Even though cash buyers make up three quarters of all recent condo purchasers, those willing to overpay are about as abundant as Sasquatch. Based on sellers' responses to many of the offers I present at least one has been spotted roaming the area. I've got news, folks. That's a fur suit.

All other things being equal, a home or condo is worth very close to what other similar properties are selling for now, not last year or the year before, right now. Closed sales are running at an average of 91% of asking price. If you want to sell, do your homework and price your property within striking range of what the comps tell you it's worth. If you want to purchase, same strategy. Know what it's worth and offer within striking range of that number. Wishful thinking has proven to be an ineffective strategy whether buying or selling. The comps are what they are. Gather them yourself or have your agent furnish them if you can get her to return your calls.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." _____Flannery O'Connor (thanks PR)