Beware the Ides of March. This week’s market meltdown on Wall Street, especially Friday’s free fall of Bear Sterns, has been a sobering experience and will, I fear, not bode well for our local struggling real estate market as investors and families alike are likely to turn to cash positions until there is some clear indication of just how bad this is going to get. Even though we had two sales this week, there were no new contracts, and a 4.35% increase in inventory, which means at that rate we’re sitting on 4 1/2 years worth of inventory. There are now 480 active listings in the MLS, up from 460 last week, with 178 homes (vs. 167) and 302 lots (vs. 293).
Let’s take a look at what sold. Both our sales were single family homes, one a brand new road-front home in the San Dunes subdivision on the Cape, and the other a 26-year-old gulf front home in Gulf Pines along C-30.
The home in San Dunes is a beautiful place, built in 2006 and on the market ever since, never occupied, and sold by the builder/developer. With a final list price of $525,000 and a sale price of $500,000, he got 95% of current list which is not bad, but only 85% of his original list price of $588,000.
It’s our second sale this week which is going to blow your mind. Some savvy buyer just snapped up a gulf-front home in Gulf Pines for, get this, only $580,000! Whoa. This comp is going to haunt us for some time. Even though the MLS notes that the buyer paid the closing costs and there was deferred maintenance (no details as to what extent) still, this is a 100-foot-wide, half-acre gulf front lot in a very nice subdivision. $5800 a waterfront foot alone is an amazing price; it’s like getting the house thrown in for free. (You gulf-front owners out there are excused to go fix yourself a steadying adult beverage about now. I feel your pain). As for you buyers, this should be your wake-up call to step up to the plate and get yourself some seriously good coastal gems. One man’s pain is another man’s gain.
To see what kind of bargains are out there this week let’s look first in the new listings, and there’s a slew of them, 26 in all.
My pick of the week is a short sale on a first tier home in Money Bayou that really gets my attention, as it’s listed for only $399,900 even though the buyer paid $630,000 for it back in July of 2005. Similar homes on that same street are in the $480K to $530K price range. Also, take a look at this lot in Ovation – that’s a great project and the bay access, gulf & bay club houses and tennis courts alone almost justify purchasing a lot just for these privileges. The Seller’s listing it for what he paid for it in September ’05.
Only seven price changes this week, mostly modest, with no drastic slashing.
That about wraps it up for another week. I hope the coming week is kind to your wallet and brings us signs that we may have weathered the worst. If you’d like additonal info on these or other properties, feel free to shoot me an e-mail to [email protected] or call me on my cell at 850-227-5197. Thanks for stopping by.