Thursday, June 14, 2012

Meet the buyers - again

We had quite the electrical storm over the ocean yesterday
The media has recently been reporting (yet again) about the large numbers of foreign buyers active in the Florida real estate market. I thought I'd get under the hood and extract the data for the Cocoa Beach and  Cape Canaveral market. I've been asked, incidentally, if there is a website or a function in our MLS that gives me these statistics with a few key strokes. Unfortunately, there is not. I have to manually wade through sales, either from the property appraiser or the MLS or both and look at each sale to get the numbers that I present here. If there was an automatic function in the MLS it couldn't be trusted anyway considering the manipulation by those entering the data. Example: days on market. Almost every day I see old listings withdrawn and relisted to set the DOM clock back to zero. At any rate, these numbers were extracted from the most recent 50 condo sales recorded on the Property Appraiser's site in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, 25 in each city with one bank Certificate of Title excluded for a total of 49.

It looks like those large numbers of foreign buyers are active elsewhere in Florida. Of the 49 sales I examined only four buyers were from other countries, two Canadians and two Europeans. Twelve of the buyers listed the property as their mailing address which usually indicates that it is for their primary residence. Of the 33 remaining, eleven were Florida residents, sixteen were from eastern states and six were from states west of the Mississippi.

While I was at it I thought I'd revisit the Property Appraiser's "market value" as compared to the actual selling price. The average variation wasn't as great as the last time I looked but the outliers were still extreme. One condo was valued by the PA at 204% of the amount that it actually sold for. Another had a "market value" that was only 51% of the selling price. The PA's average market value for the 49 sales was 81% of the selling price which is right in the range that they hope to be. However, as long as the ends of the scale are off by a factor of two, "market value" should be used for entertainment purposes only, the same as Zillow.

Total condo inventory this morning is 283 in the two cities. Thirteen percent of those are either short sales or foreclosures with eleven of the foreclosures in the Pier Resort complex. We're down to 46 single family homes for sale with a lone distressed sale in the mix.

Someone caught a mixed-up130 pound yellowfin tuna in 140' of water off Port Canaveral from a 19' boat last week. They fought the fish for four hours but finally landed it and brought it back to the dock to everyone's surprise. We usually have to go to the other side of the Gulf Stream for these tunas, a trip of 60+ miles each way, and a 130 pound fish is a monster. Yours truly made a freediving, spearing trip yesterday and managed his first mahi on the spear, quite the accomplishment, at least in his own little mind. We also got a hefty cobia and some snapper on the spears. Summer fun in Cocoa Beach and tasty fare for the families.

“It almost looks like we’re in cahoots in the sunshine,” CB commissioner Skip Williams