Many believe 2008 and 2009 will be considered two of the most difficult years in recent U.S. economic history. This notion has affected all of us in one way or another.
Fortunately, you – our homeowners, and our team’s passion to keep Seabrook moving forward, have created one of the most resilient second-home/vacation markets in the United States. Here is a quick recap of how we did in 2009 and why the future looks very bright for our beach town.
Even with second homes becoming less of a priority nationally, we found that there were still a lot of people dreaming of owning a beach house with record traffic in our sales office. While the interest remained high, potential buyers were definitely looking for smaller second homes than past years. Seabrook, however, has always planned on having a large variety of home types and price points. This made it easier for us to create properties that would be attractive even in a challenging economy. The shift in consumer preference led us to create the Beach Camp and now Lily Walk neighborhoods. These new cottages allowed us to offer smaller homes at a price point from $200-$400k – something that was unavailable prior to 2008. Due to their great value, these homes ignited a sales spree that started in August and has yet to let up. In 2010, we have sold 5 new homes which has already put us a little ahead of our goals for the year. Here is the sales recap of 2009:
Seabrook Vacation Market:
Northwest vacation markets like the San Juan Islands, Lake Chelan, the Oregon Coast, & the Washington Coast were down about 30% overall. Seabrook, however, was able to totally reverse this number. As people stayed closer to home and traveled less, Seabrook’s vacation market grew +30% with individual occupancy down only 7% overall! Plus, 2010 is already off to a great start!
Unfortunately, our indoor swimming pool is still on hold until further notice. As much as we want to build the pool, we must also continue to be financially prudent. Seabrook is currently self-financing all new phases with our own cash. Scarcity of bank financing has made this the only available option. Developers who were over extended left banks in a difficult position. Although some projects like Seabrook are performing well, banks are still unable to provide financing. The good news is, we are one of very few developers with extremely low debt and strong cash reserves, leaving us in an even lower leverage position. This has continued to be one of the main reasons homebuyers purchase at Seabrook with confidence. The pool will be built as soon as financial prudence allows, and we will continue to communicate our progress toward that goal.
We believe 2010 is going to be a great year for Seabrook. Our growing beach town will experience the most visibility to date both locally and nationally, and we are very excited for what the future holds. Game changers like the Coastal Living Magazine Idea House and new business solutions we are integrating for better efficiency will help us maximize the exposure Seabrook will receive in 2010.
Don’t forget to check out the progress of the Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House – it is really coming along nicely. And, as always, feel free to call or email me with any questions about Seabrook, or anything else that is on your mind.