Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meet the buyers [updated]

Got a link to an interesting story from Brian B. (thanks) about the new middle and upper class Chinese buying investment properties outside China. While I haven't seen any Chinese buyers here in our market I thought I'd do some digging on the geographic breakdown of recent purchasers in our market. Results were not what I expected. Out of the last 150 condo purchases in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral 38 units or 25% were for primary residences. (This is assuming that those who listed the same mailing address for tax purposes are intending to live there.) Next biggest group of purchasers were other Florida residents, primarily local and Orlando area. Of these, several were buying another unit in the complex where they already live. New York led the other states with 11 purchasers followed by Pennsylvania with 9. The rest were scattered across mainly eastern states with only 8 of the last 150 purchasers of Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral condos residing west of the Mississippi. The big shocker for me was the lack of Canadian and European buyers. Out of the last 150 only 5 were Canadian and we had 2 lonely Europeans.

[update] Of the 150 sales I researched above, 131 were MLS listed. In 73% of those 131 sales the buyers paid cash. Foreclosures made up 12% of the total and short sales 15%. There were 35 MLS single family home sales in the same period with 54% of those selling for cash.

Our numbers do not seem to support the trends we see reported for other areas of Florida, especially coastal south Florida. The big numbers of foreign buyers we hear about in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale markets do not exist here, at least recently. The last 150 sales that I used for this study stretched from March 15 through June 6, the last posted sale as of today at the Property Appraiser's site.

I was offshore on Thursday this week and jumped overboard for a little snorkeling on the ledges north of the Cape in 35' to 55' of water. The water was clear enough that I could see the bottom from the surface in 40'. While the coral there is sparse, the amount of other life was amazing. Clouds of sardines were constantly cruising by followed closely by king mackerel while underneath them the bottom was alive with giant goliath groupers, mangrove snappers, sea bass, triggerfish and other cool stuff. Was my first time exploring underneath the hull up there but I'll be doing it again.

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." _____Winston Churchill