Friday, February 24, 2023

Mixed Expectations = Mixed Results

The expected slowdown in real estate sales in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral has failed to materialize. In fact activity has picked up and inventory has pulled back. That is not unusual in our market in the spring months but is a little surprising considering the steadily slowing sales and growing inventory since last summer. 

Inventory of condo and townhome units peaked at 148 units a few weeks ago and stands at 135 units for sale this morning in our two cities. A total of 110 units have gone under contract since January 1 so we're moving at a pace of two sold units a day at which our current inventory will last 67 days. 

Sixty one units have closed since the beginning of the year, 64% of them for cash. As mortgage rates have gone up so have the number of cash sales. With the national average 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 6.77% it's a prudent decision for some buyers with savings to use those savings for their purchase. When rates were less than half that it made sense for many to just borrow the cheap money for the purchase. Our percentage of cash sales dropped to just above 50% during those 3% mortgage days.

Of our 61 sold units over half sold in less than a month, 16 of them in a week or less. Median days on market was 21. Twelve units sold at or above original asking price, none of them lasting more than nine days on the market. Of the 23 units that took longer than a month to sell, all but four reduced their price before finding a buyer. Out of the 14 that took over two months to sell, all had reduced their original price and sold for an average discount of 12% to their original asking price.

Fifty of the current 135 units for sale have been for sale for longer than two months, twelve of them without price reductions and three with increased prices. Hope springs eternal but the stats in the previous paragraph would suggest that these sellers will not be finding buyers without coming to terms with their overpricing. A fair number of listings on the market for less than two months are similarly overpriced but haven't been for sale long enough for the market's indifference to sink in. 

There are 24 single family homes for sale in our two cities, a third of them for sale less than a month and a third on market for over six months. The single family home market is more sensitive to mortgage rates than the condo market so I'm guessing the higher rates are responsible for some of this. Only 10 homes have closed since New Years Day with a median selling price of $588,000.

Good luck to those who are hoping to purchase. Know that there are a lot of sellers with unrealistic expectations and try to spend your efforts on those who are priced fairly. There continues to be competition for desirable and fairly-priced properties and multiple offers are still part of the landscape for those properties. Make your offers as clean as possible and know when to walk away. Except for unique properties, there will always be another one.

If I knew that I was going to live this long, I would have taken worse care of myself.” __John Daly