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An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys

























Real Estate News May/2007



Sales in the Middle Keys were down 54% when comparing first quarter of years 2006 and 2007.

On Duck Key as of May 1, 2007 there were 42 homes on the residential islands of Duck Key for sale. This represent approximately 10 percent of the housing inventory on Duck Key. Most of properties for sale were MLS listed, but a number fell into the for sale by owner category. Prices on all but ten of the homes remained unchanged. Significant reductions in the asking price was noticed in four homes for sale. One property was reduced by $800,000, another by $600,000, with two others by $445,000 and $400,000.

Keys-wide, the sale price dropped 28% in comparing the first quarter of 2006 vs. 2007. The 3 month period may be too short to represent a trend. Brian Schmitt of Schmitt Coldwell Banker is quoted in the Key Sunday April 29, 2007 edition as expecting selling prices to "continue to fall, at least through the saeconf quarter, and most likely until a balance is struck between inventory and demand."

Villa properties at Hawk's Cay Village have shown a marked decline in their asking price. Recent activity seems to indicate villas priced in the upper $400,000s to low $500,000 are starting to move. There are 58 properties for sale on Indies Island in the villa and condo category. At least twenty-six properties have a lower asking price than what they started with. Ten properties have had their list price reduced by $100,000 or more. Another three properties saw reduction of more than $200,000 from their initial asking prive and still another has been reduced by $300,000.

Some villas properties bought two years ago have been sold for a good deal less than what they where bought for by investors.


The trend of fewer property sales together with an increase in inventory of properties for sale continues.

Sellers appear to be reducing pricing on their properties (note the average sale price for Quarter One of 2007). Home prices had escalated to such a degree that many buyers were priced out of the market. In order to sell their home, owners have dropped their asking price.

Sales were down Keyswide 45% in 2006 vs. 2005. The number of properties for sale rose 33% and the average sale price (802K) was just 2% above the prior year.

A comparison of the First quarter of 2007 vs. 2006 which appeared in the April 29, 2007 Keys Sunday edition published by the Key Noter shows 5054 homes now for sale which represents an increase of about 35%, and a reduction in sales price of 28%.

  end of 2002 end of 2003 end of 2004 end of 2005 end of 2006   1st Quarter 2007
Number of Sales 3089 3390 3510 2752


Aver. Sale Price as of 12/31 323K 433K 563K 782K


Number for Sale as of 12/31 1822 1810 1818 3469 4628   5054


FLORIDA KEYS: Source Schmitt Coldwell Banker Real Estate and MLS

The Real Estate Newsletter, Tropical Breezes, for Winter 2006 is available online and its contents can be very helpful to those thinking about buying or selling a house in the Florida Keys. Reading past Newsletters together with the latest information appearing in the Keys Sunday News should be part of the due diligence process for home buyers and sellers in the Keys.

Highlights of Tropical Breezes

"Sales went from an all-time peak to what many perceive as a dead stop".

While sellers see the current home market as bad, with few sales, few offers and a glut of homes on the market, Schmitt Coldwell Banker sees " a different picture" , " . . . put perception aside and look at the reality of historic real estate trends . . . ."

Sales for the prior year shows that " . . . 2006 has not been a bad year, and, in fact, is actually the fourth best year for sales volume in The Keys, ever. The average 2006 sale price eclipses those of even the past three years, and it’s almost triple that of 2000."

Brian Schmitt of Schmitt Coldwell Banker believes " . . . the outlook for 2007 is very positive."

He believes that " . . . 2007 will be a very good year; probably the third-best year for sales in The Keys, and markedly better than 2006. Schmitt bases his belief on " . . . a number of factors some of which are national in scope and others, endemic to The Keys."

What factors?

1. Evidence suggests the Keys' real estate market hit bottom this past summer.

2. During the September through December sales increases were contrary to the
normal pattern.

3. Once buyers realize the market is passed its low ebb, buyers will commit

4. Interest rates continue to be low and are not likely change.

5. The nation continues to experience a healthy and growing economy and stock market.

6. Florida's population increase continues. An increase of 1,000 people every day. The movement of affluent Baby Boomers from the north has only stated, and Schmitt believes that more boomers will want to come to the Keys than can be accommodated.

7. Hurricane insurance rates have been mitigated thanks to F.I.R.M

8. Schmitt asserts that although the Keys faces challenges "The Florida Keys continues to be one of the most unique places to live in the U.S., and I believe, one with unrealized value from many perspectives. Because of our significant growth and development restrictions there is little opportunity to create more product, so what we have today in number of units is essentially all there ever will be, a finite resource in the face of increasing demand."

Schmitt believes "that as with most things of real value, to realize that value you must have a long term perspective. Florida Keys real estate will continue to give great enjoyment and reap handsome rewards for those who understand its intrinsic value."

Additional Information: See Real Estate News July 2006 and March 2006


This screen shot was taken from an image of a tee shirt was found at

"Realty Times newsletter reacted to the notion that home prices have reached unsustainable levels, declaring in a headline, Mr. Housing Bubble T-shirts Indicate Market Confusion."

A different perspective from that expressed in the Tropical Breezes Newsletter on real estate prospects for the Keys may be found at

The writer Cayo Dave examines real estate prospects in two blogs

1. Saturday, April 28, 2007
Welcome to the Beginning of the Real Estate Crash

"Local realtors continue to beat the sales drum, claiming it a great time to buy a Key West property. But if one understands the laws of supply and demand, then further price drops are likely. Simply put, more sellers than buyers equals lower prices. This could be one of the worst times to buy - especially for investors."

For more click on the link Welcome to the Beginning of the Real Estate Crash and be sure to scan down for "What Your Realtor Doesn't Want You to Know - Part I"

2. Tuesday May 1, 2007

What Your Realtor Doesn't Want You to Know - Part II

"Since most of the real estate advice you hear comes from realtors, I thought it would be of use to point out how wrong their advice is.


News article worries about NEGATIVE EQUITY

Banks and buyers could experience vbulnerability similar to that which happened in 1990.

Home resale figures show the residential real estate market is continuing to fall. with prices dipping into levels, which threatens negative equity for many.

Analytic and quantitative models point to slow and steady fall in price. In 2007 the fall may accelerate as investors are squeezed to flood the market with properties and bail out . People may start just walking out of their properties acquired in the last six years.



Are Duck Key Property Overvalued?


Below are a number of links to the Schmitt Coldwell Banker Real Estate Newsletter. The newsletters are the most definitive source of real estate news and trends available on Florida Keys and Key West real estate.

2006 - Spring - Summer - Fall - Winter

2005 - Spring - Summer - Fall - Winter

2004 - Spring - Summer - Fall - Winter

2003 - Spring - Summer - Fall - Winter

2002 - Spring - Fall - Winter

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