March halftime report

Monday, 21 March 2011


The reason for all the boats just off the
beach this past couple of weeks.

March has outdone itself this year in Cocoa Beach. The weather has been glorious with cloudless skies, light winds and temps in the 70s and 80s. The crowd seems to be bigger than in recent years. In addition to spring breakers and youth baseball teams there seem to be more snowbirds than usual, not surprising considering the Canadian dollar is worth more than the US greenback and approaching an all time high. The cold winter up north didn't hurt either.

The cobia run has been the best in years. We've had several years of windy March weather spoiling the fishing for this tasty fish as their annual migration takes them past our coast. This year the planets aligned and we had light winds, no clouds and the fish were here en masse. I broke my personal record last Wednesday with a 45.3 pound fish on 15 pound line and then broke it again on Friday with a 47.3 pound fish on the same 15 pound rig. There is a perpetual bowl of fresh cobia ceviche in my fridge.

Sales of condos and townhomes in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral have backed off somewhat from the strong pace of January and February. The low inventory numbers and the quality of that inventory is starting to be felt. The trend of activity being focused in the lower price ranges is intact. Only five of the 24 closed MLS condo sales so far in the month exceeded $200,000. Single family homes sales are still strong with reasonably priced homes moving quickly once they hit the market. Like condos, the activity has been focused in the low prices with seven homes closed so far in March at prices from $100,000 to $282,500.

Sales of note of the 31 closed so far included:

A small 4/2 canal home in Cocoa Beach that had some updating and a new dock and seawall. Was not a short sale and closed for $282,500.

A foreclosed non-waterfront 3/2 pool home in Cocoa Beach that needed work sold for $100,000.

A nicely maintained non-waterfront 4/2 pool home in the area of Cocoa Beach north of 520 sold for $239,000.

A very nice 4th floor 3/2 direct ocean unit in the nine year old Artesia building in Cape Canaveral closed for $510,000. One car garage and 1924 square feet.

Another super nice direct ocean unit sold at Majestic Seas. This one was 2nd floor, 1924 square feet, 3/2 with one car garage and closed for $370,000. Almost everything in this unit was new including hurricane sliding doors. A great deal in my opinion.

One of my clients scored a beautiful six year old, 3/3, direct Banana River Solana River after watching and waiting for over two years for one of these rare floor plans at the right price. This 4th floor corner unit sold new in 2005 for $499,900. Sold this time fully and tastefully furnished for $288,000, a smoking deal.

A north facing 2/2 Shorewood in Cape Canaveral sold for $230,000. This one had 1862 square feet and a one car garage.

A 3 year old fee simple townhome (no association) one block from the ocean in Cape Canaveral closed for $210,000. This very nice unit had 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a 2 car garage and 2143 square feet. Another good deal.

A 2/2 north facing Coral Sands in south Cocoa Beach with 1525 square feet and garage sold for $175,000 fully furnished.

A 2nd floor canalfront at Beachwalk of Cocoa Beach sold for $173,500. Had a deeded 25' boat slip and private garage.

A side ocean view Driftwood of Cocoa Beach closed for $167,000. It was a 2nd floor, 2/2 fully furnished without a garage.

A ground floor direct ocean Canaveral Sands 2/2 closed for $155,000. No view because of the dune vegetation. Had a one car garage.

At Harbor Isles in Cocoa Beach another lakefront ground floor 2/2 closed. This one had a private garage and sold for $115,000.

The developer of Royal Mansion sold his last remaining unit after slowly parceling these out over the years while raking in the vacation rental income. It was a south facing 2nd floor, nicely furnished and went for a surprising $96,000. Not bad for a unit that rents for up to $1100 per week.

A foreclosed top floor Treasure Island 2/2 on the Banana River closed for $92,000. No garage.

Another Diplomat of Cocoa Beach 2/1 has sold. This one was ground floor and in the middle of a remodel that needed completion. Sold for $79,000. No garage. Two week minimum rental in this very popular oceanfront complex.

A tiny 1/1 Essex House on the river in Cocoa Beach sold as a short sale for $29,900.

One observation; I am seeing multiple offers on many listings, especially on foreclosures but also on aggressively-priced non-distressed listings. If offering, be aware of current trends and be prepared to move when an attractive target presents itself, AND, do your homework. The average discount to asking price of the 31 closed properties in March was 9.87%.

George Castanza - I'll sniff out a deal. I have a sixth sense.
Jerry - Cheapness is not a sense.