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Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Worm has Turned

This guy waited and waited and then his luck ran out! The worms got him!
(Photo take at 813 White Street Key West)

Shipyard in the Truman Annex - Key West

Shipyard in Truman Annex in Key West

Just like almost every other Realtor I watch the Key West mls throughout each day. I look for new listings and properties that have a price reduction because they create possible sales opportunities. But I also watch for properties that have gone under contract 0f that get sold because they can show us what is happening currently and give us insight into where the market may be headed.

In the first couple of months of this year I wrote about new listings in the Shipyard, President's Walk, and Porter Court communities in Truman Annex. Those communities have been the most popular areas for second home buyers in the Key West for nearly twenty years. A couple of years back there was a surplus of units at Shipyard. Now there are just three units for sale in Shipyard. (The average listing price is $664 per sq ft. Compare that to most other properties in Old Town. Shipyard is higher.) President's Walk has two units available and Porter Court has two.

There were 8 condo sales in Shipyard since January 1, 2011. The average "sold" price per square foot was $554 for a unit with an average square footage of 681 sf. (One unit was 580 sf and the largest was a two bedroom and two bath at 780 sf.)

During that same time period there were 23 condo and townhome sales in the Old Town, Meadows and Casa Marina areas for units that sold below $475,000 (the highest sales price in Shipyard. The average price per square foot in these units was $343. There is a clear disparity in sales price per sq ft between several of the least expensive units and Shipyard, but that disparity has nothing to do with quality of the unit or location. A one bedroom unit at Campbell Courtyard (has a beautiful pool and an incredible Old Town location) sold for just $228,000 or $359 per sq ft. Another newly constructed 3 bedroom townhome at 713 Emma Street sold for $399,000 or $354 per sq ft. The Emma Street property has a beautiful courtyard with pool and incredible water feature. The units have Viking kitchens and each unit has an off street parking spot. A bank owned 2 bedroom unit at 1108Duval Street that included a transient license and off street parking sold for $433,000 or $333 per sq ft (1399 sf unit).

Shakespeare coined the phrase "The worm has turned" to connote a reversal of fortune. Shipyard was the darling for years and years because the units met the spatial and amenities "must haves" that so many second home buyers require. The units are big enough to handle most families or couples that travel together. They have been affordable in comparison to many other properties in nearby Old Town. And they offered a convenient and secure location that second home buyers often feel is necessary. (I think most of Key West is safe unless you are in a bar with a lot of boozers. Drunks create most of the problems in our town whether they are in the bars on Duval or on the streets driving cars our walking home late at night fighting with a soon to be 'ex'. ) In the mid 2000s the prices increased on Shipard units while the economy took a dip. During the past year, however, the Key West real estate market has recovered and so has the desirability of Shipyard.

CLICK HERE to search the Key West mls. If you are looking for a getaway place in Key West and want to buy before the prices soar, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or by email at I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West. Remember the other "worm" phrase, the early bird catches the worm. Don't wait until it is too late.

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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.