Home > Second Quarter 2006 Newsletter.
 

When the stock market hits a series of record highs, the inexperienced rush in and often get burned. When it hits a series of new lows, the smart money starts investing. Other than the shelter it offers, Real Estate is no different. We had almost 10 years of uninterrupted growth before the current slump started last October. There are three markets:

The primary residence market normally requires the sale of a current residence. The northeast and mid-west markets have slumped to pre-2003 levels, and these areas will lag until the market fully recovers. This market is far from dead with new home sales actually rising 4% in August. Many baby boomers looking for their retirement homes are in a financial position to buy before they sell. Families from Europe and the Americaís who want to live in a country with a more stable government are doing the same. This group relies on the Internet to research for available properties.

The second home market normally does not  require the sale of a property and remains strong. This market is fueled by Europe, Central and South America and our baby boomers. This group searches the Internet to for bargains and has the money and desire to buy when they find what they want. The exchange rate is often in their favor making our market seem like a bargain.  This segment remains strong.

The small investor got caught up in the investment property markets record setting real estate trends and rushed in when lenders were offering zero down adjustable rate mortgages. The small investors are the primary cause of the current down swing. Smart money is sitting on the sidelines waiting for the weak to panic.  This group includes the flippers who buy, fix and resell. People donít buy unless itís a bargain and with adjustable rate mortgages often increasing monthly payments by several hundred dollars, they can afford to wait on the foreclosures. 

Buyers want a property in move-in condition. Less than 1-2% of the market is willing to buy and repair a property. The ones who are willing are usually forced into this situation due to economics. If you donít want to fix it, they donít either. Condition is something you can control.

Price is the most important variable in the decision making process. Everyone wants the most they can get for their money. If you are over-priced, hoping somebody will negotiate with you, your property will remain on the market a long time. People search by price range, and you must be in the correct price range and offer a competitive value.

Features are constant. You canít move your property and put it closer to this or that. You canít do a complete overhaul to add features without destroying any hope of a reasonable return. You have to wait until you find a buyer who wants what you have. They are out there just as you were.

Exposure has increased significantly due to the Internet. Thatís why I have 40 local sites and 6 national directories to market other Realtors. My sellers need as much exposure as possible. I program the sites and make the changes necessary allowing them to rank well in the search engines.

Flipping represented 12% of condo purchases last year. This segment has temporally left the market but it will not be gone long.  Last year there were 1,267 waterfront or waterview condos sold during the first half of the year, this year 936. A decline of 26%, but still a healthy market.

When you need to sell, be patient, hire a real estate firm with heavy Internet exposure. All Realtorsģ have access to the MLS, the only thing that separates us is experience and the Internet.  Price your unit correctly and it will sell. If you want to buy do so before prices go higher.

The following represents an overview of waterfront and waterview condo sales in Pinellas County since January. These numbers include condos and townhomes, but exclude condo/hotels. To see transactions by complex, size and price paid visit the website listed below each community.

Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs & Belleair. There are currently 53 condos listed. Sales during the first half  of 2006 were 19 which represent a decline of 21 from the same period last year when there were 40 sales.

Clearwater and Sandkey. There are currently 847 condos listed. Sales during the first half  of 2006 were 217 which represent a decline of 132 from the same period last year when there were 349 sales.

Gulfport. There are currently 46 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 27 which represents no change from the same period last year when there were 27 sales.

Largo. There are currently 28 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 12 which represent a decline of 16 from the same period last year when there were 28 sales.

Madeira Beach. There are currently 147 condos listed. Sales during the first half  of 2006 were 27 which represent a decline of 31 from the same period last year when there were 58 sales.

North Redington. There are currently 46 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 16 which represent a decline of 8 from the same period last year when there were 24 sales.

Redington Beach. There are currently 6 condos listed. During the first half of 2006 there were no sales which represent a decline of 1 from the same period last year when there was 1 sale.

Redington Shores. There are currently 173 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 8 which represent a decline of 25 from the same period last year when there were 33 sales.

Seminole. There are currently 23 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 7 which represent a decline of 6 from the same period last year when there were 13 sales.

South Pasadena. There are currently 122 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 32 which represent a decline of 38 from the same period last year when there were 70 sales.

St Pete & St Pete Beach. There are currently 671 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 388 which represent an increase of 102 from the same period last year when there were 286 sales.

Tierra Verde. There are currently 75 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 19 which represent a decline of 25 from the same period last year when there were 44 sales.

Treasure Island. There are currently 220 condos listed. Sales during the first half of 2006 were 50 which represent a decline of 58 from the same period last year when there were 108 sales.

To search waterfront and waterview condos online visit any of my websites or contact me and Iíll do the search for you. Cliff Roe, ďThe Condo ProĒ (727) 644-7209.