Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cash. What Is It Good For?

It's time for a statistics trip through the recent Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral residential real estate market. The more we know about the current market conditions and trends the better chance we have of being successful in a quest to buy or sell.

Sales have been brisk in 2015 outpacing every year for the last ten although we look to finish the year only slightly ahead of last year's 682 condo units closed. Unless we get an infusion of inventory, unlikely in my opinion, next year could show the first decline in ten years in sold units. Demand remains strong and prices continue to inch upwards.

Looking at the last 90 days of activity as recorded in the MLS, there have been 144 closed condos and townhomes. Another 62 have gone under contract in the same period but have yet to close. Cash remains king for condo purchases with 59% of the sales closing with cash. All sales over a half million dollars were cash. Just over half of the condo listings (74) sold in the first month on the market with a quarter of the total (35) selling in the first week. Dollars per square foot paid for direct ocean units had a wide range with a Meridian penthouse SE corner bringing a whopping $508 per square foot. The median for direct ocean units was $268 per square foot. If using this metric realize that it can have a wide range. Size of unit, condition and parking can account for wide variations. There are 204 condo and townhome units for sale this morning on our MLS.

Single Family Homes
In the same most recent 90 day period, 36 single family homes closed in our two cities. Two thirds of them were financed with a mortgage. Half sold in the first 45 days on the market with eight of those selling the first week. The median price was $408,000. There are currently 54 homes for sale on the MLS.

Karma police, arrest this man
He talks in maths
He buzzes like a fridge
He's like a detuned radio

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Couple of Shout-Outs

Just wanted to give a shout out to the listing agent who neglected to put her email address or her cell number in her Cocoa Beach condo listing. My clients asked late Friday afternoon to include your listing in our showings for Monday morning. The appointment phone number you gave in the listing was to an office that was closed all weekend. Unfortunately, because of your omissions your client's unit wasn't able to be shown. Perhaps they've instructed you to make it difficult to show. I understand your weekend vacation was a blast.

Shout out number two goes to the off-duty gate guard walking his dog at a popular Cocoa Beach oceanfront condo complex when I pulled in to show a unit for sale last week. You decided to approach me AND my clients to launch a tirade about my parking technique not being to your satisfaction. Rather than pull me aside to discreetly express your displeasure at my slight infraction, you decided to launch an angry attack directly in front of my clients. You're hurting the very people who pay your salary with that behavior. I and my clients and, I think, even your little dog were embarrassed for you. If the homeowners knew how you were conducting yourself in front of potential buyers and new neighbors, you'd probably be out the cushy gate job. As Don Henley said, "Keep carrying around that anger, it'll eat you up inside." Yours is the first face visitors see when entering the complex. First impressions and all that.

Condo and townhouse for-sale inventory in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral has climbed back above the 200 mark with 204 units for sale this morning. A total of 26 units have received accepted contracts since November 1. In the same period six single family homes have gone under contract with 56 still for sale. Half of the total combined residential inventory has been on the market more than two months, an indication of the picked over nature of our tight inventory. The priced-right properties are usually under contract in days. The over-priced ones tend to linger.

Hope everyone is enjoying the mild temperatures. We are forecast to break 80 today for the first time in several days after lingering in the high 70s. The wind has shut down most ocean fishing since it cranked up this weekend. I did manage to slip out for a couple of hours last week to land a couple of giant catch and release redfish in the Canaveral Bight. River fishing is still on fire with redfish, trout, snook and tarpon there for those who know where and how to catch them.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Unless they're darker than, say, beige."- Statue of Liberty inscription if written by Donald Trump

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Million Dollar Listing Cocoa Beach

The luxurious life of a real estate agent; roll out of bed by 10, pick up a latte and check emails, drive a client to a couple of listings, fill out a few forms and collect a giant check for doing practically nothing while never breaking a sweat. Occasionally attend a fancy brokers' open, drink wine and eat fancy hors d'oeuvres with the other elite while gazing over the city and ocean from a seven figure condo balcony. Rinse, repeat.

I wish. The reality is somewhat less glamorous but there are moments even in Cocoa Beach that compare to some of the moments portrayed on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles. I experienced one last week at a broker's open high in the Riomar building on the ocean in south Cocoa Beach across the street from The Fat Snook.

The listing agent was somehow able to talk the folks at The Fat Snook into sending over their chefs from the Snook and it's sister restaurant, Crush Eleven, to craft appetizers for the agents and their clients attending the open. The usual fair at an Open House is a grocery store vegetable plate with some ranch dressing for dipping and bottled water. Not so for this one. The Snook folks knocked it out of the park. Their creations, not surprisingly, had the attendees jostling for seconds. Even this somewhat food-snobbish pescatarian was at a loss for descriptors. For just a few moments I felt like Josh Flagg without the fluffy hairdo. This is the list of hors d'oeuvres. Try not to drool. They tasted as good as they sound.

    chilled carrot ginger soup shooter / candied ginger
    smoked seafood sausage /key lime mustard / black garlic and serrano crostini
    salmon belly "bacon" / green tomato kimchi / house-made sesame cracker
    old bay potato chip / local ossetra caviar / creme fraiche / micro radish
    chocolate bourbon pot de creme / graham cracker crumble / toasted marshmallow

We are lucky that this caliber of food is available to all of us here, all the time and not just at fancy broker opens. The Snook is open seven nights a week on A1A in south Cocoa Beach. Miami has NAOE. LA has Providence. Chicago has Everest. Cocoa Beach has The Fat Snook.

Coming soon, a tale of my saga of the last few weeks with one of this year's contenders for difficult agent of the year. He has spun a toxic blend of dishonesty, disinterest and arrogance into one of the more challenging transactions of my career. If the seller knew how her agent was handling her sale, he'd be flung aside faster than a booger on a 5th grader's finger.

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." __Charles Shultz