Monday, February 18, 2013

What's Sellin Right Now?

Twenty MLS-listed condos and four single family homes have closed so far in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral in February 2013 according to the Cocoa Beach MLS this morning. Three of the four homes were waterfront and three of the four sold for cash. The highest price paid was $465,000 for a two story, open Banana River 3 bedroom 2.5 bath, remodeled pool home with dock and boat lift and two car garage.

Of the twenty condos closed so far, only four sold for more than $200,000. Sales of note included;

A fully furnished 2nd floor Flores Ocean Suites direct ocean 3 BR, 3 BA with 2060 square feet and garage that closed for $473,000.

A fully furnished 4th floor, direct ocean Shorewood 2 BR, 2 BA with 1866 square feet and garage that sold for $370,000.

A partially remodeled 4th floor direct ocean B building Royale Towers 3 BR, 2 BA with 1445 square feet and garage closed for $284,000 after 32 days on market.

A north facing 3rd floor River Bend 3/2 with 2292 square feet and one car garage closed as a short sale for $215,000.

A beautiful foreclosed 3rd floor, 7 year old direct river Majestic Bay 3/2 with 2052 square feet and private 2 car garage closed for $196,000 after 6 days on market. It sold new in 2007 for $450,000.

Of the twenty closed condo sales all but four sold for cash. Almost half (9) were distressed, either foreclosed or short. This morning total condo and townhouse inventory in the two cities stands at 320 units, 30 of which are either foreclosures or short sales. There are but three distressed single family home listings of the 57 total.

A casual observation of my own and other agents' recent activity is that this is one of the busiest winter seasons in years in our local market. I use the term "winter" loosely as today is but the second day this year requiring more than shorts and a singlet to be comfortable. Competition for good properties is intense in large part because the inventory is so low and so picked over. Of the dozen or so offers I've presented this year, at least a quarter resulted in multiple offer situations. There are no rules for how multiple offers must be handled. A seller can simply choose the offer she prefers and work with that one. What usually happens when more than one offer is received is that the listing agent will go back to the buyers' agents and ask for their best and highest offer to be considered by the seller at the same time. Highest offer doesn't always win. A cash offer and/or a quick close might win over a higher offer that is contingent upon a mortgage. If you find yourself being asked for your best and highest offer consider your offer carefully. The availability or lack thereof of other acceptable properties might affect how aggressive your offer should be. You may not like it but if you want to buy a good property in a desirable market with low inventory, you should be prepared for this possibility. Prices, though moving up, are still far below levels of recent years. Many condos are still selling for less than the cost to build them.

Mid 80s predicted by weekend. Our brief "winter" appears to be over.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." ___Mark Twain

Friday, February 08, 2013

January Condo Sales

Like single family homes, condo sales were strong in January. A total of 43 MLS-listed units closed in the month is Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. A surprising 44% of those closed sales were distressed, either short or foreclosed. That is not an accurate reflection of the current for sale listings, merely a backlog of formerly-contracted units that happened to close in the month. Only 7% of the 309 active for sale listings this morning are distressed.

Of the 43 closed sales, only three were at prices over $300,000. Two of those were Meridian units, one for $620,000 and a short sale for $515,000. The other was a Shorewood direct ocean 3/3 with 2338 square feet that sold fully furnished for $430,000. Seventeen of the sold units were on the market less than a month, one of the side effects of our low inventory. Sixteen of the closed units sold for less than $100,000. Of those sixteen all but one sold for cash. Two thirds of all 43 sold units were bought with cash.

Take-away: all trends unwavering, low but steady inventory, high percentage of cash sales, rapidly shrinking distressed inventory, high competition and quick contracts for attractive, priced right units, steady to slightly increasing prices.

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children." 
__Caitlin Upton, Miss South Carolina Teen 2007

Saturday, February 02, 2013

January home sales

Single family home sales were up in the month of January 2013. One year ago, in January 2012, only five homes closed in our two cities and in December 2012, six. As of this morning eight are recorded as having closed in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral in the month of January 2013. As always that number could increase as tardy listing agents and/or their offices get around to closing their listings. The ones who often don't answer their phones when I call for showing appointments are usually the same ones who forget to update their listings. Just saying.

The highest priced sale was a direct ocean four bedroom home with three and a half baths and 2344 square feet in south Cocoa Beach that closed for $887,900. This home has been on and off the market since 2006 when it was offered for $1,899,000. It finally got a contract when the price was dropped to $929,000 last November. The buyers paid cash.

Another beauty on the Banana River at the northwest corner of Country Club in Cocoa Beach sold for $790,000. This four bedroom four and a half bath home has 3855 square feet and a four car garage. A big pool on the river with boat house and lift round out the property.

A four bedroom canal home off Minutemen in Cocoa Beach with 1878 square feet sold for $325,000 after 73 days on the market. It had an extra 1000 square feet of unfinished upstairs space.

A non-waterfront 4/2 with 2009 square feet and a two car garage in Cocoa Isles sold for $225,000 after 117 days on market.

Three blocks from the beach in Cape Canaveral a newer 2/2 with 1736 square feet and a two car garage sold for $207,000 in just 37 days.

A foreclosed 3/2 Cape Canaveral home needing some work with 1741 square feet and two car garage closed for $166,501 after 70 days on the market.

Another handyman three bedroom, one and a half bath in Cocoa Isles closed for $165,000 after 48 days on the market. One car garage and 1328 square feet.

Our inventory of single family homes in the two cities is still very low although above the lowest point we hit late last year. There are 59 active listings this morning ranging from $2.7 million for a mac-daddy direct ocean south Cocoa Beach beauty to $109,000 for a well-used 2/1 bungalow across the street from the ocean a few blocks from the beauty. Ten of them are asking more than $900,000 and eight less than $200,000. Two are short sales and one is a foreclosure. Over half (33) of the listings are waterfront.

The recent trends are all still in play; high competition for good, priced-right properties and a high proportion of cash buyers. If you plan to get a mortgage for your purchase you need to talk to your lender before making an offer. You'll stand a better chance of competing with cash buyers if you provide a pre-approval letter with your offer. Some will not even look at offers without that letter. With lenders, local is almost always better than out-of-town. Lastly, if your buyers agent isn't telling you what you're reading here, it may be time to give em a Donald Trump and find one who knows what's going on.

Oh, baby, baby, baby, baby baby.
Baby, baby baby, b-b-b-b-b-b baby baby, baby.
Baby baby baby
Come back, baby, I wanna play house with you.
____Elvis Presley