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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

2013 Key West "Selling Season" Results

 The 2013 Key West real estate selling season just closed. The selling season runs from Christmas through April of the following year. Most buyers come to Key West during these months to buy their dream homes. Most sales will have closed by now. I realize that there are still some properties that were put under contract that have not yet closed.  This analysis looks at the total closed transactions between January 1, 2013 and May 1, 2013 in the single family sales and compares the results to the same time period in 2010,  2011, and 2012.  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 real estate sales from Key West to Shark Key as I do not consider the areas outside of Key West to be part of our market. 

There were a total of 117 single family homes that sold in the Key West area in the first four months of 2013. The median sales price on the group was $429 per sq ft. Since most buyers that read my blog are looking for a home in the Old Town, Casa Marina, and Meadows areas, I carved out those locations for separate analysis. That core area had a total of 68 sales with an average sales price of $839,000 or $501 per sq ft.

There were 25 single family homes sales that sold in excess of $1,000,000. The median sales price of that group was $1,691,840. The houses sold for an average of $611 per sq ft.  Six of the 25 sales were located in Key Haven, Shark Key, or Sunset Key.  

In 2012 there were a total of 85 sales for all homes in the Key West area with a median sales price of $600,443 or $376 per sq ft.  There were 37 sales in this core 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.

The Old Town, Meadows, and Casa Marina "core areas" continue to dominate Key West real estate sales. These are the areas where most first time buyers look to purchase. These are the areas with which these buyers are most familiar as these are typically the areas where they stay in hotels, guest houses, or vacation rentals.  Many, but not all, potential buyers look to purchasing a home in these areas because they hope to do some vacation rentals to help pay some of the home ownership costs.

 I guess it was sometime in March that I realized the real estate market in Key West was "on fire".  There just was not enough inventory of houses to satisfy the demand for houses. Buyers were buying as if there would be no tomorrow.

There were a couple of interesting sales which you may find interesting. 527 Bahama Drive (located one half block east of Duval between Fleming and Southard Streets) finally sold after being on the market as a short sale for a total of 2563 days. It sold at $225,000.  Drive or walk by sometime so you can see what you can get for $225,000 in Key West. While you are out, walk by 707 Southard Street which is a charming little Key West cottage that sold for $948 per sq ft.  It's little sales like these which mess with my mind when trying to explain that per square foot average sales prices really do not matter in Key West. Our market is made up of such diverse properties and differing locations that statistical models really fail to help us compare prices.  
707 Southard Street - $948 per sq ft
If you are still hoping to buy a little cottage, a big house, or something in between, rest assured that there will be new listings. People are always dying, getting divorced, or moving away for a job or for some other reason. We do have a limited supply of houses and condos, however. We have an imposed limit on new construction and a height and density limit imposed by local government. The fact that we are located on an island means we cannot expand to other undeveloped areas because there are none. The other islands are not "Key West". I see these two factors as positives for buyers. There will be more houses for sale in the future and they will probably cost more in the future. That's a positive if you want your present investment to be worth more in the future.
The uncertainty in Washington continues to put a chill on the overall economy in my opinion. We have had a lot of cheap long term money available that has helped make purchasing a second home in Key West an affordable proposition. Let's hope the FED does not change things for a while. We are doing great as it sits right now.

If you are looking to purchase a place in Key West, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.



Michael Green said...

My wife, Tiffani, and I bought the 707 Southard house last month. While we made the maximum price per sq ft item, the house previously sold for $75,000 more in 2006. Crazy price, but it is a unique house that has been featured in two different books. Search the address to find them.

Enjoy your blog and your previous postings on this property.

We already have it rented for next March. Readers can check it out here.

Mike Green

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report Gary. I would be interested in knowing what the average per square foot price was for single family homes sold this past season that are located in the old town area bounded by Eaton, Elizabeth, Ashe and Angela. I would think that any house located in this core area sold for much much more than $501 per square foot, particularly if it has a pool or room for one. What was the lowest total price paid for any single family home located in this core area? Thanks.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon, Since you asked so nice and since town is so dead I did a quick search using your parameters which are less inclusive than the Key West Association of Realtors area for "South of Truman" area of Old Town. Your target area missed some big sales. Nonetheless, there were 17 sales with an average price per sq ft of $520.39.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Gary. Lower than I had expected. Enjoy the slower pace.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gary! I read your blog with interest often. Can you tell the readers what the average sales price and median sales price were in 2013 for the 117 single family homes? Thanks!


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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.