Thursday, January 15, 2009

Keys Sales Stats for December 2008 interesting numbers for December. The main thing that I see is the degree that Sellers are reducing their prices. You will see a running constant of sever price cutting for both Waterfront and Non-Waterfront properties. We are still in the thick of a deep Buyers Market...but....the tide may be turning. It will be a very slow tide, but I believe that the last quarter of 2008 will be seen as the "bottoming out" point for real estate prices.
I have been counseling my Buyers that Now is the time to act and capitalize on the opportunities that are out there.

To view the charts larger, right click on the chart as choose Save Picture As, and download it into your browser where you can view it larger.

There were no Non-Waterfront Single Family Home Sales in the month of December.
Please see my statistics posts from mid-December to see yearlong numbers.
Call me at 305.439.7730 for more information on insightful Buying opportunities in the Keys.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Conchquistador Deal of The Day 1.14.09

Today's Deal brings us a bit Southward down to picturesque Sugarloaf Key for a really stunning home.
This over 1/2 acre property has commanding waterfront views and everything one could want in a Keys retreat!
One of the things that I like about this area of Sugarloaf provides exceptional protected dockage while still offering spectacular wide-open waterfront views.
17115 Hibiscus Lane, Sugarloaf Key
List Price: $1,895,00,000 -
Sold price: $1,300,000
2 Bedrooms / 2 bathrooms -
Lot Size: 27,200 sf
Days on the Market: Just over 2 Years Mile Marker: 17
Original List Price: $2,197,000
Description: One of Sugarloaf's finest. Large open water point lot with sunset view overlooking Lower Sugarloaf Sound. Privacy wall, gated entry,brick pavers, tropical landscaping, protected canal dockage with davits, waterfront pool, beach area,and private guest cabana. Spacious living dining and kitchen areas opening onto big screen porch with sweeping water views.

So, here once again some prudent Buyers are making another very Opportunistic acquisition! This property was on and off the Market for the better part of 2 years and the sellers negotiated almost $900,000 (41%)off of their original price!
Let me help you find your outstanding opportunity. The Keys are loaded with them! Now is THE time to buy!
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Conchquistadore Deal of the Day 1.11.09

Well, I wanted to start of 2009's Deals of The Day with a great one and wow here it is...
There are some really fantastic buys on waterfront property in the Keys right now.
Case in point....this property has been on the Market almost solidly for just under 2 years. It was originally listed at $2,395,000. When it sold it was listed at $1,699,000 and now has just sold for ... get this...$1,402,250!! That is almost a $Million discount!!! And we are talking about a magnificent property.
159 Atlantic Circle Drive, Tavernier
List Price: $1,699,000 - Sold Price: $1,402,250
3 Bedrooms - 2 bathrooms - Lot size: 8,120 sf - Days on Market: Almost 2 Years
Original List Price:$2,395,000
Description: OCEAN VIEWS, OCEAN BREEZE & DEEP WATER DOCKAGE! Beautiful custom Tri-Level home directly on Atlantic in historic Tavernier w/pier to boat lift & davits, concrete fully furnished 3B/2B, kitchen w/center island & dining alcove, living room w/sliders to oceanfront balcony, sprawling 3rd level master suite, foyer w/storage room & carport on ground level, fenced yard plus room for an oceanfront pool.

Let me help you find YOUR dream home in the Keys!
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Islamorada Bemoans First Chain Store

Well, I guess it had to happen sometime.....
Islamorada finally repealed its longstanding edict that did not allow national chain stores larger than 2,000 square feet within the Island City's limits. That zoning change occurred in late December and now we are blessed/cursed with the first chain to rush in.
This can be looked at both as a positive and a negative.
Negative of course is that it mars the....local, small town feel that Islamorada has so well preserved.
The Positive and more realistically beneficial view is that this will create more creature comforts and make the Keys even that more "accessible" to tourists and transplants.
This will, of course, stimulate the real estate economy as retailers will be opting for available parcels and existing storefronts, which should as well trickle down activity to the residential market.
So, as with so many things lately, I shall welcome the change, though I will always hold a very dear place in my heart for the rustic Keys Days of old.

I saw this article in this morning:

