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Thursday, October 1, 2009

September 2009 Real Estate Sales - Key West

Summers are historically slow selling times for houses in Key West. A lot of locals leave town and shut their businesses in September because business is so slow. But September 2009 saw a flurry of real estate activity.

There were 30 single family homes that sold in September. Six were bank owned houses and eight were short sales. The sellers on a couple of the other sales offered bonuses to selling agents so even though those sales were not "short", they may have been goosed a bit. But lest you think only the low end houses are selling, consider the sale of 1425 White Street at $2,683,000 CLICK HERE or $771 per sq ft (Casa Marina Area on one of the busiest intersections in Key West nonetheless!). CLICK HERE to view 6 Lopez Lane which I wrote about a few months ago. It sold for $1,225,000 or $586 per sq ft. Earlier this month I wrote about the sale of 503 Noah Lane in Truman Annex that sold for $2,325,000 or $668 per sq ft. Don't overlook 1 Pinder Lane that was under contract for less than a week. This little Old Town fixer-to-be CLICK HERE sold for $810,000 or $618 per sq ft-that is for a house that needs work but that is located on a great Old Town lane. (The house was purchased by the adjacent property owner. It does not matter. Someone else would have bought that treasure at that price.) CLICK HERE to see all of the single family houses that sold in Key West during September.

If you are a potential buyer and know the Key West real estate market look over the list of solds and consider the locations and price per sq ft. We are still in depressed real estate environment but the sale of 1425 White Street in an arguably bad location is one heck of a price. Same thing for the fixer on Pinder Lane. It had a great location but the house needs work. If a buyer put $250 or $300 per sq ft into remodeling Pinder, that would price that house finished at just somewhere around $900 per sq ft. Think about it.

In 2008 there were 24 single family home sales in Key West of which 15 were bank owned of short sales. But in 2007 there were only five single family home sales that closed in September. Wow!

Key West had a total of 25 condo and town home sales in September. Five were bank owned units and ten were short sales. I mentioned in an earlier blog that our office represented principals in two of the high priced sales this month - one at Harbor Place that sold for $1,200,000 and the other at Beach Club that sold for $1,550,000.

There was one very interesting short sale located at 31 Seaside Court South CLICK HERE. I wrote about it in my blog months ago. I showed it a couple of times. The place was stunning. It sold for $599,000 or $313 per sq ft. There are several short sale and resale units at Seaside. It will be interesting to see how this sale affects the sale of those units. I was in one of five recently listed short sales units. They do not compare to the quality of interior finishes of the one that sold. That is just my opinion.

And five of the condos and town homes that sold in September were located at the Key West Golf Club. The sales price averaged $247 per sq ft. A few months ago there were 20 or so units available at the Golf Club Development. That number has dwindled to nine active listings. Only one listing is shown as a short sale and one is priced in the stratosphere for no good reason. I called the listing agent about that place a couple of months ago. I thought maybe he/she had made an error in posting the price. No the price was correct, but way out of this world. The remaining units are normal market resales at asking prices much higher than the recent solds.

I started to write a blog entry the other day and bit my tongue and decided to shut up. I was going to rant at what I see as a revival of the greed factor. Everybody in Key West is an expert on the real estate market and the mls database provides lots of information for the public. So it is not surprising that locals can determine for themselves what I have been saying for a couple of months that our little real estate market is on the uptick. Those that do not need to sell are demanding higher prices. They can see that inventory of available houses is down, so they are asking more for what they have to sell.

That's all well and good if the entire market was heading up. It isn't. Parts are. There just are not very many single family homes in Old Town or Casa Marina offered for sale. There are still a lot of short sale condos and bank owned units all over Key West. Financing condos is a bit of a problem, but financing is available for qualified units. I think there will be more short sales and foreclosures of condos and town homes, especially in developments that have already experienced a lot of short sales and foreclosures. Once those properties get gobbled up at bargain prices that segment of the market should start to recover.

If you are looking to purchase a place in Key West please consider calling me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or contact me by e-mail at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty Inc. in Key West, Florida. There are still some good deals left. Let me help you find one that works for you. If you wait too long, you may have to spend your vacations at the Heart Break Hotel.


Anonymous said...

Your comments seem to underscore that real estate, even in a physically small market like Key West, is not a single market.

Old Town has differnet dynamics than The Meadows. Single family homes have different dynamics than condos. I would expect that prices on single family homes in Old Town will recover much faster than on condos elsewhere on the island.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon. The prices in Old Town did not go down as fast or as far as other areas.

Old Town is where people want to be!


Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see when we will be able to say that the housing market in Old Town is "back" (whatever back means).


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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.