Sunday, January 3, 2016
2015 That Was the Year that Was in Key West Real Estate
I started this blog a year after Hurricane Wilma did so much damage to Key West. Our lovely little island got hit by three other hurricanes in 2005. But it was Wilma, the forth hurricane that year, that done us wrong. Today potential buyers are still concerned 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 Key West, 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 the real estate market started to contract in Key West, many buyers who purchased primary and second homes here decided to walk away from their investment. Many tried to short sale their homes while others gave them up to foreclosure. For a while it seemed as though our market was super saturated with houses for sale. I remember writing about what I saw as buying opportunities and reading comments from readers who only saw saw doom and gloom..
Then on April 20, 2010 the BP Oil Spill happened. Cable news networks came to Key West to warn of oil slicks hitting the Florida Keys. Fact Check: the oil spill never hit any of the Keys. Those stories did a great disservice to all Florida Keys businesses. Some tourists cancelled vacations and later used the shattered economy to bully hotels into discounting rooms. Some real estate sales were cancelled.
In the following two years the national economy started to recover and so did our local economy. The old inventory of homes started to get sold off. Short sales continued but there fewer properties listed. Bank owned properties continued to hit the market, not because of new defaults, but because existing foreclosure lawsuits were finally getting reduced to judgements and then converted to bank owned properties for sale. Many buyers sought bank foreclosure properties thinking they represented value because many were priced lower than other properties on the market. The inventory of available homes shrank more and more.
I did a quick search of single family home sales in the Key West area for 2015. There were a total of 416 single family homes sold. I then excluded all sales east of Shark Key (a total of 34 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 334 single family homes in Key West during 2015 that sold between $200,000 to $5,000,000. I am going to share my thoughts on a few that I think were the top values or good indicators for houses of a similar type or location.
46 of the 334 single family homes sales in Key West in 2015 sold at $1,000,000 or more. All of those sales were in the Old Town, Casa Marina, or Meadows ares of Key West. The median sale price was $1,612,357 at an average of $683 per sq ft.
If you are looking to buy a primary residence or a second home in Key West and are not working with a Realtor at this time, I ask you to consider working with me, Gary Thomas. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties in Key West. I urge buyers to not be locked into a certain mindset when considering the purchase of a house. Houses that need renovated can be costly but they don't necessarily have to be bank-breakers. Houses that are perfect may not be perfect for every new owner. Locations can be difficult, but no location is perfect. Idiot neighbors are not restricted to any one part of the island. Houses on busy streets and those located by the cemetery or some other scary site may offer tremendous buying opportunities,
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.