It's here- Best month of the year

Saturday, 2 October 2010



October, my favorite month in Cocoa Beach. We had a two day tropical system that moved out on the last day of September and the sun rose October first on a cloudless, gorgeous day. The storm surf cleaned up overnight and the locals were treated to a day of light offshore winds and classic Cocoa Beach conditions ranging from overhead plus in the morning to chest high perfection as the sun set over the river.

There were 33 condo and townhome sales in the month of September as recorded in the MLS in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. As always this number will likely creep upwards in the next few days as the ever-tardy listing agents update their sold listings. We had two $500K plus sales in the month, a 1st floor Meridian (actually second floor over the garage) direct ocean, fully furnished 3 bedroom, 2 bath with 2180 square feet and a one car garage that closed for $554,000. It sold just three years ago for $649,900 although that price may have included large concessions by the developer. The Meridian developer was offering significant "decorating credits" to some buyers to prop up the comps as they sold out the project. The other half-million plus sale was, in my opinion, a "smoking deal", a bank-owned 6th floor Ocean Oasis in downtown Cocoa Beach that sold for $535,000 ($162 per square foot). It sold new in 2005 for $935,000. This 6 year old direct ocean unit had 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths in a spacious 3293 square feet and had a 2 car garage.

September also saw two Stonewood B building units close. One, a NE corner 4th floor, 3/2 with 2170 square feet that closed for $394,500 and a 16th floor, very nicely remodeled 2/2 that sold for $311,500.

A Xanadu 2 story penthouse (16th floor) 2/2 short sale finally closed after being on the market for 666 days. It was in good condition, with 1982 square feet, was furnished and closed for $296,500.

Mystic Vistas in Cape Canaveral was hot in the month with four closed sales from a low of $180,000 to$222,500. Three of the four were short sales and the other was bank-owned.

A four year old Garden Bay direct Banana river first floor, 3 bedroom 3.5 bath with 2350 square feet and a 2 car garage sold for $290,000, a deal in my opinion.

The best one bedroom 2 bath unit in Cape Winds closed for $155,000. This unit was top floor closest to the ocean of the one bedroom units with a sweeping south ocean view. With excellent on-site management in this popular weekly rental complex the buyer has the flexibility of mixing decent rental income with personal use.

A ground floor 3 bedroom 2 bath Harbor Isles lakefront unit closed for $147,500 destroying my bottom call on these units over a year ago. Even my well-developed pessimism was too conservative regarding the decline in this complex. I assumed the amenities, management, and location would insulate this well-run community from the degree of price-retreat we were seeing in other less-desirable complexes. Oh, well. A falling tide does indeed affect all boats.

Of the 33 sold units in September, over half were distressed; 9 bank owned and 9 short sales, a higher rate of distressed sales than we've seen in 2010 as a whole. So far this year there have been 67 closed condo short sales in the two cities and 78 closed bank-owned units out of 355 total closed sales.

Our inventory has dropped below the 5oo unit mark with a total of 492 units this morning although because of end of the month expirations the true number will probably move slightly above 500 in the next few days. There are currently 75 active condo short sales on the MLS and 25 bank-owned units and 76 other distressed sales showing as pending or contingent. Those numbers seem to indicate that the supply of distressed sales is drying up. Time will tell. In the meantime, the mullet run is still on, the north swell is lingering, the sky is cloudless with a slight breath of wind, air temp of 78 degrees and a water temp slightly above 80 degrees, Heaven. I'm out there.

Forget what we're told

Before we get too old

Show me a garden that's bursting into life

____Snow Patrol