Sales for March 2012 were 39 (SF-26, Con-11, Dup-0 & Lot-2) about equal to March 2011 at 40 (SF-14, Con-18, Dup-4 & Lot-4) but sales for the first quarter continue to be very strong.  Sales for January 1, 2012 through March 31, 2012 were 93 (SF-55, Con-29, Dup-4 & Lot-5) up 20% compared to January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011 at 78 (SF-32, Con-35, Dup-5 & Lot-6).  Sales for the last 12 months were 355 (SF-197, Con-120, Dup-15 & Lot-23) compared to the previous 12 months at 322 (SF-175, Con-110, Dup-20 & Lot-16).  Again single family average and median sales prices are significantly up over the previous 12 months.  Condo average and median sales prices are also up over the previous 12 months but not as much as single family.  Currently there are 16 distressed Properties (SF-9, Con-6, Dup-1 & Lot-0).  Of the 16 distressed properties 5 are bank owned and 11 are short sales.  Pended properties (properties under contract) are again very strong at 76 (SF-49, Con-18, Dup-4 & Lot-5) compared to 60 last month which again bodes well for future sales.  The inventory continues to drop to historic lows.  It currently is at 369 (SF-166, Con-132, Dup-26 & Lot-45) down again from last month at 403 and last year at this time at 496.

With the inventory falling to historic lows the number of properties in good rentable locations are becoming scarce.  By good rentable locations I mean properties that either as is or with some modification can provide a 10 ratio (purchase price/gross annual income) or less.  Properties in this category have rental income that can pay all operating expenses plus most of the mortgage with a 30% down payment.  This month’s Frank, Larry’s & Al’s great Buys have eight properties that meet that criteria.  The six condos in Island Garden Villas complex are great buys in the under $400K price range.  See the complex and virtual tours at www.gardenvillasales.com  .   If you have a little more to invest 2916 Avenue E is a fantastic rental grossing $65K-$70K annually.  It’s a totally remodeled pool home 4 houses to the beach.  Currently the best buy on the island is 321 64th St. listed at $399,000.  It’s a townhouse type condo in a 12 unit complex with only two units to a building.  Each unit has its own private back yard and pool which makes them feel more like a single family home than a condo yet you get all the benefits of condo living.  It’s 3 bedrooms/2.5 baths and 2,001 sq ft and its rental potential is about $40K gross annual income.  There is nothing like it at that price.

To summarize the island market sales continue to be very strong while the inventory continues to shrink.  High demand and low supply continue to push prices of single family homes and condos up.  Also because of the high demand and low supply we are seeing multiple offers again as well as property selling over the list price.  We recently had a direct bay front lot listed at $2.9 million receive two offers and finally sell over the list price.  I recently had three offers on a conforming duplex which bid the price up.  Duplexes are only 5% of the property sales as are lots so there are not enough transactions to see a trend in the prices of these types of properties.  Over the last 3 years many conforming duplex’s were torn down to build new land condos which has depleted the inventory of duplex’s on the island especially conforming duplex’s.  You can see from the inventory absorption chart that based on current sales levels there are under 12 months of inventory available.   Of the single family homes sold in the last 12 months the prices ranged from $160,000 to $2,650,000 and 79% were below $700K and 21% above $700K and 8% were above $1,000,000.  Of the condos sold in the last 12 months the prices ranged from $87,000 to $2,075,000 and 97% were below $700K and 3% above $700K and 2.5% above $1,000,000.  Of the sales over the last 12 months only 17% were distressed properties versus the sales over the previous 12 months where the distressed properties were 27% of the sales.  I’ve included again this month the demographics of the island from the 2010 census which several of you have asked to see again.  Hope you enjoy April’s newsletter.