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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Six Months Sales Report for Key West

I've said before that I am no statistician. I did failed miserably in algebra. But I got an "A" by being able to distinguish "Up" from "Down".

I always go back to 2005 to use as a comparison point to current market activity. In 2005 there were 197 single family home sales in Key West (Key West to Shark Key) during the time period of January 1st to June 30th. The least expensive house sold for $200,000 and the most expensive went for $6,950,000. In 2008 there were 105 home sales with the least expensive selling at $210,000 and the highest going for $4,667,055. But the overall sales volume is the clear indicator of what is going on today. In 2005 single family home sales totaled $236,620,239 for the first six months. During the same period in 2008 the sales amounted to $91,786,605. If I did my math correctly that means that the 2008 single family home sales are down 61% from what they were in 2005. Ouch!

In 2005 there were 173 condo and town home sales between January 1st through June 30th with sales totaling $120,736,398. The cheapest unit sold for $160,300 and the most expensive sold for $2,300,000. During the same time frame in 2008 there were 75 such sales totaling $36,357,096. The least expensive unit sold for $114,484 and the most expensive went for $1,700,000. This is the really scary part: condo and town home sales are down 70% from what they were in 2005.

Our mls database doesn't distinguish between short sales and foreclosures from other "market" sales. I did a very quick scan and found 18 of the condo and town home sales during the first six months of 2008 were such sales or 24% of sales for that period. The bad thing I see from this is that those sales seem to be driving the market sales activity downward. If I am wrong,I am sure somebody will point out my erroneous conclusion.

There are 102 current residential listings (single family, duplex, and condo / town home) shown as contingent, contingent/kickout, or pending. Of those, 61 are short sales and 7 are bank owned foreclosures. That means 60% of our contingent and pending listings are distressed sales. Oh, there is one very opulent mansion under contract on Sunset Key that is listed at $5.1 million. The seller: The United States Government. I guess that could be classified as distressful!

A year ago today I wrote in this blog about where the market was at at that time. CLICK HERE to read what I wrote then.

The next three months are traditionally the worst. Town is hot, locals go away, not much sells. The hurricanes of 2005 and the market downturn have put a chilling effect on a traditionally down market. We shall see what happens this year.

My suggestion: if you are a seller and you don’t need to sell now don’t list your property for sale. If you must sell now, price it correctly. Don't tell your Realtor the sales price. Have the property appraised by a qualified independent appraiser. Then price it at appraised price. Don't play games. If you are a buyer, now may be a good time to buy. The market may not have totally bottomed, but good properties will get purchased before the dregs. Get the right property at a price you feel comfortable with. Do not buy cheap properties because they are cheap. You will regret it.

CLICK HERE to checkout the Key West mls database in real time. If you see some property that interests you, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or e-mail me at

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.