Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Demand Is Increasing

Roseate spoonbill, snowy egret and wood stork in Cocoa Beach

We begin 2021 with a record low inventory of residential properties for sale in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. There are a total of 108 MLS-listed condo and townhome units for sale in our two cities. That's exactly the number of units closed in the last 55 days with over half of those sold in less than a month..

Single family home inventory is equally depleted with a total of 23 existing homes for sale on the MLS. We closed that many homes in the last 52 days.

Despite low and declining inventory throughout the year, 2020 saw a remarkable number of sold properties. There were 209 single family homes closed in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral during the year. A quarter of those sold in their first week on the market, most with multiple offers. Over half the sold homes sold in less than a month on the market and only 13 closed for less than $300,000. Top price of the year was $2.3 MM for a direct ocean 3 year old beauty in downtown Cocoa Beach.

The story was much the same with condos with 730 units closed during the year, half of them selling in 35 days or less. Seventy five units sold for more than a half million dollars with the top price of 2020 being $1.6 MM for a 7th floor penthouse unit at Ocean Oasis downtown Cocoa Beach. Only 43 units out of the 730 closed for less than $100,000.

About a third of the existing inventory has been on the market for over 100 days, a sure sign of over-pricing in this fast-paced market. Those of you hoping to purchase in 2021 need, more than ever, to have your ducks in a row and have a good idea what you're looking for. If your competition is more prepared they will have an advantage when the perfect property hits the market. The time to talk to a lender is before you start looking at properties. You will be at a disadvantage to those who are paying with cash so make the other terms of your offer as attractive as possible if you must get a mortgage. An experienced buyer's agent in our market is another huge advantage. Your cousin who is an agent in a nearby town is probably not your best choice for a Cocoa Beach property search. She may be perfectly experienced with contract particulars but lack of local knowledge will put her at a disadvantage against local agents in our competitive market.

While we're talking about agents, people, please stop letting your agents pick your pockets with transaction fees. The title company is entitled to a transaction fee but I have yet to see a situation where an agent deserved a transaction fee on top of his commission. I closed a deal a couple of weeks ago with an agent who did the bare minimum during the transaction and still had the audacity to charge his client a $395 junk "transaction" fee on top of the commission they were already paying him. It's not an accident that the agents who rob their clients with transaction fees are often those who are the slackest. That was my experience again in 2020 as it has been my entire career. DO NOT PAY transaction fees to your agent. They are usually being handsomely compensated with commission and don't deserve a transaction fee or whatever else they may call it. Except in rare circumstances, an agent charging a transaction fee is not acting in the client's best interest.

"We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." _Robert Wilensky