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Monday, March 12, 2012

Key West Recent Sales Update

A Key West Dream House

We just passed the half-way point of the Key West seasonal real estate sales. At least that's the way I view it. Most real estate sales occur during the time period between Christmas and Easter because that is when there are more potential buyers in town looking to purchase property. When the weather up north turns nice the snowbirds go back home and spend their summers at their main homes or perhaps a summer place. For that reason most serious sellers try to list and get their Key West real estate sold when the largest number of potential buyers are in town.

I did a quick search of the Key West Association of Realtors mls database to determine the number of single family homes that have sold in the Key West area from January 1, 2012 to March 1, 2012. The sales results are shown in the graph below.


The sold prices on a per square foot basis followed the norm for Key West properties as well. The 5 low end units sold for the lowest price on a per square basis at an average of $211. The 22 mid range units sold at an average of $614 per square foot. And the 2 high end units sold at $588 per square foot. I must remind readers that housing prices in Key West vary greatly based on location, size, and amenities. We have a diverse housing stock with mansions that are located on blocks with houses that look like they have never seen a coat of paint. Internet real estate websites that project 'values' of dissimilar properties do a disservice to users because the computer database wrongly assumes nearby properties are of the same type or condition. We know that is not a truism in Key West.

Easter Sunday or soon thereafter the seasonal buyers will head back up north. Properties that go under contract through that time period will continue to close for a couple of months thereafter. We will likely see a slump in sales over the summertime as that is the norm for summer. Sales will probably hit a low point in September and October which are traditionally the worst times to sell in Key West. Hardcore buyers that want the very lowest priced property may want to wait it out to see what is available next fall. The problem with waiting like that is you can never really know what will be left.

Most Realtors that I talk to have a group of active buyers who are looking for that great little second home that the buyer can use during the winter and maybe occasionally rent the rest of the year. They want a place priced between $350,000 to $700,000 or so. They want a pool and off street parking and charm and location. If only we lived in a Disney community, we could all have places like that. Instead we live on a little island in the middle of the ocean that's a pain to get to and where houses are priced outside the reach of many. The bargain real estate market of a couple of years ago is becoming a memory. If you wait too long you may get priced out of the Key West market a second time.

CLICK HERE to search the Key West Association of Realtors mls database to find your place in Paradise. If you see a property that you like, please consider working with me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or by email at kw1101v@aol.com. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West.

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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

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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.