11 September 2015

Embarrassed, by Lack of Value

Embarrassed: that’s how I felt twice this week.

Though through no fault of my own. But still. In German, there is a verb for embarrassment by actions or circumstances you have nothing to do with and zero influence on: “fremdsch√§men”.

Twice in a row that feeling crept up, caused by our housing market and its prices. What I often miss is the value equation.

First, I received an inquiry from a very nice young couple looking for a modernist house, ideally in the Miami area, ideally under $400,000. That’s good and bad: Miami has a lot mid-century- to contemporary-modernist homes. But what you get for $400k – not exactly an amount to spit on – is pitiful. With a sigh we sent the buyers the few selections in their price range, thus starting what could be a long search. I sure hope they have patience; they seem really sweet and honest.

The next inquiry from my website looked easier: beach-front, modernist, up to $4m. Again, the buyer and I had a very nice and friendly phone conversation. I mentioned I’ll send her everything that is available; not that difficult for me since I update daily a list of everything modernist for sale in the area, independent of which Realtor offers it.

“Everything” turned out to be exactly TWO modernist homes in a stretch of 160 mi between Vero Beach and Palmetto Bay. How’s that for measly pickings at the $4.0 million price point?

In the meantime, every day I count the luxury mod spec homes in the area that wouldn’t sell. It’s not a coincidence that while the average days on market for all homes across all prices currently hovers at approx. 75 days, while for luxury waterfront homes over ca. $2.5m, average marketing time is around 272 days.

Perhaps there are not enough luxury home buyers around? Or those who are perhaps do not see the value equation?

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