Saturday, January 11, 2014
2013 That Was the Year that Was in Key West Real Estate Sales
I started this blog a year after Hurricane Wilma did so much damage to the Key West. Our lovely little island got pummeled by three other hurricanes in 2005. But it was Wilma, the forth hurricane that year, that done us wrong. Buyers still worry about future flooding because of the damage Wilma did.
The years 2006, 2007, and 2008 were the start of the downward spiral of the national economy. Buyers still wanted to buy houses here but they became more and more cautious with what they purchased and how much they were willing to pay. Lenders became more cautious to whom they loaned new money. After 2008 new rules and new scrutiny made the closing of new mortgages a challenge for buyers, Realtors, attorneys and closing agents.
As more and more short sales and foreclosures hit the Key West real estate market, more and more buyers became suspicious of why we had so many houses for sale. I remember a couple of worry warts that commented on my blog about the great abyss of buying in Key West. They saw doom and gloom at every bougainvillea covered door.
Then the BP Oil Spill happened. Except the oil spill never hit our island. That did not stop cable news networks from coming here to tell a good story. Those stories did scare many buyers. The effect was really harmful to our local economy. As the national economy started to get better, so did our local economy. The old inventory or homes started to get sold off. Short sales continued but not as many as before. Bank owned properties continued to hit the market,not because of new defaults but because old lawsuits to foreclose old loans finally had judgments entered. The inventor of unsold homes shrank more and more.
By 2013 the supply of houses for sale diminished to such an extent that prices started to rise. As 2013 came to a close, it became quite evident that buyers had ants in their pants and were anxious to buy before prices continued to rise. The days of too many houses, low prices, and low mortgage rates had passed.
I did a quick search of single family home sales in the Key West area for 2013. There were a total of 333 single family homes sold. I then excluded all sales east of Shark Key (a total of 67 sales) as I feel those houses are not located in areas my buyers would consider for a new full time residence or as a second home.
There were 242 sales of single family homes that sold between $150,000 to $999,000 at an average price of $566,404 or $385 per square foot. I am not a fan of price per sq ft comparisons because these comparisons may give some readers the assumption that all houses are similar. Nothing could be further from the truth in Key West. I am going to list some particular houses that sold this year. You will see a great disparity among houses I consider to be the best deals that occurred in 2013. There were 24 single family homes that were listed over $1,000,000 that sold in 2013 at an average sales price of $1,454,478 or $641 per sq ft. Let's see what you think of my picks for the best deals in Key West real estate sales for 2013.
527 Bahama Drive is a short sale that took eight years to actually get done. Cheers to Mila de Mier for having the tenacity to take this property all the way to closing. This property was on the market 2563 days and sold for $225,000. It is a single family home one-half block east of Duval Street.
1209 Margaret Street is a single family home that sold for $259,000 or $304 per sq ft. I selected this not because it was cute or its good location but rather because it was okay in both respects. The house needs some work but it was livable as it sat. It is located next door to El Siboney Restaurant in Old Town. If you spent $259,000 in some town in Ohio you could probably get a pretty nice house. In Key West, you'd be lucky in 2014 to be able to find a place like this. This house has potential.
707 Southard Street appeared in my blog a couple of times. It is the poster child for Key West charm. The cottage is small (only 606 sq ft) but it had two bedrooms, two baths, a private small pool, and oodles of street appeal on the outside and Key West chic interiors. This property sold at $575,000 or $948 per sq ft.
The supply of houses for sale listed for sale in Key West is down from prior years. The line of interested buyers is long and getting edgy. If you took the time to read through this blog you will see that people have made choices as to how buy their place in Key West no matter how humble or grand. I would never suggest that a buyer "settle" for less than he or she may want, nor to spend more money than one could afford. I do know that over the period of a few years the dollars some people fret over spending disappear as the value of all prices here continues to rise.
If you are hoping to purchase a home in Key West please consider working with me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you fulfill your dream of owning a home in Paradise.
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
- Gary Thomas
- 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.