July roundup

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

My expectation of sales slowing in the 2nd half of 2010 seems to have been confirmed by the July numbers as they stand today. After beating last year in all months but one this year so far, July came up short with only 28 sales compared to 41 last year. My take on this is the well-picked-over, smaller inventory is leaving a lot of prospective buyers off the playing field when they can't find a suitable listing in their target property type. I mentioned a couple of posts ago about direct ocean upper floor units in the mid $200 and $300,000 range dominating the condo sales. That trend continued through the end of July with the 9 highest dollar sales of the total 28 fitting that description.

The highest price condo sale of the month in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral was $368,000 for a nicely remodeled, direct ocean, 4th floor northeast corner, 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit at Ocean Pines in downtown Cocoa Beach. Another nicely remodeled 3rd floor unit in the same building closed for $305,000 and a 5th floor, 3 bedroom, 2 bath next door at the 10 year old Palmas Majorca sold for $332,000.

The lowest price for a direct ocean unit in July was $191,500 for a 2nd floor, 2 bedroom, 2 bath foreclosure at Sun Club in south Cocoa Beach. It had no garage and needed work.

Now for a study in contrasts. Someone paid a surprising $295,000 for a 910 square foot, 2nd floor direct ocean, 2/2 with no garage at Chateau by the Sea. Three days later someone closed on a 1568 square foot, 5th floor 2/2 direct ocean Wavecrest with garage in south Cocoa Beach for $276,500. Both units were furnished. Imagine an astute buyer looking for comps to aid in formulating an offer on another unit and finding these two sales closing three days apart at prices of $176 per square foot and $324 per square foot. Which is relevant? Chateau is a weekly rental building which means income possibilities are much greater than Wavecrest. Wavecrest is 11 years newer and in much better condition. I think neither of these sales can be taken alone to form any conclusions about the market. I just mention them as an observation of extremes.

"
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain."______Robert Frost