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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Key West Real Estate Sales Report - First Six Months of 2017

It's that time again - time to take a look at the houses sold during the first six months of 2017 and try to make sense of what those sales tell us about the current real estate market in Key West. I will compare the 2017 solds to the solds during the first six months of 2015.

As in the 2015 survey 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 is geographic area most potential buyers consider to be "Key West" even though our MLS database extends ten miles east of Mile Marker 0. 
707 South Street Key West pool and gardens
173 single family homes sold between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017. The least expensive house sold at $325,000. 707 South Street (famed for being a filming location for the James Bond movie License to Kill ) was the most expensive home sold in Old Town. The house sold for $5,000,000 plus an additional $395,000 for the furnishings.  The house and guest cottage had undergone an extensive renovation plus the addition of a garage entered off Villa Mill Alley with guest bedrooms on the second level. Landscape architect Craig Reynolds redesigned the pool and grounds into a tropical paradise.
920 Terry Lane Key West
1403 Catherine Street Key West

721 Chapman Lane Key West
The real estate market in Key West keeps getting more expensive each year.  As prices continue to rise the volume of sales has gone down a bit. There is still a huge demand for homes in Key West and sales were much more brisk than I thought earlier in the year.  116 single family homes sold between $325,000 to $987,000 or 67% of the entire sales during the first six months. There were 45 singles family homes that sold priced $1,000,000 to $1,950,000. The three homes shown above reflect the appreciating market in Key West. 920 Terry Lane sold in March 2013 for $750,000 and resold in June 2017 for $1,175,000 or 63% price appreciation in four years. 1403 Catherine Street sold for $750,000 in May 2012 and resold in June 2017 for $1,300,000 or 57% price appreciation. 721 Chapman Lane sold was a bank foreclosure that sold in March 2011 for $370,000. The owner did an incredible renovation to the home. It sold in April 2017 for $1,200,000. This sale is significant because of the location - Bahama Village. In the next year or so I think the price for homes in Bahama Village may explode as the new Truman Waterfront Park will open to the public. Homes located near the Historic Key West Seaport underwent a similar price spike a generation ago as the boardwalk and esplanade made the old seaport much more tourist friendly.
411 Grinnell Street Key West
 Six homes sold between $2 million to $3 million including 411 Grinnell Street pictured above. This 1541 square foot home sold at $1,817 per sq ft. The home was located on a 8,375 square foot lot which included a ROGO unit with plans to build a second home. I have no idea whether another home will be built. And six homes sold in excess of $3 million with two which sold at $5 million, 707 South St mentioned above and a manse on Sunset Key.

I looked back at my six month report from 2015 where we had a total of 207 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. During the first six months of 2015 34 homes sold between $1,000,000 to $2,000,000. During the first six months of 2015 7 single family homes were sold priced between $2,000,001 to $3,000,000.  Twelve houses sold in 2017 sold priced over $2,000,000. That's a huge increase in volume of sales plus price increase. I have written several blogs complaining that there are not enough buyers willing to pay for homes in the higher price ranges. The sales statistics prove that I was wrong about demand and willingness to pay more than $2,000,000 for a house. The 2015 MLS stats show 70 houses sold priced under $500,000. 32 single family homes were sold during 2017.  That part of our market is really diminishing. As a local I worry about affordable pricing for other full time residents. More and more locals have to find places to live on other nearby islands which are now experiencing similar price appreciation, just at a less expensive price than in Key West.

I hold open houses almost every weekend during prime selling season - late November thru Memorial Day. One of the most repeated observations is the seemingly high number of homes listed for sale in Key West.  These "buyers" are typically looking at homes in Old Town or Casa Marina which are located on about 25% of land mass of the Island of Key West. They perceive all the for sale signs as omens of woe. That's hardly the case. Many of the homes still have for sale signs without riders advising the public the houses are under contract. The three examples of recent home sales also illustrate the frequency of re-selling the same house within a limited time period. In most of America, homes are lived in for a generation or more. Houses in Old Town and Casa Marina are often second of third homes and are resold with frequency. If you happen to come to Key West and want to look for a house, look me up. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

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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.