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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fire Sales in Key West?

I haven't written about the status of house sales in Key West for a while. I've been up and then down on what is going on in the market. For me the real estate market took a vacation along with the rest of the country this past summer. Oh, I stayed busy and wrote several offers on places for different buyers, but the offers did not materialize into contracts or contracts fell apart for other reasons. I talked with other agents about what was going on. Most had a similar experience. Some boasted about how much business they were doing. Well, of course they were busy, they are the superstars of Key West real estate. But for the rest of us, this past summer has been rough. The sales numbers for November reflect the still down-beaten market.

There were ten single family home sales in Key West in November 2011. Two were bank owned houses and two were short sales. In November 2010 there were sixteen single family home sales with six bank owned properties and four short sales. 2011 is worse than 2010.

Key West had eight condo and townhome sales in 2011. Of those, five were bank owned properties and the other three were short sales. There were no 'market' sales.

Back in 2010 there were fourteen condo and townhome sales. Six of those were bank owned units and four were short sales. 2010 was a better year than 2011 in condo sales as well.

Distress rules the condo market. It's hard getting financing on condos but not impossible. The problem with condos is they were an affordable alternative to over priced single family homes in Key West. They got purchased when prices were higher. When the market collapsed condo owners who were full time residents and second home owners bailed out and refused to pay for units that were worth less than half of what they owed. Expect more condos to be for sale as either bank owned or short sales. Places like Shipyard, Porter Court, and President's Lane continue to attract new buyers. Units there tend to sell quickly if priced correctly. Others linger.

Their trucks are parked everywhere!

I don't want to sound like the prophet of doom and gloom because I am not. Buyers are back and they are buying up deals. The noise of contractors can be heard all around Old Town. Their trucks are parked everywhere. Buyers are buying and 'fixing' run down places and houses that cost a bundle. Take the bank owned property at 912 Windsor Lane. I wrote about it this summer. I had a lot of calls and emails. I told all potential buyers the place was a buying opportunity. I had one buyer fly down to take a look. Only he came too late. The property went under contract a couple of days before he arrived. That property was offered at $299,900, but it sold for $310,000. Some buyers think all bank owned properties can be bought for a bargain because the banks own too many places. Well, they do own too many. But they are not giving anything away in Key West. And there are a lot of buyers with cash looking for a deal in Key West. Don't think you are the only guy or gal with a wad of money who wants to buy a place in Key West. You are not alone.

There are a lot of buyers still lurking out there. Watching the mls on a daily basis. Looking for the best deal. Preparing to pounce. Looking for the fire sale of the century.

CLICK HERE to search the Key West Association of Realtors mls database. Search for the home of your future. If you see something you like, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in sunny Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make it sound like doom and gloom but there were less good deals available this year than last year. I little late for fire sales. Not much new coming on the market in my price range (under $400K). I am glad I just bought! Love your blog.


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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.