Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where it's at, direct ocean

I thought I'd dust off the abacus and do a rundown of recent direct ocean condo sales in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Excluding side view and ground floor units, and including only units with at least two bedrooms and two baths, we are left with a mere 12 MLS-listed units closed since April 1.

Lowest priced sale was $225,000 for a 4th floor Wellington in downtown Cocoa Beach. It was a remodeled and fully furnished 2 bedroom, 2 bath with 1049 square feet and no garage. Highest price paid since April 1 was $975,000 for a massive 5152 square foot penthouse (7th floor) at Ocean Oasis also in downtown Cocoa Beach. This seven year old unit has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and a 3 car garage. Top of the line everything. Seems like a deal when compared the the second highest sale, $865,000 for a 5th floor 3 year old Ocean Cove in south Cocoa Beach. While every bit as nice as the other unit, with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and a 2 car garage it has 2758 square feet, just slightly more than half the size.

Others sold included units in Meridian, Xanadu, another Ocean Oasis, Michelina, Crescent Beach Club, Waters Edge, Royale Towers, Shorewood and La Mer. Highest price per square foot of the bunch was $314 for the Ocean Cove unit described above and the lowest was $154 per square foot for a top floor south corner Crescent Beach Club that was partially remodeled and in need of several new sliders. Average price per square foot paid for direct ocean condos with at least 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, above the ground floor and closed since April 1 was $202 and the median was $196.

For what it's worth, there were 13 units with the same criteria closed in the same period one year ago, April 1 through June 22, 2010. The average price per square foot then was $225 and the median was $236.

These averages are good to know whether you're buying or selling but are only one part of the picture. Don't get too hung up on the average if you've found a unit you like priced above the average number. With inventory of units at an all-time low, it might make sense to pay more than the average to get the unit you want. Likewise, if you've gotten an offer you think is too low based on the average, consider the cost of holding that property while waiting for another buyer willing to pay your hoped-for number.

Meanwhile, the sailfish have been thick just offshore with several boats catching and releasing multiple fish this past week. We've also seen some big dolphin and wahoo coming to the dock. Anglers in small boats and kayaks have been enjoying the flat conditions and playing with the giant tarpon and jacks around the bait pods just outside the surf line. If you head out, don't forget the sunscreen and water. It's been and still is extraordinarily hot.

"Cocoa Beach. How fab. You're so lucky." Jim Cramer responding to a recent Fast Money caller from Cocoa Beach