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Monday, May 7, 2012

Key West "Selling Season" - a Perspective

 For Sale By Owner in Key West

The traditional Key West Selling Season (the time period between Christmas and Easter) just closed. I realize that many contracts that were written before January 2012 actually closed after then and that contracts written in April may not close for another month or longer. This analysis looks at the total closed transactions between January 1, 2012 and May 1, 2012 in the single family and compares the results to the same time period in 2010 and 2011. I used the Key West Association of Realtors mls database which shows only transaction where Realtors represented one or both parties. Private sales were not included.  I also counted only sales from Key West to Stock Island as I do not consider the areas outside of Key West to be part of our market.  My analysis may look different from what other reports may tell you.

There were 85 single family home sales in Key West between January 1, 2012 to May 1, 2012. The median sales price was $600,443 with an average price per sq ft of $376.00. I then narrowed the focus to the core Old Town, Casa Marina, and Meadows areas. There were 37 sales in this target area in the same time period. The median sales price in this select group was $829,991 with a sales price of $537 on a per sq ft basis. 

During the same time period in 2011 there were 93 single family home sales that sold at the median price of $672,462 with an average price per sq ft of $370.  The core area of Old Town, Casa Marina, and the Meadows areas had 51 single family homes sales in this period with a median price of $757,873 and sold at $423 per sq ft.

I then went back to 2010 to find that there were 92 single family home sales in the January 1 to May 1 time period. The median price then was $598,313 and the average sales price on a per sq ft basis was $376.32. Next I zeroed in the core areas of Old Town, Casa Marina, and the Meadows where I found there were 41 single family home sales at the median price of $806,878 at an average price per sq ft of $482.

By mid March I was getting very bothered by what I considered the sparsity of single family homes sales in Key West. I could tell we were not selling as much as we had in previous years.  And then something happened. I don't know what it was or what caused it. Sales started popping.  Houses that sat on the market for months and months started to go under contact. Then near the end of the month some of the bigger houses, the more expensive homes, went under contract. Moreover, newly listed properties got a lot of attention and quick response from buyers who were looking for properties to buy. While some buyers ignored our supply of houses for months, other buyers pounced on new listings as if there might not be any new listings for a long time to come.

We are now headed to the slowest time of the year for selling homes in Key West. Hurricane season is approaching and that always bothers the real estate market in Key West.  We have Presidential election that is gearing up. Both sides are firing off salvos at the opposing side. Very little will likely get done in Washington and that will likely cause an already jittery economy to remain on the edge. Potential buyers who fear the future will hold off buying during the short term as they will perceive the market is too unsteady.  They expect a future decline. They could be right. However, buyers who see other peoples' fears of the future as a buying opportunity will look at the uncertainty as a reason to shop for bargains while others are shaking in their boots.

If you are not afraid of the future and want to find a place in Key West, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.



Anonymous said...

Just a random comment but I love that house on Eaton that you have pictured in this post!

Len said...

Hi Gary,
Love your it every day! I've been to Key West a ton of times and have always wondered the "back story" on the house you have featured in this post. I know it's on Eaton St...but was wondering if you could take a quick second of your time to explain if there's a reason that the price is so high (relatively speaking)and why I can't find it on the MLS? Thanks for your time!
Len in Wisconsin


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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.