Saturday, February 29, 2020

Limited Review

There are a a total of 207 existing condo and townhome units for sale this morning in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Readers of this blog and too few Realtors know that low inventory has been the new normal since 2012 when we first broke below 300 units for sale. At the time it seemed an unsustainable level and sure to rebound but that never happened and inventory has hovered in the low 200s ever since. In spite of the low inventory we have managed to close over three times the inventory every year since then. For eight years new supply has entered the market at exactly the same rate existing properties have sold.

Current demand is strong with 75 units going under contract since February 1, about a third of those are units asking over $400,000. February is the month when sales begin to ramp up every year and activity usually stays strong through August. Those looking for a condo unit should expect competition. An informed buyer will also be aware of the highly optimistic prices of the majority of the inventory. In a market with low inventory and high demand it is to be expected. Buyers who will be getting a mortgage should know that their lender will not be equally receptive to every condo they may consider. The association's financial health will be scrutinized and the intensity of that scrutiny may vary depending on the amount of down payment being made. Talk to your lender before you narrow your property search and find out what's going to be required so you aren't blind-sided by arcane and seemingly unfair lender questions that may eliminate your dream condo.

Happy Birthday to all the Leap Year babies. I'll go into detail about specific sold properties in the next post.

Cocoa Beach has a great new healthy eatery just south of  the Cocoa Beach Fire Station, the Skinny Mermaid, offering excellent poke bowls, wraps, salads and boba teas. It's worth a visit.

"Over the years, a number of very smart people have learned the hard way that a long string of impressive numbers multiplied by a single zero always equals zero." __Warren Buffet

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Chirp, Chirp. They're Here.

Look who gave Greta a lift back to Europe, everyone's favorite sailing family, Riley, Elayna and young Lenny on La Vagabonde.

Firmly into snowbird season 2020 we sit this morning with 221 existing condo units for sale on the Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral MLS, a modest increase from our inventory levels of last year. There are another nineteen to-be-built, pre-construction offerings as well, most of those in the new luxury oceanfront building, The Surf at Cocoa Beach, to break ground shortly downtown.

January was slow for closed sales as is usually the case. We closed 38 condo units in our two cities in January compared to 40 in January 2019. Highest price sale was $603,500 for a corner unit at Majestic Seas with a median selling price of $240,000. Four oceanfront units commanded over $300 per square foot, all of them above the ground floor and with extensive remodeling. Sellers would be well-advised to remember that when they are pricing their units. An original condition 2/2 on the 5th floor with a magnificent view is not going to justify $300 a foot unless there is a Tesla being thrown in the deal.

Sixteen single family homes closed in the month, all in Cocoa Beach, none in Cape Canaveral. Highest price paid was $830,000 for a beautifully and completely remodeled four bedroom pool home on a canal with covered dock and boat lift. Half of the sixteen sold for more than a half million. Lowest price paid was $330,100 for a modestly updated but well-maintained four bedroom non-waterfront four blocks from the ocean.

I have had a slow but interesting start to 2020. I have been tussling with a minimal-contact buyer's agent who is also trying to be a mortgage broker for his client. As I expected, that distant lender failed to complete the loan but a local lender swept in and saved the day start to finish in less time than it took the the distant lender to get an appraiser to the property. Buyers are advised to use a local lender whenever possible. Rate shopping internet lenders may get a lower interest rate estimate but that saves nothing if they fail to close. That happens often enough that I would not consider using an out-of-town lender myself regardless the quoted interest rate.

The fairways at the Cocoa Beach Country Club recently resemble the scenes from Jurassic Park with herds of slow-moving herbivores roaming grassy plains. Those gentle giants in our case are our beloved snowbird visitors who do their best on our courses to teach us to slow down and smell the roses. I'm trying. I really am but as George W. used to say, "It's hard, reeeeeal hard."

"It’s so exciting. My son turned 14, and now he knows everything! Everything! I don’t have to tell him anything anymore because he already knows! In fact, he knows more than I do AND more than his dad does! We couldn’t be more thrilled. What a joyous time."  __Michele Tafoya