Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Chugging Along

There are currently 28 existing single family homes for sale in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral plus another three offered for preconstruction reservation. Median asking price of the active listings is $986,000 and the lowest priced home available is $577,700. Median selling price of the three homes closed so far this month is $1.06 MM. Last January the highest selling price of the five homes sold was $600,000. 

Condo inventory in our two cities is ramping back up and is at 254 units for sale this morning with a median asking price of $425,000 and median time on market of 81 days. Seventeen units have closed so far in January with a median selling price of $313,000 and median days on market of 45 days. Slightly over half of those sold for cash. Another 33 condo sellers have found buyers since January 1 as have seven single family home sellers. 

It's still too early into snowbird season to get any kind of meaningful read on the direction of our market in 2024 but with 40 new contracts in the first 23 days the prospects are promising. We began last year with 135 condo units for sale compared to our current 254 units and single family homes inventory was just slightly less than it is now. I'm usually happy to offer a prediction on market direction but I'm stumped with this market. Higher inventory and longer time on market seems a negative indicator but sales activity is right in line with a normal January so far. Interest rates, though less than a few months ago, are still higher than they were at the beginning of last year. Shockingly high insurance premium increases and ballooning condo fees have yet to be reflected in sales activity. I do expect a reckoning in the condo market as the fee increases become more widespread but it might be after summer before we can get a feel for that impact. Selling prices have pulled back significantly in a few larger condo complexes but there are many smaller complexes that haven't had any sales by which to judge price direction. For now, it's wait and see. 

The first wave of snowbirds have arrived with many more to follow in February and March. Those who got here early have had to deal with a wetter and colder start to a year than is normal. The golfers among them had to find other activities during the many course-closed days at the Cocoa Beach Country Club. Hoping for more sunshine and less wind moving forward. 

Speaking of colder, check out the temperature map above. A difference of 40 degrees between Destin and Cocoa Beach on this January day. Cold fronts routinely cross northwest Florida in the winter but lose their strength as they move further south and many either don't make it to Cocoa Beach or arrive with much less intensity. We certainly get our cold spells but nothing like the frequency or intensity that our Pensacola to Panama City people experience. Snowbirds considering a Florida beach town as a getaway spot from the winter cold would be prudent to choose their Florida destination wisely.

Sufficiently advanced ignorance is indistinguishable from malice.”