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Saturday, May 1, 2010

April 2010 Real Estate Sales in Key West

Don't get left behind wondering "If"

April did not bring Key West many showers but it did bring lots of sales to cheer the Realtors and Buyers who took the plunge to buy Key West properties once again.

You may have noticed I have written my blog very much this past month. There is good reason: I have been swamped with work. And every Realtor I know is equally busy. April has been an extremely good month for real estate sales in Key West. I am posting raw results that I culled from our mls data base. More sales will likely get posted by other Realtors that occurred in April but that did not get posted by yesterday.

There were 26 single family home sales in Key West for the month of April. Three were bank owned properties and seven were shown as "short sales" although I am convinced more were sold that way because the sellers either brought money to the closing table or part of a loan was forgiven. The average sales price per sq ft for all 26 homes was $393. However, the more important item of note is that there were five home sales with prices above $1,000,000. The average sales price of those five homes was $793. And even more heartening was the sale of one of those quintessential Key West cottages on a lovely quiet lane. The cottage at 3 Hibiscus Lane sold in just six days on the market for $800,000 or $855 per sq ft. CLICK HERE to see what sold in April 2010.

During April 2009 there were just 13 single family home sale in Key West. The average price per sq ft in 2009 was $378 as compared to $393 in 2010. That is a 9.6% price increase over 2009. There were but two single family homes that sold over $1,000,000 last year and they sold for an average price per ft of $612. In 2010 the million plus homes sold at $793.

There also appears to have been a rebound in condo and town home sales in April 2010 as compared to the same period in 2009. This past month there were 22 condo and town home sales in Key West that had an average sales price of $332 per sq ft. Three of those sales were for bank owned properties and nine were short sales. The average price for condos and town homes in Old Town was $459. A bank owned unit at Santa Marie sold for just $414,900. That same unit sold new in May 2007 for $1,300,000. Ouch! Somebody either got a very good deal or a lot of other owners in that complex better watch out!

In April 2009 there were 12 condo and town home sales. Of those, six were bank owned properties and five were designated as short sales. The average price per sq ft in 2009 was $273. The average price for condos in 2010 was $332 in all condos. That is a 18% increase in price per sq ft over last year.

The really interesting thing to report is all of the sales activity or new properties that went under contract this past month. It is incredible. Houses are selling again. So are condos and town homes. A year ago there were few sales at the Golf Course. Now buyers are waiting to make offers. There are only a few homes left for sale in Old Town and Casa Marina area under one million dollars. Nice homes in good Old Town locations are going under contract within days of getting listed.

I don't have the statistics to back up this statement, but I am noticing a lot of new construction activity. Things are picking up, Dear Readers. If you are thinking of buying your place in Paradise, CLICK HERE to search the Key West mls database. If you see something you like, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or email me at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. Our office is the Lower Florida Keys exclusive affiliate of Christie's Great Estates.


Anonymous said...

It's good news for Realtors that sales activity is picking up, but even more interesting to me is that almost every homeowner who sold homes in April LOST a significant amount of money. There were a few who broke even--the Hibiscus Lane owners did okay-- and a couple made money after owning the home for a generation, but most people sold for much, much less than they paid. Some lost $600,000 or more. That's a lot of lost wealth.

Gary Thomas said...

Realtors are like stock brokers, they make money when what they sell is sold. The "good" thing for us Realtors is that the market is on the uptake and what we sell is beginning to sell again in greater numbers and at higher prices.

If you hit the CLICK HERE list you saw that many of the houses I wrote about over the past months have finally sold. And some sold for incredible prices. Lower for sellers, yes. They took a beating. But great for buyers who took advantage of the buying opportunity.

There are winners and losers in every market turn around. I'm a Buyer's agent and my job is to help my Buyers get the best deal possible. There are still some pretty good deals out there.


Anonymous said...

So what you are saying is that it may be a great time to buy but as a seller you will take a beating. Between the short sales and foreclosures and the last of the housing tax credit I don't see a whole lot of people making money in this real estate market who are trying to sell. And yes, there are many Realtors winning but at what price??? And at what misery? As a buyer's agent you are there to represent the buyer but as a Realtor representing the seller I find that to gloat amongst the hundreds of displaced sellers very distressing. We are far from an upswing in this market - wait till we get through summer to boast.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon, Nobody is gloating or boasting.

The fact that market prices on a per sq ft basis are up over last year ought to make many sellers happy. Not all sellers are taking a "beating" either.

The contracts that were written in April will begin to bear fruit within a matter of weeks.


Anonymous said...

This is a new anon.

It's great there have been some sales. Some of the government incentives have probably helped, but those programs are coming to and end and mortage interest rates are creeping up.

To keep sales going, homeowners who want/need to sell are going to need to lower their prices. It's been a tough couple of years, but we're still recovering from many years of an artificial run-up of prices, even in Key West.

Unfortunately, that means lower per-sale profits for Realtors and more losses by homeowners, but at least lowering prices will keep the market moving with more sales and enable new buyers to get in at a fair price.


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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.