May Home Sales I: $800K to $6.4M

16031 Quiet Vista Circle in Stone Creek Ranch sold for $6.4M. Image and map data by Google.

We reviewed over 80 single family home sales (west of the Turnpike up to Atlantic in Delray) from May 1 into early June, restricted to homes with 3 or more bedrooms and at least 2000 square feet of living space. This is Part One of that review, covering homes selling over $800,000. All these homes were in zip codes 33498, 33496, and 33446, mostly in The Bridges, Seven Bridges, and The Oaks.
Click here for Part Two.
At the high end was 16031 Quiet Vista Circle in Stone Creek Ranch, on the west side of Lyons just north of Seven Bridges. The nearly 14,000 square foot house with 10 bedrooms and 10 1/2 baths sold for $6.4 million. The seller was billionaire Steven A. Cohen. The buyers are Cynthia Williams and her husband Ronald “Ron” Williams, former CEO of Aetna, with an estimated net worth close to $200M.
8700 Surrey Lane sold for $2.8M; image and map data by Google

There was one other transaction for over $2M. 8700 Surrey Lane in Horseshoe Acres (north of Clint Moore, east of Lyons) sold for just over $2.8M with only 5 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths in 6000 square feet.
Nine other homes sold for $1M or more, in The Bridges, Seven Bridges, The Oaks, and Long Lake Estates. Most of these sold for between $215 and $250 per square foot, with two in The Bridges going for closer to $300 per square foot.
The smallest of these was 8510 Hawks Gully Avenue, with 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths in 3350 square feet. It sold for $1.1M ($328/sq.ft.) in just 17 days on the market. The house is on a corner lot with no waterfront and has significant upgrades including a gorgeous pool, but it still seems like a hefty price for what the buyer got. The house was previously purchased for less than $1M in 2015.
The best bargain of the million dollar homes was probably 8646 Lewis River Road, a 5200 sq.ft. 5 bedroom with a partial lake view which sold for just over $1.1M, or $216/sq.ft.
Others sold include:

  • $1.43M: 18529 Long Lake Drive, Long Lake Estates, 6 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 5800 sq.ft.
  • $1.35M: 16844 Strasbourg Lane, Seven Bridges, 5 bedrooms, 6 full and two 1/2 baths, 5500 sq.ft.
  • $1.2M: 17681 Middlebrook Way, The Oaks, 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, 5500 sq.ft.
  • $1.14M: 16615 Sagamore Bridge Way, The Bridges, 4 beds, 5 baths, 3900 sq.ft.
  • $1.08M: 17745 Vecino Way, The Oaks, 5 beds, 4 baths, 4450 sq.ft.
  • $1.07M: 8518 Hawks Gully Ave, The Bridges, 4 beds, 4 1/2 baths, 4300 sq.ft.
  • $1.02M: 9488 Eden Roc Ct, Seven Bridges, 5 beds, 6 baths, 4700 sq.ft. (new home)

$800K – $1M
Six homes sold for prices between $800,000 and $1,000,000, including three in The Oaks, one in Mizner Country Club, one in Saturnia, and one in Rio Poco.

16135 Rio Baile sold for $995,000. Image by Google.

16135 Rio Baile in Rio Poco (west side of 441 across from Saturnia Isles) sold for $995K. The house has 6 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths in 4200 square feet on a one-acre lot.
What would seem to be one of the biggest bargains was 17891 Monte Vista Drive in The Oaks. Selling for $880K, the house has 7 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half baths in 5500 square feet. Those familiar with The Oaks will guess correctly that the house has a Chinese drywall history. Purchased in 2007 for $1.3M, it was foreclosed in 2013 and then sold to an investor for $751K. Considering the cost of capital and other expenses, the investor probably lost money on this deal.
Others selling at $800K or more include:
$860K: 17978 Lake Azure Way, The Oaks, 4 beds, 5 1/2 baths, 4300 sq.ft.
$832K: 17689 Lake Azure Way, The Oaks, 3 beds, 3 full and 2 1/2 baths, 3400 sq.ft.
$800K: 16367 Braeburn Ridge Trail, Mizner Country Club, 4 beds, 3 1/2 baths, 3550 sq.ft.
$800K: 11742 Watercrest Lane, Saturnia, 6 beds, 4 1/2 baths, 4700 sq.ft.
It’s an interesting question comparing older and newer homes and that’s illustrated by two of the above transactions. In Saturnia, 11742 Watercrest Lane was built in 1999 and seems a relative bargain at $800K for a two-story home with 4700 square feet. While it could use updating in a few places the house has some very nice features including a gorgeous kitchen, a downstairs master bedroom suite and a swimming pool. By comparison in Seven Bridges, 9488 Eden Roc Court sold brand new for just over $1.02M, also with 4700 square feet. The Seven Bridges buyer paid an extra $224,000 for a house that is narrower on a smaller lot with no pool, and the master bedroom is on the second floor. Seven Bridges also has substantially higher HOA fees at close to $500/month vs. $320/month in Saturnia.
11742 Watercrest Lane in Saturnia at $800K vs. 9488 Eden Roc Ct in 7 Bridges at $1.02M. Images by Google.

