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Homing In | Cape’s 2023 luxury condo sales breaking bad in first 10 months

By GERI and BOB QUINN - Homing In | Nov 16, 2023

Geri and Bob Quinn

This week we will examine the performance of the Cape Coral luxury condo market for the first 10 months of 2023 in our salute to the champagne wishes and caviar dreams of Robin Leach, the late great host of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” With oil prices plunging recently, the recent inflation numbers have eased which is leading to a drop in mortgage rates. If rates continue moving lower we could see a nice bounce in real estate sales that coincides with our winter tourist season. For the record, we define the Cape’s luxury condo market as units selling at $500,000 and above.

The slowdown we noted in this column back in July for the first half of this year in our luxury condo market went into a breaking bad mode in the third quarter when there were only three closed luxury condo sales in the Cape. One unit sold for $735,000 in July, with a second unit selling for $510,000 in August, followed by the third sale at $540,000 in mid-September. There have been a total of 34 luxury condos sold in the first 9 months of this year, with 17 sales posted in the first quarter, and 14 sales in the second quarter to go with the 3 sales in July through September. Things also remained slow in October with only four luxury condo sales, bringing the 10-month total to 38 sales over the first 10 months of 2023. On a positive note, the condo market ended its drought of million dollar-plus sales in October.

By comparison, in the first nine months of 2022, there were a total of 55 luxury condo sales in Cape Coral, with 22 sales posted in the first quarter of last year and 20 sales in the second quarter, followed by 13 closed sales in the third quarter. Three of the 13 third quarter sales in 2022 occurred in September and all three were prior to Hurricane Ian. Breaking it down, the number of closed luxury condo sales in the Cape over the first nine months of 2023 declined by 38.2% compared to the first nine months of 2022. In the aftermath of Ian there were an additional four closed luxury condo sales in October of last year, bringing the 10-month total up to 59 sales in 2022.

As far as sales prices were concerned, over the first three quarters of 2022 the median sales price for a luxury condo in the Cape was $630,000 and when we included the month of October 2022 into the equation, it edged up to $639,000. This year the median sales price in our luxury condo segment came in at $599,000 over both the first three quarters and in the first 10 months of 2023, for declines of 4.9% and 6.3%, respectively, compared to 2022. The highest priced condo sale in the third quarter of 2023 was for $735,000 on July 17, and the highest-priced condo sale in the second quarter of this year was for $740,000 on April 6.

Back in the first quarter of this year we had nine of the top 10 luxury condo sales posted so far in 2023, ranging from $750,000 to $2 million, with five of these first quarter sales at $1.55 million and above. We have been in a drought since March 24 when it came to million dollar-plus condo sales in the Cape, until there was finally a breakthrough on Oct. 23 with a closed sale being registered for $1.65 million in Tarpon Landings. Back in 2022, there were 10 units sold in the first 9 months of the year at prices between $1 million and $1.5 million, with three sold in the first quarter, six in the second quarter and one sold in the third quarter. There were two more sales at $1.41 and $1.45 million in October 2022.

Currently, as of Tuesday, Nov. 14, there were 361 active listings in the MLS for Cape Coral condos at asking prices ranging from $159,500 to $3.9 million, with the overall median list price coming in at $300,000. A total of 123 condos, or 34% of our market, were listed at $275,000 and under, with 58.4% of the condos in Cape Coral listed at $325,000 and under. At the other end of our price spectrum, there were a total of 44 condos listed for sale in our luxury market, equalling 12.2% of the 361 active listings priced at $500,000 and above, with 11 of these units listed for more than $1 million.

There are currently 46 condos in the Cape under contract as a pending sale at prices ranging from $120,000 to $1.195 million, with the median pending sales price coming in at $284,450. There were two other units under contract in our luxury segment at $550,000 and $659,500 to go along with the unit at $1.195 million. The fourth highest priced condo under contract was at $425,000 with the remaining 42 pending condo sales priced at $393,000 and under.

Looking back about four months ago, on Tuesday, July 11, there were a total of 282 condos in the Cape listed for sale through the MLS at prices ranging from $150,000 to $3.9 million, and the median list price was $325,000. At that time there were 58 luxury condos on the market at $500,000 and above, including 14 units priced above $1 million. So the number of overall active condo listings has increased by 28% in the last four months, while the median list price has declined by 7.7%, with the number of luxury condos listed for sale falling by 24%, and the million dollar plus condo listings down by 21.4%. To illustrate how much things have changed, back on June 28, 2022, there were only 118 active condo listings in the Cape with an overall median list price of $299,900 and there were 11 luxury units listed at $500,000 and up, including only two units priced above $1 million.

About four months ago, on July 11, there were a total of 50 condos under contract with buyers as pending sales in the Cape at prices ranging from $169,000 to $749,000. The median pending sales price for condos at that time was $279,900 and there were only three units under contract at $500,000 and above. Going back to June 28, 2022, there were 80 Cape Coral condos in the pending sales pipeline at prices ranging from $169,700 to $2.2 million, including 12 condos that were pending at $500,000 and above, with two of those units under contract above $1 million.

Our featured luxury condo today is the most recent million dollar-plus sale from October which is currently holding the position as the fourth highest priced condo sale in Cape Coral so far in 2023. This sixth floor unit, originally built in 2006, has a private elevator leading to the spacious 3,048-square-foot luxury unit with three bedrooms, plus a den. Each bedroom features its own private ensuite bathroom, with an additional half bathroom available when entertaining guests. The kitchen features granite countertops, an induction cooktop, a beverage station and black stainless appliances. The private balconies provide sweeping gulf access water views combined with incredible sunrise and relaxing sunset views. This unit has an enclosed two-car garage and access to two resort-style amenity areas with three swimming pools, two fitness centers, tennis courts, bocce, a sauna, plus boutique shopping and waterfront dining in the Tarpon Point Marina complex.

This unit was initially listed for $1.75 million on Sept. 17, and it went under contract as a pending sale on Oct. 18, before closing on Oct. 23 for $1.65 million in a cash deal. The seller, who was the third owner of this unit, purchased it back on Dec. 11, 2015, for $785,000. Prior sales on this unit were on Dec. 31, 2009, for $729,700 and on Sept. 25, 2006, for $797,100. The highrise condos in Tarpon Landings were being completed right around the peak of the market leading into the Great Recession, with many buyers walking away from their 20% deposits, leading to the developer going bankrupt.

The sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, Fla., as of Nov. 8, 2023, unless otherwise noted. 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. 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 44-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.