Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Last Hoorah

The roads into Cocoa Beach are jammed this morning with beachgoers arriving for the last official holiday weekend of summer. The NKF Rich Salick Pro/Am Surf Festival  is under way at the Cocoa Beach Pier which should help keep a large part of the crowds away from the downtown beaches and further south. As always, in south Cocoa Beach even a holiday weekend doesn't make for crowded beaches. Our secret? Zero public parking. Being out of the city limits, there are no parking spots for day trippers. The ocean is calm and loaded with bait pods close to the beach and the bigger fish that follow and feed on them. Those giant explosions around the bait pods are big tarpon, kingfish, snook and sharks. On another topic, the space station has been extraordinarily bright in the sky this week as it passed about 258 miles overhead at 17,100 MPH in the early evening.

August property sales jumped in the last week of the month with 56 MLS condo sales recorded so far in the month in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Fourteen sales were for $300,000 or more. Interestingly the three highest priced units were riverfront not oceanfront. Eleven units sold for less than $100,000. Twelve of the 56 were either short sales or foreclosures. In Cape Canaveral in one complex, a foreclosure and a short sale unit closed one day apart. Identical floor plans, the short sale in good condition, the foreclosure needing work. The foreclosure unit was listed for $39,999 but sold for $55,800 after multiple offers pushed the price up. The much nicer short sale unit closed for full asking price, $48,500.

A short sale direct ocean corner with 2700 square feet in the troubled Almar building in south Cocoa Beach closed for $370,000 as a short sale. It sold new in 2006 for $760,000.

The smoking deal of the month has to go to the brave soul who purchased a five year old direct river unit at Garden by the Sea in south Cocoa Beach for $275,000. Three bedrooms, three baths, three half baths, 2405 square feet and a 2 car garage. The majority of the nine units are held by only two parties hence the "brave" part of that comment.

There are 251 condo units and 58 single family homes currently for sale in our two cities. Ten percent of those are distressed, either short sales or foreclosures. In 2013 we are well ahead of every one of the last eight years in number of properties sold through August. With inventory at such a low level I don't see how this can continue for much longer. Maybe the increasing prices will encourage more owners to put their properties on the market.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, drive carefully and check your feet for tar when you come off the beach. A little baby oil and a paper towel will get it right off. It's much more difficult to remove after it's been ground into the carpet in a car.

Procedure for engine failure during flight
note: this may not apply to ejection-equipped aircraft or to parachute-wearing pilots

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dog Days on Fire

Since I wrote the last post about July sales, four more sales of condos have recorded which makes the 70 units sold in July 2013 the biggest July for condo sales in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral since 2004. More July sales than the peak years of 2005 and 2006. That's shocking considering that we have about 900 less units for sale than in those years. Go figure.

So far in August another 29 units have closed as of this morning. The highest price paid was $750,000 for a 5 year old direct river penthouse corner 4/4 with 4299 square feet at the West End building behind the Sunset Grill.

A south facing 4th floor Michelina 3/3.5 with 2325 square feet closed for $425,000.

A north ocean view tastefully remodeled 4th floor Ocean Oaks 2/2 in Cape Canaveral with 1723 square feet and a one car garage closed for $390,000.

A fully furnished 3rd floor direct ocean Emerald Seas 2/2 with 1602 square feet and a one car garage sold for $326,000.

Another developer-owned Magnolia Bay 2nd floor, 3/3 with 2183 square feet and a one car garage closed for $325,000.

A 4th floor direct ocean partially updated and good condition Sand Dollar 2/2 with 1394 square feet in Windward East with a one car garage closed for $300,000.

In Hacienda del Mar in south Cocoa Beach a furnished 2nd floor direct ocean 2/2 in original condition with 1273 square feet and a one car garage sold for $280,000.

The smoking deal of the month was in the Garden by the Sea direct river building in south Cocoa Beach. This six year old 2nd floor 3/3.5 corner unit had 2405 square feet and a two car garage. It closed for $275,000. That killer price came with a bit of risk as the majority of the units in the building are still unsold.

A remodeled and fully furnished 2 bed, 2.5 bath townhome with 1151 square feet  in the newer section of Villages of Seaport with no garage closed for $235,000.

Another 8 year old Bayside in Cape Canaveral closed for $230,000. This one was a 5th floor 3 bedroom 2.5 bath with 2032 square feet and a one car garage.

A foreclosed direct river 3rd floor Solana on the River 2 bed, 2 bath with 2055 square feet sold for $230,000.