"Islamorada bemoans first chain store

PLANTATION KEY — With the village's anti-chain store law now a thing of the past, the first new national franchise has opened in Islamorada.
Domino's Pizza opened the day after Christmas in a mile marker 88.5 strip mall along the Overseas Highway. The company's characteristic blue, red and white sign was erected late last week, according to owner Dale Ranson.
"Thank God they finally gave us a permit. We're really happy," he said.
The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta struck down Islamorada's 2002 anti-chain store law in September, ruling that it unconstitutionally discriminated against out of state interests. The ordinance blocked new chain stores larger than 2,000 square feet from opening in the village.
Further legal maneuvering delayed repeal of the ban until late November.
But though the appellate panel made it clear that the village's sister law banning all new chain restaurants does not meet constitutional muster either, that law remains on the books pending formal action by the trial court in Miami, or a settlement between the village and litigant Joe Cachia.
However, the village's decision to allow Domino's to open on Plantation Key means that it no longer intends to enforce the law.
"What the court said was to come back with something consistent with the judgment," Planning Director Ed Koconis said. "Since the Formula Restaurant Ordinance is even more restrictive than the retail, we believe we need to issue the permit."
Though Domino's has come to Islamorada, it doesn't necessarily mean that floodgates to the national chain stores that the town has long resisted will spill open.
Owner Ranson, unaware that the anti-chain store law would apply to him, first opened his Domino's a year ago, only to have it shut down by village code enforcement after a couple of days.
In response, Ranson converted the small storefront to a faux Domino's, which he called Murphy's Law Pizza. Murphy's Law served Domino's items, but without the signage, pizza boxes, menu logos and other branding.
Ranson closed the pizzeria in May at the insistence of Domino's, which informed him that he was violating his franchise agreement.
Still, with the storefront already leased, it was a relatively simple matter to reopen the Domino's once the Islamorada chain-store ban was repealed.
For other companies that have previously expressed an interest in the village, such as a Publix and Walgreens, things would likely be far more complicated. Details like land purchases, lease agreements, permitting and site plan approvals all must be worked out. Then there's the sagging economy that is stifling many companies' desire to expand.
Though he declined to be specific, Realtor George Wilson said in recent weeks he has been showing properties to agents for several chains stores and restaurants.
So far he's had no luck, primarily, he says, because potential sellers are vastly overestimating their properties' worth in the 2009 economy.
"There are people holding out for $4 million or $5 million cash," Wilson said. "They're dreaming."

Now, my question is....Do they deliver in 30 minutes to your boat as well??? LOL

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Prices Drop, Foreclosures Rise

First off, let me wish everyone a Happy and most importantly Healthy and Prosperous 2009!!
I was going to write a recap of 2008 and gaze into my real estate crystal ball for 2009, but then I saw this article in the keynoter that pretty much summed it up:

"2008 REWIND: Prices drop, foreclosures rise
Home sales remain sluggish in 2008

The average home price in the Keys continued to drop in 2008, as the twin pressures of high inventory and a growing number of short sales and foreclosures weighed down the market.
The average sales price Keyswide was $582,000, according to Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate, which tracked sales through the first 11 months of the year. That's down 21 percent from the same period in 2007.Total sales were down 14 percent from 2007, as 1,065 homes sold through November.
At the end of November, there were 4,467 homes in the Multiple Listing Service, according to Coldwell Banker Schmitt. That's actually 2 percent fewer than the same time last year, but a sluggish sales pace throughout most of 2008 meant there was anywhere from two and a half to four years' worth of inventory on the market.
Things were looking up in the fall, as September and October sales followed mainland trends and soared 30 percent above sales from those months in 2007, but November and December didn't follow suit.
Inventory has been a consistent challenge in the Keys market since 2005.
"Wilma started it," said Brian Schmitt, president of Coldwell Banker Schmitt. "The flood of properties is directly related to the flood of Wilma."
Prior to that damaging October 2005 hurricane, there were about 2,500 homes on the market; in the months following, the number nearly doubled.
"We haven't recovered from that," Schmitt said. "It's been sustained by other things, but it started with that event."
Among those other things is the growing number of foreclosures, as well as sales made to avoid foreclosure.
RealtyTrac reports 1,280 foreclosure filings from January to November 2008 in Monroe County, a 146 percent increase over 2007. The online compiler of foreclosure data said that translates to one out of every 42 Keys households in some state of foreclosure in the first 11 months, compared to one of every 19 statewide and one of every 44 nationwide.
Of the 1,280 filings, RealtyTrac reports that 249 properties went to auction and 122 were in the hands of the lender (often referred to as an REO, or real estate-owned property).
Homeowners in danger of defaulting on their mortgages are more frequently turning to short sales as an option to avoid foreclosure. In a short sale, the owner works with a Realtor to sell the home, and the lender agrees to settle for less than what's owed on the property.
Sellers who aren't in distress are affected by the woes of their neighbors, Schmitt said, because "what they're able to get is more and more influenced by those" short sales and bank-owned properties.
Keyswide, there were 294 active and 54 pending listings identified as short sales in the MLS the week before last, according to Ed Anderson, general manager for Coldwell Banker Schmitt. Of those, 190 active and 31 pending listings were from Key West. Key West's average price through November was $602,000, 27 percent less than it was a year earlier. That's the largest drop of the four Keys areas that Schmitt tracks"
So, as you can see, although there are quite a few hardships going on, this has created an almost unprecedented opportunity for Buyers here in the Keys! Inventory is up, prices are down and the competition is fierce.
I would be delighted to help you make 2009 the year that you bought a slice of paradise!
Put the expert to work for you!
Please visit for all of your Keys real estate needs!
Click here:
For a quick Search of available Properties in the Florida Keys, click here: Keys MLS Search.