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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Key West Real Estate Sales Report - First Half of 2015

I thought it would be interesting to look at the real estate sales for Key West for the first six months of 2015. I used the Key West mls database for the geographic areas of Key West and Stock Island but did not include any sales east of Stock Island. This geographic area most potential buyers consider to be "Key West" even though our mls database reaches property sales which extend ten miles east of Mile Marker 0. 
620 Eaton Street, Key West
There were a total of 231 single family home sales in Key West between January 1, 2015 and July 1. The highest priced sale was 620 Eaton Street (above) which sold at $4,495,000. The least expensive house sold at $225,500. The median priced home sold at $635,000. The listed properties sold on average at 95.71% of the list price. This figure is important for potential new buyers to understand. It is not a "rule" that houses must sell in this range, but this range is very suggestive of where typical deals are actually struck. A couple of years ago the spread was at 92%. The reduced amount of inventory and the higher sales prices have inched the margin upward. The prices for the broader market include home sales in the Mid town and New town areas of Key West which have been sluggish because of rising windstorm and flood insurance rates.

There were several sales which I thought were very interesting and worth mentioning.  I wrote about some of these properties in my blog.  1441 Thompson Street (below) was a bank owned property which I wrote about. I got more phone calls and emails from potential buyers on this than any other property that I wrote about during the past six months. The asking price was just $360,900.  It sold for $380,100. The new owners have already begun cleaning out the tropical over-growth. I can't wait to see what they do to this Bargain!
The house at 1105 Washington Street (not pictured) in the Casa Marina Area of Key West got snapped up on day one it was listed. The new owner paid just $1,000 over asking price of $499,000. It's been spiffed up a bit and back on the market at $795,000.
 I wrote about the house at 1711 Atlantic Boulevard three times. I showed the home several times to many different potential buyers who had a variety of ideas as how they might use or develop this 1950's home. The house sits on an elevated lot across the street from a nature preserve with mangrove that abuts the Atlantic Ocean. The property was originally listed at $680,000. The price was reduced to $590,000. It sold for just $540,000. I think this is a great deal for the buyer. The lot is worth the price and it will continue to go up in value as market prices increase in Key West. It is the location that trumps all. The existing house is elevated five feet above the street. Key West recently approved new heights for homes which may give the owner of this particular property the ability to build a new house which could have water views that look out over the mangroves in the foreground.
I showed 530 Grinnell Street ( above) in Old Town several times. This very pretty and very small home was superbly renovated and decorated.  The original asking price was $975,000 plus $50,000 for the furniture. It sold fully furnished at $750,000 or $937.50 per sq ft.  I had two very serious buyers who loved the house but refused to consider making an offer even after the price was reduced to $799,000. My buyers rejected the idea that any house that small, no matter how cute, could be worth nearly a $1,000 per sq ft. I told both couples I thought it should sell at $750,000 furnished. The seller was never going to move that custom furniture to some other place. That made no sense whatsoever. I was right on price and strategy.  Both couples I represented lost a terrific property in my opinion. I mention this house because buyers seem to get the jitters when they think about spending $1,000 per sq ft for a house in Key West. I have a news flash for my Dear Readers. Prices are going to continue to go up over the years. Prices that are being paid for quality homes now will seem like bargains in five to ten years.
527 Margaret Street was a major rebuild of what remained of the front wall frame of the old home. The city allowed the owner to take down the original house to the front wall studs and then build an all new structure to the rear. The result was an amazing new two bedroom home in a great Old Town location. This property sold for just $1,125,000 or $803 per sq ft for this 1400 sq ft 2/2 1/2 bath home with pool.  The interiors in this home are incredible.
813 Waddell Avenue is located in the Casa Marina Area near the Atlantic Ocean. Although there was a home on the 10,500 sq ft lot, the property was sold for the value of the land which had two ROGO units. That means a new owner could separate the large lot into two smaller lots and build tow houses in this upscale neighborhood. The property sold for $1,175,000 or $608.70 for the land value. Most of the homes in the Old Town area and many in the Casa Marina Area come within the purview of Key West's Architectural Review Commission.  Most of the homes cannot be taken down. This is a property that may be razed or renovated. It was the lot size and options to do build two homes that made this property so valuable. Readers need to appreciate the lack of buildable lots in the desirable areas of Key West. Buildable lots give a new owner opportunities that most property owners can not get.
1111 Packer Street (above) is located in the Old Town area South of Truman. This home had a successful multi-year vacation rental history. It sold at full asking price of $1,175,000 or $818.25 per sq ft. This home was thoughtfully designed and professionally maintained. Many buyers think they can buy an old house, do some fix-up like the see on an HGTV program, decorate the place, and put it on VRBO and have vacationers pay for the place.  Real life is more challenging than that - especially in Key West where construction costs are high and governmental over sight is challenging.  A property like this makes it much more likely that a new owner will continue to earn steady income over the course of home ownership.  I "get" why this sold at full price. It was worth it!
Located in the Heart of Old Town but tucked away and hidden from view is 6 Pinder Lane, an enchanting home and secret garden that once belonged to author Nancy Friday. The home seems to rise from the garden with a wrap-around-porch and broad deck that circles the nearby pool and spa. This very private home has three bedrooms and two baths including the treetop master bedroom with private bath. I listed this home at $1,549,000 or $1,072 per sq ft. It sold at the asking price. I thought the home was perfect as is. The new owner is going to renovate the house and redo the garden and pool. The existing house and garden are magical. I am sure the renovated home and garden will be spectacular. There are fewer and fewer totally private locations like this in Old Town. If you are a buyer who wants privacy or a property that is really special in some sort of way, the better thing to do is to buy it. Because someone else will buy it. And you may regret listening to that cheap angel that sits on your shoulder.
1026 Von Phister Street (above) is a 2233 sq ft home located on a beautifully landscaped 9603 sq ft corner lot in the Casa Marina Area of Key West. The new owner paid $1,800,000 for this "fixer" property which will be upgraded.  I can't wait to see what happens. I live across the street and see the property values going up and up when fixer houses are purchased at this price point.
1013 Southard Street is located in one of the very best blocks in Old Town. Several of the most beautiful homes in Old Town are located in this block. This home sold at 100% of asking price, $1,900,000, in one day.
The photo above was taken from the bank owned top floor unit at 107 Front Street Units 317 - 318 Harbour Place in Truman Annex. This property was listed for $1,326,000. It sold at $1,920,000. I submitted two offers for two different potential buyers. Neither was the successful buyer. I told both buyers that this is a true one-of-a-kind property. I think the buyer who got this property felt the same about it as I did. Congratulations!

