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Luxury condo sales recover from COVID-19 shutdowns

By BOB and GERI QUINN - Homing In | Jan 7, 2021

This week we will wrap-up the year that was 2020 in the Cape Coral luxury condo market with a somewhat subdued toast of champagne wishes and caviar dreams in our quarterly homage to the late, great Robin Leach. Our Cape Coral version of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” consists of condos that have sold for $500,000 and up. The luxury condos discussed herein are all located on prime saltwater properties within a close proximity to the river.  

We are looking at the luxury condo market from the perspective of “B.C.” and “A.C.” (Before COVID and After COVID), as luxury condo sales in the Cape got off to a strong start in the first quarter of 2020 B.C., with a total of seven closed sales above $500,000. This compared to four sales in the first quarter of 2019, when we were coming out of the water quality issues of 2018. In the second quarter of 2020 A.C., there were only three closed sales in this segment, with one closed sale in April, two closed sales in May, and no closed sales in June, versus 15 sales in the second quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that most condos will go under contract with a buyer as a pending sale some 30 to 45 days prior to being finalized as a closed sale. In the second half of 2020, as our market re-established itself after the COVID shutdowns were eased in Florida, there were a total of 16 luxury condo sales with eight in each quarter, compared to only 10 sales in the second half of 2019, split evenly in each quarter. So overall, the number of closed luxury condo sales in the Cape during 2020 came in with a total of 26 sales, which was down 10.34 percent from the 29 total sales in 2019.   

The final 2020 sales prices for luxury condos in the Cape ranged from $510,000 to $875,000 for 25 of the condos sold, with one additional sale coming in as the highest priced condo sale of the year at $1,141,000. That would make this highest priced sale somewhat of a statistical outlier compared to the “normal” price range for Cape Coral luxury condos, as this one sale was some 30 percent above any other sales price. As a comparison, in 2019 the closed sales prices ranged between $500,000 to $975,000 for the 29 luxury condo sales in the Cape. There were also some noticeable price shifts in the luxury condo market with only seven sales under $600,000 in 2020, versus 13 such sales in 2019. In addition, there were 16 sales from $615,000 to 775,000 in 2020, versus only nine sales between $617,500 to $705,000 in 2019. This shift higher in the number of “mid-range” luxury condo prices resulted in a 5.56 percent increase in the median sales price for this segment, from $630,000 in 2019 to $665,000 in 2020.

Just to give you some additional perspective about the Cape’s luxury condo market as it compares to our overall condo market, the 26 luxury condo sales for the year represents only 3.43 percent of the 759 total number of condos sold in Cape Coral at all prices overall during 2020. And, the median sales price of $665,000 for the Cape’s 26 luxury condo sales in 2020 compares to the average median sales price of $176,023 for the overall Cape Coral condo market in 2020.       

Also, as has been consistent each time we analyze our luxury condo market, 24 of the 26 sales in 2020 were for condos located in the southwest section of Cape Coral. The Tarpon Landings section of Tarpon Point Marina dominated this list with 20 sales, including the eight highest priced sales for the year, and 13 of the 14 top sales in this luxury segment during 2020. One of the four condo units sold in Cape Harbour to make this list of luxury sales last year finished as the ninth highest-priced sale at $700,000. The other two luxury condo sales in 2020 were both located in the Paradise Point complex along the river at the end of Beach Parkway in the Southeast section of Cape Coral. These two units were sold for $525,000 and $655,000 each.  

The highest-priced condo sale in the Cape during 2020 was for an 11th floor corner end unit in the Tarpon Landings high-rise located in Tarpon Point Marina. This condo, with approximately 2,965 square feet of living area was built back in 2007, and it was sold to its original owner on Oct. 3, 2007, for $1.15 million. The current seller bought this unit for $887,000 on March 29, 2019, so the original owner sold it for $263,000 less than they bought it for after owning it for almost 12 years, taking a loss of 22.89 percent on the sale (not including the typical seller expenses). 

According to the listing information, the person who just sold this condo on Oct. 20, 2020, completely remodeled every inch of this three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom unit, which also included a den and a deeded two-car garage. This unit has high ceilings with 42-inch windows providing direct marina and river views, along with four balconies. It also features all new tile floors throughout the unit and a redesigned open kitchen layout with all new cabinets and new appliances. It has a new built-in SONOS audio system, new smart thermostats and a “huge” redesigned master closet, plus all new vanities, custom showers and new quartz countertops throughout. This unit also has its own private elevator, and it was being offered fully furnished with all new furniture. It did not include a boat slip in the marina, however, boat slips can be leased for an additional fee. 

This luxury condo came to the market as a new listing at $1,289,900 on Aug. 29, 2020, and it went under contract with a buyer as a pending sale in 34 days, and ultimately closed as a cash deal on Oct. 20, for $1,141,000. So this final sales price was $254,000 or 28.64 percent above what the seller bought it for in March 2019 (not including the typical seller expenses and remodeling costs), while coming in $148,900, or 11.54 percent, below the list price. Also of note is the fact that this sales price in 2020 was still $9,000 below the original sales price of $1.15 million paid for the unit back in 2007, even after a major remodeling job.     

As shown with this condo sale, in the second half of 2020 we were starting to see some condo sales prices in our market that are approaching the peak price levels set back in 2006 and 2007. We will provide more information about this in upcoming columns, along with some thoughts and analysis about some of the factors which could influence our market in 2021.  

The sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, Fla., as of Jan. 3, 2021. It was compiled by Bob and Geri Quinn and it includes information specifically for Cape Coral condominiums, townhouses and villas, and it does not include any single-family homes, short sales or foreclosures, unless otherwise noted. 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 41 years. Geri has been a full-time Realtor since 2005, and Bob joined Geri as a full-time Realtor in 2014. Their real estate practice is mainly focused on Cape Coral residential property and vacant lots.