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Highest-priced SWFL condo sales at mid-year 2019

July 19, 2019
By BOB & GERI QUINN - Homing In , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

This week we will continue our homage to the late Robin Leach, in our Cape Coral version of "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous," with the second quarter and mid-year results for the high end of our condominium market. For our purposes, we searched for luxury condos in Cape Coral that were sold by a Realtor for $500,000 or more, and from $2.5 million or more in Lee and Collier counties, in the first half of 2019.

The main takeaway in the Cape's luxury condo market is that we saw a big increase in the number of second quarter sales in 2019, which were 87.5 percent higher than the second quarter of last year, and almost four times higher than the extremely sluggish sales results in the first quarter of this year. This year's strong second quarter sales allowed the overall total number of Cape Coral luxury condo sales in the first half of this year to edge 5.56 percent higher than the total number of sales in the first half of 2018.

More specifically, in the second quarter of this year, there were a total of 15 luxury condos sold in Cape Coral at prices ranging from $500,000 to $887,000. This compares to a total of only eight luxury condos sold in the second quarter of last year, at prices that ranged from $500,000 to $790,000. In the first quarter of 2019, there were only four luxury condo units sold in the Cape, at prices ranging from $570,000 to a high of $900,000 versus 10 sales in the first quarter of 2018, at prices ranging from $509,250 to a high of $835,000. So as noted above, the total number of luxury condos sold through the mid-year of 2019, edged higher to 19 units sold compared to 18 units sold in the first half of last year.

As a comparison to these Cape Coral condo sales, there were 69 luxury condos sold in Southwest Florida at prices of $2.5 million or more, during the first half of 2019, with 67 of these sales in Collier County and two such sales in Lee County. Both of these high-end condo sales in Lee County were for units in Bonita Bay, with the highest sales price coming in at $2.9 million for a newly constructed unit in Seaglass at Bonita Bay. The highest-priced condo sale in Naples during the first half of 2019, was for an 8,550-square-foot, gulf-front penthouse unit taking up the entire 20th floor at Windsor in Bay Colony at Pelican Bay. This unit was on the market since March 2017, and it sold in April of this year for $10.1 million, which was 19.2 percent below its highest list price of $12.5 million. The seller in this deal bought this penthouse, built in 1998, for $8,125,000 in February 2008. The top condo sale on Marco Island in the first half of this year, was for a 3,291-square-foot beachfront unit, which sold for $3.050 million in March.

Moving back into Cape Coral, the highest-priced condo sale in the second-quarter of this year, was for a 3,048-square-foot, 11th floor corner unit in one of the high-rise buildings in Tarpon Landings at Tarpon Point Marina in the Southwest Cape. This unit, which was sold on April 8, provides an interesting glimpse back at our market history over the past 12 years, as the seller was the original owner who bought the unit from the developer in October 2007. This luxury condo was first listed for sale at $1.695 million on Jan. 4, 2007, while it was still under construction, with an expected completion date sometime in the second to third quarter of 2007. It went under contract Sept. 19, 2007, and this first sale was finalized Oct. 15, 2007, at $1.15 million. During this time frame, the market had peaked and unbeknownst to most, it had already entered into a free fall, as evidenced by the $545,000 or 32.15 percent drop in price between the developer's initial asking price and the ultimate sales price. However, at the time, instead of seeing this type of market action as a looming disaster, many buyers thought they were getting incredible deals.

An interesting sidelight at the time, to illustrate the difficulty people had in recognizing the scope of the rapidly developing mortgage-backed financial crisis, was that in the fall of 2007, the legendary investment guru, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway fame, publicly insisted that the banking industry was not in any serious trouble. As a display of his faith in the system, he boldly backed up his claim that all was well with the economy and the markets by buying some 9.1 million shares of common stock in Bank of America when it was trading around $50 per share in 2007. He then quietly threw in the towel and took a significant loss on the stock when he went about gradually selling these shares beginning in late 2008 through 2010, when the stock price was mostly between $4 and $15 per share.

Getting back to this luxury Tarpon Landings condo, the original owners listed it for sale in February of this year for $950,000 and it went under contract with a buyer in less than two weeks. The sale was finalized at $887,000 on April 8, with the sales price coming in at a reasonable 6.63 percent below the initial list price. Looking back, the original owners sold this unit for $263,000 or 22.87 percent below their purchase price of $1.15 million in 2007.

Our next example was the only luxury condo unit located in the Southeast Cape to sell above $500,000 during the second quarter of this year. This was a 2,943-square-foot penthouse unit on the river in the Paradise Pointe II complex at the end of Beach Parkway, which was built in 2003. According to the records, the seller was the original owner who bought this condo unit for $699,000 in August 2003. They first listed it for sale again at $699,000 back in October 2015, and they went through multiple price reductions while having the unit on and off of the market over the last 4-plus years. Their most recent listing attempt started at $649,900 in August 2018, and they eventually reduced their asking price to $614,900 in February of this year. The condo went under contract with a buyer on March 19, before closing at $595,000 on April 4. So despite buying this condo in 2003, well before the market peak, the seller's still took a 14.88 percent loss of $104,000 before expenses, from their original purchase price.

(The sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, Fla., as of July 14, 2019. It was compiled by Bob and Geri Quinn and it includes information specifically for Cape Coral condominiums, townhouses, and villas, and does not include single-family homes, short sales or foreclosures. The data and statistics are believed to be reliable, however, they could be updated and revised periodically, and are subject to change without notice. The Quinns are a husband and wife real estate team with the RE/MAX Realty Team office in Cape Coral. They have lived in Cape Coral for over 39 years. Geri has been a full-time Realtor since 2005, and Bob joined with Geri as a full-time Realtor in 2014. Their real estate practice is mainly focused on Cape Coral residential property and vacant lots.)



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