In the Old Town area of Key West there are six neighborhoods; The Meadows, Old Town - North, Truman Annex, Bahama Village, Casa Marina and Old Town - South. Here's a map. Despite the close proximity of these neighborhoods, each is different. Whether the neighborhood is the original Old Town, was pre-planned or just evolved over time, each neighborhood offers Buyers an opportunity to own a very particular style and characteristic. Likewise, each neighborhood has a different price point and cost factor. Let's review these six neighborhoods and see what the sales figures from Jan 1 - March 31, 2017 can tell us.
Until the early 1900's, The Meadows was very sparsely populated, there was a small cigar manufacturer or two, a few cottages and a couple general stores. The area was mostly open terrain with rough roads and coarse grass. History tells us there was a dairy or two.
Not until Henry Flagler brought his Overseas Railroad to Key West was The Meadows built up at all. As the railroad came closer to Old Town, there needed to be places for the workers to live that were in close proximity to the worksite. The Meadows was ideal. It was close to the work area, level and mostly uninhabited. Workers built simple, sturdy and enduring one story houses on small plots of land.
Today The Meadows is approximately 300 single family frame homes, single and two story with even a few Sears "kit" homes still standing. The style is mostly "cigar" or "shotgun" homes with homey porches, pocket pools and a real sense of neighborhood. Zero drive through traffic and a total abscence of commercial structures makes for quiet and familial living.
As you can see from the chart, 4 homes have sold in The Meadows in the 1st Qtr 2017 at an average sale price of $1.077M.
Old Town - North
Old Town - North is the original Old Town, Key West. For many people this is the most desirable neighborhood in Key West; hence, it has the most number of sales thru March, 10, and the highest total sales volume, $10.465M.
Many of the homes in this area are on the National Registry of Historic Homes. Some homes were originally built in the Bahamas, de-constructed, boated to Key West and re-constructed. Old Town - North contains the grand homes of former political, artistic, military and social dignitaries. Also, there are beautifully renovated eyebrows, shotgun homes, craftsman bungalows and cottages that adorn hideaway alleys and byways.
Sprinkled through the area are a variety of boutique shops, pop up galleries and delicious eateries. Continuing to the waterfront one can both imagine and see restored remains of the warehouses that once made Key West one of the richest cities in the US.
The average sale price in this area is approximately $1.046M at an average of $640 per square foot.
(Includes Townhomes and Condos but not the Shipyard)
Truman Annex traces its roots back to the mid 1800's when it was an Army base, that became a Navy base, that then housed the winter White House for President Truman and to this day retains a military presence.
As a residential community, Truman Annex is a Homeowner's Association, governed by the Truman Annex Property Owners Association (TAMPOA).
Truman Annex is a "new' community with frame-built townhomes and single family homes specifically designed and constructed to reflect the historic Key West architecture. Additionally, upscale condos are located in restored concrete buildings that date to the 1940's and were used by the US Navy when "The Annex" was all Navy property.
A key component of home ownership in Truman Annex is a transient license specific to properties in The Annex that allows property owners to rent their property on a weekly basis. This income producing element is a key factor in the sale price of Truman Annex properties.
As you can see, only 6 properties have sold in the 1st Qtr 2017. The Annex had a modest average sale price of $770K but the highest average price per square foot at $812.
Bahama Village is the Greenwich Village of Key West. It is the most vibrant, coolest and most colorful neighborhood in Key West. Bahama Village traces its roots to when some of the oldest families in Key West immigrated to the US from the Bahamas and other Caribbean island nations.
The area is predominantly frame constructed homes though there are numerous tasty eateries, galleries and locally owned and operated shops. Everything in Bahama Village has its own signature, nothing corporate or cookie-cutter.
The brokerage I work for, Island and Resort Realty, is located in Bahama Village, on a narrow, one-way street that is festooned with one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants. Never a dull moment.
Only 1 home sold in Bahama Village in the 1st Qtr 2017 at a sale price of $532K. This 1 home was the smallest sold in the quarter at 860 square feet.
The Casa Marina neighborhood owes its name to the hotel there of the same name - Casa Marina. The hotel was another of Henry Flagler's contributions to Key West and has seen itself built as a grand hotel, then purchased for use as officer quarters by the US Navy and then sold and bought multiple times by numerous hotel corporations (currently Waldorf-Astoria).
The Casa Marina neighborhood was in fact the first "suburb" of Key West as prominent home owners in the original Old Town relocated to "the other side of the island" for a little more elbow room. Hence the lots and homes themselves tend to be larger than the other neighborhoods. Additionally, most of the homes are made of concrete or concrete block and tend to be a 50/50 mix of ranch and two story.
Casa Marina homes tend to be very stylish and more "modern" in design, though there are some very unique homes including one on South St. that used to be the Dance Hall at the end of the line for the Overseas Railroad, was partially destroyed by a huricane and then towed by truck to its present site.
The Casa Marina has the highest average sale price at $1.939M, the largest homes at an average 2458 square feet and on average was the quickest to sell a home, at 70 days.
Old Town - South
For many, Old Town - South was once referred to as the Cuban neighborhood. This no doubt was in reference to the cigar manufacturers in the area, some of which were the most famous in the US, and the managers and workers who lived close to the manufacturing factories.
As such, this neighborhood has many homes that still retain elements of Cuban architecture, most notably Cuban tile. No better example of this can be seen then the house at 1209 Packer St., a Craftsman style bungalow once owned by the prestigious Ferdinand Hirsch Cigar Manufacturing Co.
Most of the homes in this neighborhood were built as families grew by birth or marriage; hence many of the homes here are neither large nor grandiose. This makes for excellent opportunities to buy, renovate and hold or resell. This neighborhood is a vubrant neighborhood will many young familes, couples and singles.
Old Town - South has the second highest number of sales in the 1st Qtr 2017 at 9 sales. The average sales price of $749K reflects an upward trend as more and more homes are bought and renovated either for resale or by smart buyer/owners looking to get ahead of a trend.
With 10 sales, Old Town North has not only the highest number of sales but the greatest diversity of home selection and pricing available. Of the 10 homes sold, only two were over $1M.
Of the 7 homes sold in the Casa Marina neighborhood, five were over $1M including the top seller at $5M. This highest-average-sales-price continues the historic trend of the Casa Marina area.
Only in the Truman Annex are condos and townhomes included in the sales data. As you can see, even though the average sales price for the 6 properties sold is well below $1M, the average sales price per SqFt is highest in Key West at $812. This is due to the transient license attached to Annex properties and the income opportunity the license represents and affords.
You can compare the above 1st Qtr 2017 results with my article showing end of year 2016 neighborhood sales results by clicking here.
For 2017 thus far, only the Casa Marina and Old Town South neighborhoods are ahead of last year's pace.
If you have any comments or questions, please contact me here.
Best of luck!