Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Construction in Cocoa Beach

Woke up this morning to an announcement of a new Cocoa Beach oceanfront building by the Dorough Brothers. Most will remember Howie Dorough as a member of the Backstreet Boys. The brothers' company has been a prolific developer and investor in our area for over a decade with multiple oceanfront buildings under their belt. The new building, Flores de la Costa, is going up just north of Wilson Ave. in the north end of Cocoa Beach. Units are two, three and four bedrooms and sizes range from 1133 to 2460 square feet. Pre-construction prices for the units currently offered in the five story building range from $258 to $380 per square foot with prices for the 2/2 units at $325,000. With a two week rental minimum these look very attractive from an investment standpoint. These prices should be a wake-up call for some sellers of oceanfront units in other, older buildings.

Buyers looking for an oceanfront unit with at least three bedrooms currently have 43 other units to consider if  the Mystic Vistas A and B buildings are included as oceanfront. [Readers know that I don't consider Mystic as oceanfront] Sellers of sixteen of those units in the older buildings asking over $340 per foot may want to reconsider their asking prices.

Also on this morning's hotsheet are two brand new townhouses two blocks from downtown Cocoa Beach. Construction has already begun and these two, 3 BR, 2.5 BA units will share a dock and both have a two car garage. Asking prices are $379,000 and $389,000.

Now for recent shenanigans. I showed a house the other day that is listed on the MLS as being concrete block construction with four bedrooms. The listing agent is known for being difficult and I've shared stories in the past of a few crazy encounters with him. This particular concrete four bedroom house turned out to be a wood frame two bedroom house with an extra "bedroom" in a separate structure in the back yard. The homeowner was shocked to find out that it was listed as a four bedroom and said she'd call the agent immediately to correct it. Two days later it is still unchanged.

After an intense downpour during the night in Cocoa Beach, the sky has cleared and it's already 74 degrees and forecast to hit 79 by early afternoon. We will hit the 70s every day for the next week according to Weather Underground.

"We should be MOST skeptical of ideas we like because we are sufficiently skeptical of ideas that we don't like."  ____Penn Gillette

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

How We Doing?

We be doing just fine. As expected, closed sales in the first month of the year were somewhat slow which has been the trend for the twelve years I've been tracking the Cocoa Beach housing market. Historically December is the slowest month of the year followed closely by January. (See the monthly breakdown of the last eight years in the chart below.) Things pick up quickly after January and the five months March through July usually account for over half of the year's sales. I think we can expect that trend to continue in 2016 especially considering the big jump in inventory. The for-sale condo inventory in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral increased to 281 units by the end of January. That's over a hundred more than just five months earlier.

During the month 43 condo units closed compared to 46 last January. Sales of note included the following:

  • A gorgeous 3 story, 12 year old townhome in Cape Canaveral with peeks of the ocean and 3087 square feet and two garages closed for $725,000.
  • Two direct Banana River Harbor Club units in Cocoa Beach closed in January. One was a 2nd floor 3/3 with 2417 square feet that closed for $515,000. The other was a 2nd floor 3/2 with 1805 square feet and sold for $384,000.
  • An unusual 5th floor direct ocean Driftwood of Cocoa Beach. This unit was actually two combined units with a total of 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 carports and 2507 square feet. It sold for $448,000.
  • A furnished 3rd floor direct ocean Canaveral Towers 3/2 in original condition. Weekly rentals allowed in this building makes for an excellent income opportunity. It closed for $370,000
  • Another weekly rental building, Sandcastles in Cocoa Beach, had two closed sales in the month. Both were west end 2/2 corners with side ocean views and 1286 square feet and garages. The north side 7th floor with a better view closed for $352,000 and the 6th floor south side unit closed for $320,000.
  • A north facing 11th floor 2100 Towers 2/2 with 1400 square feet and a garage closed for $350,000.
  • A remodeled 4th floor direct ocean Park Place in downtown Cocoa Beach with 1316 square feet and a garage closed for $337,500.
  • A furnished direct ocean 2nd floor Ocean Pines 2/2 in downtown Cocoa Beach closed for $325,000. Had 1353 square feet and a garage and was in original condition.
  • A 1st floor direct ocean Beach Winds 2/2 just north of downtown Cocoa Beach sold for $292,500 in five days. It was the extra wide Sand Dollar floor plan with 1478 square feet and had a garage.
  • A 1st floor beautifully remodeled and furnished direct ocean Sea Oats 2/2 with 1278 square feet and no garage sold for $280,000 in eight days.

Single family home inventory is still tight with only 66 homes for sale in the two cities. In the month of January eleven homes closed at prices between $175,000 for a fixer-upper 3/2 to $1.15 MM for a five bedroom direct ocean home south of downtown Cocoa Beach.

Snowbird season is in full swing with the golf course and the grocery stores clogged once again. Expect to spend up to three hours playing nine holes at the Cocoa Beach Country Club and wear protective padding if braving the aisles of Publix. Many of those sweet snowbird ladies are hockey fans and will not hesitate to check you against the cooler door if it looks like you're breaking away for the express lane.

If venturing out to the schools or Country Club area around 8 AM or 3 PM, remember the detour around Minutemen Causeway between Brevard Ave. and Cedar. You'll thank me if you approach the detour on any street other than North 1st. Take N. 2nd, 3rd or 4th to Cedar and avoid the bottleneck that the school traffic causes twice daily on North 1st St.

"Always remember: Success is due to your intelligence and effort. Failure is due to the political party you didn't vote for."  ___Morgan Housel