Saturday, October 2, 2010
Key West Foreclosure Update and More
There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently over the large number of foreclosures. Below you can read my thoughts about what is happening in Key West.
I made my own inquiry in the Monroe County Clerk's online records for September 2010 and compared the results to September 2009. I did a very superficial review of two fields that show the filing of new foreclosures (which occurs with the filing of a Lis Pendens). I did a similar review to determine how many Certificates of Title were recorded. (A Certificate of Title is the document by which the Court approves after the sale of property at public auction through judicial foreclosure. (The judge basically looks at the file to determine the rules were followed and the property was sold to the highest bidder.)
There were 70 new Lis Pendens filed in Monroe County in the month of September 2010. Only 17 of those Lis Pendens were for properties located in Key West ( including Stock Island). There were a whopping 152 Lis Pendens filed in Monroe County in September 2009. I counted 42 Lis Pendens filed against homes in Key West plus 8 timeshare units in September 2009.
Number of Lis Pendens Filed Sep 1 to Oct 1, 2009 all of Monroe County 152
Number of Lis Pendens Filed Sep 1 to Oct 1, 2010 all of Monroe County 70
Percentage Difference - .46% reduction
There were a total of 34 Certificates of Title issued by the Circuit Court in Monroe County in September 2010, but only 11 of those sales were for properties located in Key West. Furthermore, and definitely worth noting, 9 of the 11 Certificates of Title were for time share units. Only two of the Certificates of Title for residential properties in Key West. The number of Certificates of Title in 2009 for all of Monroe County was 64. Key West only had 18 Certificates of Title issued and 3 of those were for timeshares.
Number of Certificates of Title September 1 to October 1, 2009 64
Number of Certificates of Title September 1 to October 1, 2010 34
Percentage Difference - .53% reduction
For the readers who want to challenge my take on what is going on, have at it. I do invoke the admonition of Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC who says you are entitled to your own opinion but not own facts. Interpret the data as you want.
Maybe I am missing something but it looks to me like Key West has made a significant recovery over the same time period a year ago. There have been a couple of items in the media over the last couple of days where it was noted that JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America are suspending new foreclosures for a while. I noticed (and previously mentioned) the reduced numbers of new foreclosure filings. This has been occurring for the past few months. The reduced number of Lis Pendens substantiates this. I really think we are beginning to see a decline in the real number of new foreclosures.
There will, however, continue to be new short sales and new bank owned properties. The Monroe County Circuit Court is slowly working its way through a large number of previously filed foreclosures where the owners are contesting the lenders' right to take back the houses or condos that were not paid for. Most of these cases will likely be resolved in favor of the lender and probably end up as bank owned properties. The decrease in new foreclosure filings does not mean an end to the foreclosure crisis. It just won't be as bad as it was.
Sales at the Key West Golf Course have reversed course and prices are on the rise. Not by a lot and not in all cases. But prices are going up, not down.
Expect to see prices for single family homes in Old Town start to rise by December. Each year sellers put new properties on the market just ahead of the arrival of the snowbirds. Season (that time between Christmas and Easter) is prime selling time when buyers with money come to find new winter nests. Some bring lots of money and decorators. Others bring big hopes and the desire to get a good deal.
Most of the new listings I have been writing about for the past few months have been bank owned and short sales. I expect many of the new listings of nicer Old Town and Casa Marina area homes will be real world sales where the seller is not trying to sell a distressed property. You must remember that not all sellers are in trouble. These new sellers will add properties at higher price points. I know many readers follow our mls listings like hawks. Get ready for sticker shock. The supply of "nice" houses is low.
Houses that have not sold did not sell for a reason. It could be that they have been priced too high, but it could also be because of where they are located or that they required too many repairs. Nice costs more. Good location costs more. No work, very nice, great location costs a lot more.
If you are looking for a short sale property, a bank owned home or condo, or a stately Old Town property, please consider working with me, Gary Thomas. I am a buyer's agent. You can reach me at 305-766-2642 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.
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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell
- Gary Thomas
- 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.