Two British people were successful bidders at the recent sell-out “No minimum-no reserve” auctions which took place in Naples and New Smyrna Beach in January.
Sheila Harrison of Luton, Bedfordshire snapped up a new three-bedroom apartment at Lely Landings in upmarket Naples, West Florida for £100,000 ($200,000). The list price was double that at $399,000 and a near identical apartment at Lely Landings was independently valued in November 2007 for $397,000. There were 27 UK inquiries, 3 UK registered bidders and Sheila Harrison was the successful bidder.
Sheila Harrison says: "We have been to Naples before and liked it so when I saw that the auction was on I thought I’d have a go. I think US "no reserve" auctions could attract a lot of interest from Brits here particularly when our exchange rate is fabulous at the moment. So it’s a win/win situation.
"I have bid at auctions before in the UK but not online, and I found the Sotheby’s online auction was very simple and good fun. I particularly liked the chat line so you could enjoy the feedback with other bidders and in the auction room. I bid for – but didn’t get – my favourite apartment which went for about $220,000 and then when I saw my second favourite sold I thought I had to get in there. I think looking back I would rather have paid $10,000 more to get the one I wanted but ours was a great price, and far less than the mid to high $200s we were expecting to pay. Sotheby’s have been very efficient and allowed us 60 days to complete so we are looking forward to going over to Florida in March to see it when we can finalise all the paperwork. We plan only to use the apartment for holidays with family and friends and have no intention of renting it out."
All 27 apartments at Lely Landings sold under the hammer – either from online or from attendees at the auction which was held on January 19th at the property. The lowest successful bidder bought unit 403 -a 1650 sq ft 3-bed, 2-bath apartment with garage for $174,400 (£87,200). All apartments have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, fully-fitted kitchens with granite work tops and custom hardwood cabinets and stainless steel appliances. The apartments also include tiles and fitted carpets, an integral garage, and 10 year structural warranty. Lely Landings is set on a 3.4 acre estate four miles from downtown Naples and three miles from the beach.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH AUCTION
Brian and Debbie Gill from Leamington in Warwickshire successfull for a 6th floor three bedroom apartment at Oceanwalk Condominiums on the south beach area of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The condo has all the appliances included, upgraded quality carpets, tiles, undercover allocated parking and lock up storage room.
New Smyrna Beach is the nearest beach to the world famous attractions of Walt Disney World, Sea World, Epcot Center and Universal Studios just over an hour and fifteen minutes away.
Mr Brian Gill says: "From previous visits to Florida we had looked at properties on the East, the West and Emerald coast but had not seen a development that we felt was value for money. This appeared to provide a good opportunity and was within easy distance from the airports. We were particularly fond of the Cocoa Beach area and have driven up the coast road and knew a little bit about the New Smyrna area. We were not actively looking to purchase but the combination of the American housing slump and good exchange rate stirred our interest.
“We spent some time researching the area (Google Earth was great!) and looking into the properties currently available. This particular site was first started in 2003, and now has a large number of re-sale units available which provide a good assessment of value. We were prepared to bid about 60% – 65% of the original listed price, depending on the unit for sale. When the auctioneers purchase premium (11%) is included, we estimate our unit has cost approximately 66% of the current price being advertised in the latest building they are now selling off-plan.”
Lori Chipps of Stirling Sotheby’s says: “Our January 26th auction was again a complete sell out and from the UK we took 34 inquiries, 5 UK registered bidders and Mr Gill was the only lucky UK buyer. The lowest price paid was $208,000 (£104,000) for a 3-bed condo. The 5 different models sold between $208,000.00 ($228,800.00 with buyer’s premium) and $335,000.00 (357,500.00 total with premium). List prices ranged from $270,000.00 to $450,000.00 depending on the model and floor location.”
The British Homes Group is the no. 1 Florida-based international sales and mortgage brokerage company that specializes in arranging financing for British, European and other ‘Foreign National’ homebuyers in the U.S.
Virginia Cowie, owner and managing director of British Homes Group says: “This is another example of how Florida is developing into a true “Buyers Market” for UK and European property investors. It is great to see Brits taking advantage of the record – or near-record – high currencies versus the US dollar.”
Lee Weaver, director of British Homes Group says: “Industry observers predict that “Foreign National” Florida home and holiday ownership sales will continue to grow robustly this year, reflecting falling prices and rising inventories and the 26-year high British £ and record-high Euro against the dollar. Our multi-currency mortgages for overseas home buyers in Florida make the process of snapping up a bargain even easier!”
Stirling Sotheby’s and The British Homes Group will be holding a third “No minimum, no reserve auction on March 15th of 44 condominiums on the river called “Coastal Creek Condominiums” in Jacksonville, Florida. Units range from 1 bedroom 1 bath up to 3 bedroom and 2 bath. Project details are on www.britishhomesgroup.com and www.stirlingsir.com/auctions/preview.htm or go to www.coastalcreekcondos.com for more information.
Potential buyers can register online at: www.stirlingsir.com/auctions/preview.htm and join in the live auction online or by calling UK freephone 0800 051 8893. For details on financing contact British Homes Group on UK Freephone 0800 096 5989.
For auction and property details call Lori Chips at Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty on UK freephone 0800 051 8893
For multi-currency mortgage details call Lee Weaver at British Homes Group at email@example.com
www.britishhomesgroup.com | www.britishhomeloansflorida.com
0800 096 5989 – Free call from within the UK