Which house do you think is a better deal?
Coming in Part Two – Homes from $185K to $750K.

West Boca McMansions – Real Estate Trends and Analysis

Real estate trends in West Boca
We’ve been looking at recent real estate trends in West Boca. We started with neighborhoods, discussing Boca Falls in one article and Boca Isles in another.
For this article we’re taking a different approach. We looked at large houses, over 6000 square feet, and we included southwest Delray Beach because the market is similar. There are so many different housing options for those who are interested in them, not only in West Boca but also Texas through somewhere like Houston real estate, with many finding their own form of their home. These “McMansions” sales were clustered in a fairly small area as shown on the map below:

Data from FlexMLS.
Data from FlexMLS.

Transactions in this class consistently average over $2 million, and around $300 per square foot of living space. When starting to review this we separated houses into two groups – inside and outside a membership club. Some of the most common membership clubs in our data include St. Andrews Country Club, Mizner Country Club, Boca West, Polo Club, Addison Reserve and Woodfield Country Club. Top neighborhoods that do not require membership include Long Lake Estates, The Oaks, The Bridges, Azura, Stone Creek Ranch, and Le Lac.
We do not see a big difference in values between these two groups. At this end of the market country club memberships do not seem to have much impact on real estate prices. Either way the neighborhoods are exclusive.
It’s also hard to identify clear trends because individual homes tend to be more unique. Some can have features that dramatically change the price. Or there could features that may be valued differently by Lynchburg realtors compared to a realtor in this area. At the low end some houses sold for as little as $1 million at $150/sq.ft. or less, while two houses went in the $600/sq.ft. area and the most expensive went for nearly $10M and over $900/sq.ft.
Still, here’s what we see:

  1. Large home sales increased dramatically in total numbers. There were 23 such transactions in the first half of 2014, 17 in the second half of 2014, and that rose to 35 transactions in the first half of 2015. There was a particularly big turnover of homes in St. Andrews.
  2. The total size of the market also increased, from $57M in the first half of 2014 to $76M in the first half of this year. In 2014 the value was driven by a few very high-end homes. In 2015 it’s the total volume that’s driving things.
  3. Average prices dropped. In both the first and second half of 2014 the average transaction was close to $2.5 million. In the first half of 2015 the average transaction was under $2.2 million. The average in 2014 was around $320/sq.ft. and that dropped to $290/sq.ft.

The biggest lesson we see in all of this is for sellers. If you have a large house there is a very wide spread in prices. Consequently, if you now feel ready to make a real estate investment of your own, you might also find this Roofstock guide on investing 20k useful. Furthermore, these trends seem to be driven by the features of the houses involved and by finding the right buyer both for that house and for the community. The most patient sellers get more value by holding out for that buyer, be they one looking to the 1031 exchange requirements or to other areas, but may wait a year, two years or even longer to get a sale done.
Our spreadsheet for this analysis is below:
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High-End Homes in Stone Creek Ranch

Our real estate readers may remember our article on a special house in Boca West. For those looking in that high end of the market, there are some more opportunities nearby. Stone Creek Ranch is on the west side of Lyons Road north of Clint Moore, close to the Bridges, 7 Bridges, and Mizner Country Club developments. Many people look to this area when considering ranches for sale, but there is other property available in this market too.

There are a few lots remaining and at least one house on the market. The site plan map below gives a sense of what’s available.
The lots sell in the $1 million ball park. In addition, there’s a huge existing house that just came on the market at 16201 Quiet Vista Circle (lot 30).
The property appraiser has the house at nearly 14,000 square feet and shows the original 2005 sale price as $4.5 million. We have several pictures of the property. Not pictured is the full-size outdoor basketball court with a special floor that allows water to run off so it dries quickly after rain.
The previous owner was a Florida State fan and some of the decorating reflect Seminole colors, so Gator and Canes fans should budget for painting. The colors are rather bright so it’s going to take a lot of paint to cover it. Alternatively, peel and stick wallpaper will cover it well, hiding any color that’s underneath the paper. It also comes in a vast variety of colors and designs too, suitable for any decor. Plus, it’s easily changeable too so if new homeowners change their mind, it won’t be a bother removing it.
One of the most impressive spots is the backyard, which has a gorgeous view.
The house looks great from back there too, a wonderful space for outdoor entertaining:
There’s lots of space inside for entertaining as well:
And of course as you’d expect at this level, it has a wonderful kitchen:
There’s an office with a spiral staircase to a second floor with a balcony looking to the back:
The master suite has his and hers bathrooms and hers is pleasant:
And our last photo is an architectural feature that really impressed me when I saw it in person. There’s a hallway that runs parallel to the front of the house.
Stone Creek Ranch has enhanced security with its gate and a roving patrol as well. It seems completely unnecessary due to its low-crime location but it brings additional peace of mind to the residents.
The location is very convenient to Delray Marketplace and also to everything on Clint Moore and Yamato.