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Monday, July 4, 2016

Key West First Six Months Sales Report 2016

I moved to Key West in 1993 because of the way all people are treated - as one Human Family. There are people here from all over the world and we all seem to get along just fine. Most of the people from third world countries are here on work permits. They work several jobs and many live in substandard housing. Many of these people work two or three jobs to save enough money to send back home to either help their families or to build a nest egg for their future.

A lot and I mean a lot of the workers in this town find it difficult to pay for a modest apartment let alone being able to buy a house here. I write about real estate properties for sale. In my Facebook page I say "I sell houses to rich people". That is really what I do because most people who read my blog know that only rich people can afford to pay the ridiculously high prices for homes here. I do work with locals, often hard working young folks who have saved as much money as they can stash away, hoping to find a place they can afford. I get no greater pleasure out of my life than being able to have that happen. And that is the truth. I know what it is like not to have money. I had to do without in school as a kid, college, and later law school.  I saved and did without so that one day I could do better. And I did.  I moved to Key West to get away from the world up north in America where for my entire life gay people were not accepted. I worked in a law firm where the senior partner found out I was gay and then demeaned me. In Later I found out about Key West in an magazine called After Dark. It was a town where gays were accepted. It had an openly gay mayor - the first in the nation. This was before Harvey Milk. What a great town this must be, I thought. And it is!
I wrote a blog in February discussing what I thought were too many over-priced homes, especially the number of homes priced over one million dollars. Most people in the United States will never earn a million dollars let alone buy a house that costs that much and even fewer will ever buy a second home that costs a million dollars or more. I decided to see how many houses sold in Key West during the first six months of 2016. I only looked at houses in Key West up to Shark Key even though our mls covers the islands up past Sugarloaf.  My readers want to buy a house in town and not ten minutes away even if it means they could save thousands and thousands of dollars.

There were 160 single family home sales in Key West during the first six months of 2016. The lowest priced home sold at just $168,000 while the highest sold at $5,500,000. The median homes sold at $942,543 at 94.99% of asking price. In previous years most homes sold at about 10% discount to asking price. The new ratio reflects the huge demand for homes in today's market.

There were 59 single family home sales in Old Town. The highest priced home was $5,550,000 (actually located in Truman Annex). The least expensive home sold at $315,000. The median home sold for $1,260,484. I am sure the big house and the cheap house skewed the numbers a bit.  These homes sold at 95.13% of asking price.

I then searched the number of sales of homes priced at $1,500,000 and higher in the Old Town area.
That $5.5 million house was still the most expensive. The least expensive sold at $1,820,00 with the median selling at $2,550,000 at an average price of $1,054.95 per square foot. These homes sold at 93.85% of asking price.

I was surprised to learn that the highest priced home in Casa Marina sold for only $2,000,000. The lowest priced home sold for $775,000. The median home sold at $1,483,222 or for $677 per sq ft. The demand for homes in the Casa Marina area is strong. There was a flurry of sales activity in May and June. There are several that are marked as contingent or pending in our mls. We shall see how well this area compares to Old Town at the end of 2016.

 In my February 8th blog I wrote:
"We have just begun the second month of our selling season. I wonder how many of the million dollar buyers we will see in Key West this year. I wonder how many sellers who have their homes listed for over one million dollars will sell and how many will not. And since we only sold 11 homes priced over $2 million 2015, I wonder how many such sales we will get this year. The stock market has not been our friend of late. I don't think we have been impacted by the ZIKA Mosquito Virus. But I am sure it will come into play sometime. Yes we do have a demand for quality homes in good areas. I just do not believe we have as many buyers as we have properties for sale."
Twelve houses priced over $2 million sold in the first six months of 2016. So we have already beat the 2015 record. The least expensive house sold at just two million in Truman Annex and the highest was the $5.5 million home in Truman Annex home. The median house sold at $3.006,250. The group of houses sold at 93.98% of asking. I was dumbfounded to learn that I sold the second highest priced home in Key West during this time period. And my office represented the buyer or seller or both in five of the twelve big sales.(And to top it off my broker, Laurie McChesney, represented the buyer who purchased the most expensive home in the Lower Florida Keys this year. That buyer paid $6 million for a waterfront home on Sugarloaf Key. )

Maybe my whining about prices was premature. We have a big election coming up. The stock market hasn't decided what will happen with Brexit, and I don't think it looks forward to a Trump presidency.
Uncertainty can rock the world. There may be a down market in our future. The thing is this is America where we always rebound. I started this blog ten years ago when the Key West market was headed downward. That created a lot of buying opportunities for people who had waited as the 2001 to 2006 market rose and many got sold out of a future. The downward spiral worked for many because our market really rebounded bigger and stronger than the rest of America as a whole.  There are buyers now. There just are not that many that can afford or who are presently willing to pay the high prices asked for most of our homes in Key West.


Anonymous said...

With twelve $2M sales in the first half of 2016 I'd say there are plenty of buyers willing to pay the high prices........for quality homes in quality locations

Anonymous said...

And let's not forget the TEN houses over $2m currently pending, two of which are priced over $4M.


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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.