I then did a quick sales price comparison by location.

OLD TOWN.  This is the area most potential new buyers think they would want to live in. There is definitely an advantage of living within an easy walking distance to restaurants, theaters, galleries, gyms, night spots, and places you go every day.  There were 84 single family home sales in Old Town in the first six months of 2015.  The average price per sq ft was $639.41. The median sales price was $953,516. The sales price ratio to list price was 95.20%.  620 Eaton Street was the most expensive home that sold - $4,495,000. A little fixer located across the street from the cemetery was the least expensive home - it sold at $327,500.

1311 Truman Avenue - The Meadows Area
THE MEADOWS. Seven homes in this area traded hands in the past six months. The average price paid per sq ft was $617.11 - slightly less than Old Town. The median sales price was $835,496. The sales price ratio was higher than Old Town - 96.52%.  The biggest sale in this area was 1311 Truman Avenue which sold for $1,900,000. The least expensive home was a cute as can be small cottage style home at 1416 Pine Street that sold at $598,400 in just five days.
901 Washington St, Casa Marina Area
CASA MARINA AREA. There were 12 single family home sales in the Casa Marina Area between January and July. The average price per sq ft was $688.49 - higher than The Meadows and Old Town. The median sales price was $1,409,375. That trumps Old Town by $455,859.  The lots are typically larger and the houses are more eclectic than Old Town. There are still a couple of blocks of houses that were built in the 1960s that remain pretty much the same as they were when built.  Buyers seem to snap up anything in the Casa Area if it is priced under one million dollars. Houses with large lots in good locations that may be razed to build an all new house can be very valuable.
I encourage prospective key West buyers to look at homes and the few available lots for sale with an open mind. I know that prices are high compared to other places. Many destinations are easier to get to and have less expensive lodging and food than Key West. Housing prices may be considerably less. These locations may have as many or maybe even more fun things to do than we have in Key West. Maybe the weather is better in those other places as well.  Maybe you can walk from your home to most of the fun things you do in your daily life. Maybe. But doubtful on all points.

1 comment:

Leona said...

I enjoy all of your blog posts.
This one is exceptional!
Thanks for all you do.


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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.