A fully furnished, direct ocean weekly rental 1st floor Chateau by the Sea 2 bed, 2 bath with open parking in original condition closed for $219,000. It has 910 square feet.

Two villas at Bayport of Cape Canaveral closed for $218,000 and $220,000. One was 3 bed, 2.5 bath and the other 4 bed, 3.5 bath. Both had 2 car garages.

A three level direct ocean penthouse Sunrise Tower 2 bed, 2 bath with 1457 square feet and a one car garage sold for $190,000. It needed work.

A ground floor nicely remodeled and fully furnished canalfront Beachwalk 2/2 with 1014 square feet in Cocoa Beach closed for $185,000. It has a one car garage and a deeded boat slip

Another of the bank-owned Pier Resort 3/3 (3rd floor) units has closed. Like most of the others, it has 1900 square feet and a one car garage. Closed for $169,100.

A 1st floor foreclosed direct ocean Canaveral Sands 2/2 sold for $165,000. One car garage and 1222 square feet.

One of the Diplomat 2 bed, 1 bath units sold for $120,000. Open parking, 750 square feet and original condition.

A 5th floor south facing unit in the north Twin Towers building closed for $115,000. Two bed, 2.5 baths in original condition with a carport.

A 900 square foot direct river 1st floor Fountain Cove 1/1 in original but nice condition with a garage sold furnished for $112,000.

A non-waterfront Four Seasons 2nd floor 2/2 with garage sold for $110,000.

A ground floor direct river Seminole Landings 3/2 with 1498 square feet sold as a short sale for $105,000. Don't get too disappointed at missing this one. Was moldy and needed a lot of work.

Two 2nd floor Dolphin Beach updated 1/1 units with a view of the ocean sold for $70,000 and $68,500. Open parking and 735 square feet. The lower priced unit sold furnished.

A ground floor Roosevelt Gardens 2/1 with 671 square feet and open parking sold for $42,500. Needed work.

Two other small Cape 1/1 units sold for $41,900 and $29,500.

I've long been advising buyers who are buying property here to use a local lender, especially for condos. A recent experience with one of the "region"al banks in our county has spurred me to qualify that advice. Just choosing a local lender does not guarantee a good experience. You might be unlucky enough to get a bad loan officer at a good bank. There are incompetent loan officers walking among us and they look just like the good ones at first glance. Ask someone for a recommendation based on a positive experience before you choose your lender and loan officer. Even with a good recommendation, it is prudent to maintain constant contact with the lender and to demand constant status reports. Sometimes the explosion happens before anyone notices the sizzling fuse.

On a positive note, the fishing right off the beach is on fire. Tarpon, snook, kingfish and other big predators are shadowing the plentiful bait pods up and down the beach.Conditions are such that they are easily caught from a small boat out of Port Canaveral or a kayak off the beach. A friend caught two sailfish in 40 feet of water off Cocoa Beach last Saturday.

"I know there are other errors but unless I'm being graded or paid I'm not trying to be perfect." ___CMO_Ratchet

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Sizzling July

I'm more than a little surprised at the number of MLS-listed condos and townhomes that closed in the month of July in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. With a record low number of units for sale, somehow, 66 units were picked off and closed in the month. Our inventory now stands at 245 existing units actively for sale in the two cities with another 17 optimistically being offered in buildings that are but drawings on paper and dreams in the minds of the developers. At the offering prices of units in these two buildings, it seems unlikely that construction will begin anytime soon. I could be wrong.

Anyone hoping to pick up a deal on a short sale or foreclosure direct ocean condo has a grand total of three from which to chose. Two of those are unlikely to attract much attention in the condition and building they're in. Again, I could be wrong. There are 33 total short sales and foreclosure condos for sale right now.

Interest in attractively-priced new listings remains high and good units are under contract usually within a few days. Multiple offers are still common. The brouhaha over the new MLS has subsided somewhat as the crybabies have cried themselves out and realized that the new system is actually a great improvement over the old one. There are still some glitches as the data are migrated and criteria are tweaked to our needs but overall, I'm liking the change. The login for the public is now so get rid of your old link if you have one saved and give the new system a try if you haven't already.

Weather has been typical for mid-summer except for a few cool days last week. This morning Tropical Depression Dorian is sitting directly off our coast and predicted to move east into the Atlantic bringing us nothing more than rain and cooler temps. I'll take it. If anyone needs help with the new MLS or a bulldog to represent their best interests in making an offer, I'm here to help.

"Just goes to show that the ability to be a complete moron who eats confirmation bias for breakfast has no fixed place on the political spectrum." anonymous