Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Between Snowbirds and Summer

Crowds in south Cocoa Beach watching the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch a couple of weeks ago. All three boosters successfully landed back on Earth, two on land and one on the drone ship offshore. The rocket on the drone ship was subsequently lost when it toppled overboard in high seas on the return to Port Canaveral. This was my first time seeing the returning rockets as they made their high altitude burns setting up for vertical landings side by side at the Cape. Both rockets were safely on the ground before the twin sonic booms arrived. This whole rocket business never gets old.

Easter 2019 is behind us as we slide into the brief slow season between the snowbirds and summer vacationers. Our supply of condo units for sale stands at 276 units this morning in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Sales have been brisk so far in April with 56 units reported as closed so far in the month. We ended March with 71 units closed so, at our current burn rate, we have about a 14 week supply of condo units in our two cities. That helps explain the frequent incidence of multiple offers we're seeing. Demand still exceeds supply.

Single home inventory stands at 62 currently for sale with 27 sold since March 1 so a similar demand/supply imbalance exists there as well. It is imperative that buyers, whether they are looking at condos or single-family homes, talk to their lenders before they start looking at properties. A short delay getting a pre-approval letter could mean losing a desirable property to a more well-prepared buyer. Cash buyers are obviously in a stronger position.

Sellers, please check your MLS listing for inaccuracies and omissions. The condo listings in the MLS without the condo name entered are probably missing showings. It doesn't matter whether the listing agent made a mistake or doesn't know how to enter that info. A missed showing is a potential missed sale. Also, those who elected to go with a MLS entry-only listing to save money may want to reconsider whether the language in the agent remarks stating that "the buyer or buyer's agent will pay a $XXX fee to listing broker at closing" is an enticement or a hindrance. My vote is hindrance.

The ocean water in Cocoa Beach has been Caribbean clear for the last two weeks and is as beautiful as it gets. The Banana River is clear as well after a prolonged period of turbid water. Traffic is noticeably lighter now that Easter has passed and the business golf league has started back up for the year at the Cocoa Beach Country Club. Everyone is invited to join us as we play nine holes every Tuesday, tee times anytime between 12 noon and dark. Skins and closest to the hole prizes for those that want to participate. Join us.

I'm gonna soak up the sun, While it's still free, I'm gonna soak up the sun, Before it goes out on me.” ___Sheryl Crow

Monday, April 01, 2019

Into the Serengeti

It's that time again. Unlike the wildebeest waiting for the first rains, our mass migration starts on the same day every year, April Fools Day. The first and largest group staged during the night and with loaded SUVs began the river crossings on their northward migration early this morning. Stragglers will follow over the next few weeks but the herd's first big push is always on this day, April 1, when a large number of winter leases expire. With a late Easter this year, we can expect a few more weeks of medium activity with a crescendo the weekend of the Easter Surf Festival and then, crickets until school lets out for the year. It's a bittersweet time. I've said goodbye again to friends that I won't see until next winter. While we all look forward to greatly reduced traffic, restaurants and bars will see less revenue and many condo owners, especially those in buildings with three month or longer rental minimums, won't be receiving any rent checks possibly until next season. The Cocoa Beach golf course will become less crowded, the pace of play will speed up and summer prices will take effect. Those who can should consider visiting Cocoa Beach in May. It's one of the least crowded times of the year and rental prices are less (for most places).

Real estate sales activity isn't as affected and usually stays steady through the end of summer even though there are less people around between now and June. Our sales in March picked up considerably after a slow start to the year and we had a total of 68 condo units and 17 single family homes closed during the month, exceeding last March by a good margin.

Inventory continues to creep upward. We have 272 condo and townhome units and 69 single family homes for sale today in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Even with the increased supply, supply is still tight for certain property types. Those looking for a direct ocean unit above the ground floor with at least two bedrooms for less than $350,000 have two possibilities. Need three bedrooms with same criteria? There are none unless we increase the budget to $400,000 in which case we have six. As always, it pays to have reasonable expectations and to know "about" what your target property should be worth. Know that most everything is overpriced.

Confused love bugs have been hatching every day for the last week but I've not seen any hooking up. I don't know if this means we can expect a record hatch in May or if the early hatches will short circuit the May hatch. Time will tell.

"It makes sense to dance while the music is playing." __G. Maynard Krebs