Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Controlled Descent

The Cocoa Beach MLS inventory hit a major milestone yesterday. Most people involved in the market here are aware that inventory of properties for sale has been tight for some time but without knowing the actual numbers may not realize just how tight it is. Early yesterday morning the number of condos and townhomes for sale in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral dropped below 200 units for the first time since records have been kept. Single family home supply has mirrored the decline in condos with current supply including half duplexes at 59 properties. Nine years ago there were 1200 condo units for sale and at drastically higher prices. A Canaveral Towers 2/2 unit that closed a couple of weeks ago for $247,500 sold in 2005 for $435,000.

To put current supply in perspective, the number of condos for sale this morning, 197, is the number of units that have closed since March 19 this year. Also of significance is the disappearance of distressed properties. There are just seven bank-owned units for sale and two short sales.

What now? Many of the sellers who were waiting and holding out for higher prices have been enticed back into the market although not at a rate high enough to keep up with demand. They'll continue to trickle onto the market but I don't think we'll see any significant numbers of new listings in the near future. The much-discussed "shadow inventory" being held back by banks has failed to materialize here on the beach. I don't think it ever existed in Cocoa Beach.

Sellers, if you've been waiting, come on in. The water's fine. Buyers, know what you want, what it's worth and move quickly and confidently when a target has been acquired. If you plan to get a mortgage, go ahead and do your preliminary work before looking at properties. Know that if you're rate shopping you may wind up with a lender who can't perform. With rates still very low, saving a few basis points might not be worth the risk of not closing. I can't remember a time in the past with so many mortgage delays and failures. A local lender always stands a better chance of successfully closing your loan.

Even with our tight supply properties are being bought every day at attractive prices still far below 2005-2006 prices. Over 200 buyers have successfully located and purchased a condo here in the last three months. We welcome new neighbors.

Buzzwords for the day: sunscreen, hydration, shark repellent.

How many bass players does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. The keyboard player can do it with his left hand.