Home > Third Quarter 2007 Newsletter.
 

 

You hear the doom and gloom everyday but what else can be expected from an industry that went from 640,000 to over 1,700,000 agents in five years. In my MLS market (Pinellas, Pasco & Hillsboro Counties) we started 2007 with 8,500 agents. We are down to 7,000 as of August. Only 1,928 of these had a transaction (buy or sell) in the past 12 months. The numbers speak to the attitude most of us read about.

My attitude is a little different. I sell one to three waterfront or waterview condos a month. That is not all I sell, it does not include my listings that get sold or the activities of my agents. I am only referring to buyers I personally assist in the purchase of a water related condo. There are 304-319 water related condos sold each month in the three county area.

Nationally only 9.3% of the active agents are ahead of last year. I passed last year in May. Those who have a positive attitude and believe in themselves are successful. It's what makes our country great.

What do I see in the coming months? First and foremost we have to apply some common sense. The three necessities of life are; food, clothing and shelter. Presidents Clinton and Bush made it a priority to increase homeownership from 72% to 75%.  They understood homeowner's are the backbone of a country. The fraud and speculation was not either of their faults despite what you hear on the news. I did not see either President do an appraisal, speculate on a property or lie on a loan application. Step one involves the Federal Reserve which must supply the funds necessary to lower interest rates which will allow the market to rebound. Step two involves the reinsurers who are mostly located in Great Britain and the Cayman Islands as they are responsible for investing money for the wealthy countries: the countries we send money to when we buy foreign goods. Again common sense says they can't let the dollar totally collapse because it's one of their primary assets. It won't be the President or Congress that solves the mortgage dilemma, it will be the economic needs of the parties who partake in the process. I believe the only thing that can keep the housing market from recovering is Congress.

Water related listings are down from a peak of 12,000 to just over 9,000. Prices are stabilizing. Experts say we are not in a buyer's market despite having the most attractive market in years. What is an attractive market in my opinion? It's where you have more than one choice of properties, where the market is slow enough to allow you

time to consider your buying decision and a market where you don't have to bid against someone else. From the sellers stand point buyers are buying just not as fast as before. What once took a couple of days to sell with or without an experienced agent may be over but experienced Realtorsģ are selling properties. Smart Realtor'sģ are advising sellers on fair market value and the good ones are walking away from listing properties at ridiculous prices. Experience is what matters when your dealing with one of life's biggest financial decisions.

 The following represents an overview of waterfront and waterview condo sales in Pinellas County during the third quarter of 2007. The transactions by complex, size and price paid are published on the web sites listed below each community.

Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs & Belleair. There are currently 63 condos listed representing a 28.35 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 20 which represent a decline of six from the same period last year. There were 36 sales in all of 2006.

Clearwater and Sandkey. There are currently 872 condos listed representing a 40 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 272 which represent a decline of 76 from the same period last year.  There were 316 sales in all of 2006

Dunedin. There are currently 118 condos listed representing a 26.55 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 40 which represent a decline of nine from the same period last year. There were 64 sales in all of 2006.    

Gulfport. There are currently 36 condos listed representing a 16.2 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 20 which represent a decline of five from the same period last year. There were 38 sales in all of 2006. (for information on sales visit:

Indian Rocks Beach. There are currently 124 condos listed representing a 46.5 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 24 which represent a decline of six from the same period last year. There were 40 sales in all of 2006. 

Indian Shores. There are currently 223 condos listed representing a 46.7 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 43 which represent a decline of 33 from the same period last year. There were 100 sales in all of 2006. 

Largo. There are currently 33 condos listed representing a 14.85 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 20 which represent an increase of six from the same period last year. There were 18 sales in all of 2006.

Madeira Beach. There are currently 182 condos listed representing a 40.95 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 40 which represent an increase of four from the same period last year. There were 48 sales in all of 2006.

North Redington. There are currently 48 condos listed representing a 36 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2006 were 12 which represent a decline of eight from the same period last year. There were 24 sales in all of 2006.

Palm Harbor. There are currently 11 condos listed representing a 49.5 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 was two which represents ď0Ē change from the same period last year. There were four sales in all of 2006.

Redington Beach. There are currently nine condos listed representing a 40.45 month supply. There were two sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 which represents a increase of one from the same period last year. There was one sale in all of 2006.

Redington Shores. There are currently 174 condos listed representing a 58 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 27 which represent a decrease of 4 from the same period last year. There were 36 sales in all of 2006.

Seminole. There are currently 32 condos listed representing a 12.52 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 was 23 which represent a increase of 15 from the same period last year. There were 11 sales in all of 2006.

South Pasadena. There are currently 130 condos listed representing a 25.4 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 46 which represent a decline of four from the same period last year. There were 50 sales in all of 2006.

St Pete & St Pete Beach. There are currently 496 condos listed representing a 23.6 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 189 which represent a decline of 338 from the same period last year. There were 727 sales in all of 2006. 

Tarpon Springs. There are currently 79 condos listed representing a 39.5 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 18 which represent a decline of 21 from the same period last year. There were 44 sales in all of 2006.

Tierra Verde. There are currently 84 condos listed representing a 54.0 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 14 which represent a decline of seven from the same period last year. There were 36 sales in all of 2006. 

Treasure Island. There are currently 276 condos listed representing a 40.7 month supply. Sales during the first 3/4ís of 2007 were 61 which represent a decline of 45 from the same period last year. There were 162 sales in all of 2006.

SUMMARY: During the first nine months of 2006 the average asking price for a water related condo was $497,771 and it sold for $479,807 in 56 days. During the first nine months of 2007 the average list was $480,055, the average sale $442,148 and it took 109 days.

 HOW TO SELL IN TODAYíS MARKET

 Patience. There are buyers, just not as many. Buyers tend to think the market will keep going down. In some areas of the country that will happen. I sell waterfront and they arenít making any more. I sell sunshine and Florida has lots of it. I sell beaches and Florida has some of the worldís best. The key to selling today is the same as it has always been.

Price the property correctly; nobody looks above their comfort level and everybody buys the best value. If youíre priced too high your property will pale in comparison to its competition. Over price it and you insure it will sit. The longer it sits the less valuable it becomes. If you canít sell it in six months, the new buyer will assume they canít either. Over pricing drives the price of your home down. Time on the market is your enemy, not your friend.

Condition. Who wants to buy a property they canít move into? Investors is the only answer and most of those are sellers. If you donít want to paint it, they wonít either. If your carpet is worn out or the appliances are dated you have a problem. If you donít want to fix the problem you have to make it worth the buyers time and effort. That means the cost to do all the work plus the cost of the buyers time.

Exposure. The more people who are exposed to your property the more likely someone is to buy it. That is why I have so many websites; itís where the buyers look and I want to make sure my listings are found.

Description. The number of incomplete listings is amazing. Why do agents expect a buyerís agent to find out if pets are allowed, the rental terms or what the association dues cover? I see these sections left blank daily and am amazed more sellers donít demand performance from their agent. All one needs to do is ask for a copy of their listing sheet.

Dollar. The dollar has dropped against many foreign currencies. Overseas calls are picking up but the interest by Canadians is running extremely high due to their dollar passing the US dollar for the first time in many years; 34 according to a currency trader. I have some of the highest ranking real estate websites in Canada which extends my sellerís exposure.