The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 10 No. 9 - November 25, 2009


Giving thanks for affordability

Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow and giving thanks for good health, family and friends is traditional when we celebrate this day. But there is also something more you should be thankful for this year – an affordable real estate market.

The National Association of Realtors’ conference was held last week in San Diego, and one of the hot topics presented at the conference was the Homeownership Survey conducted by is a real estate Web site providing information on properties for sale, financing, remodeling and general real estate services.

Its survey indicated that affordability and foreclosures are the top reasons why buyers are making home purchases. One out of eight (12.1 percent) of the homebuyers today are planning to purchase a home as an investment property. This is an increase of 5.6 percent from seven months ago.

Also reported is the fact that first time home buyers make up almost half of today’s home purchases. Almost 10 percent of consumers say they plan to buy a home in the next two years, while 5.4 percent plan to purchase in the next 12 months. 48.3 percent of these buyers are first time buyers who are getting the benefit of an additional extension of the $8,000 first time buyer tax credit through the middle of next year.

This new affordability has resulted in home prices rising nationally for the second consecutive quarter. Although prices are still down from last year, a National Association of Realtors' survey reveals that most states have continued to see a surge in existing home sales for the second straight quarter. During the third quarter, the national median home price was $177,900, an increase of $7,000 from the previous quarter.

Locally, Manatee County sales of single-family homes and condos are rising, according to the Manatee Association of Realtors. It has reported a 34.9 percent sales increase from October 2008 to October 2009. Pending sales are also higher than last year, with the median sales price of all existing homes sold during the month of October reported at $185,625, higher than the national average.

Another fact making the national real estate market looking better is something reported by the Wall Street Journal. It indicates that only 21 percent of all single family homeowners were underwater on their mortgages (owing more than the market value of the property) in the third quarter of the year, down from 23 percent at the end of the second quarter. This could result in reducing the rate of foreclosures and keeping the market moving forward.

My personal feeling for being bullish on the real estate market is always the 75 million baby boomers in this country and 6 million just across the border in Canada. When you consider 29 percent of the population is between 45 and 63 years of age, it’s a pretty good bet that this group will be starting to look for retirement homes, especially now when pricing is so attractive.

So this Thanksgiving when you’re giving thanks to whoever or whatever in your life you believe in, don’t forget to thank the god of real estate for our new found affordability. With a little luck, next year you’ll be thanking the god of real estate appreciation.

Sharon Villars sworn in a president of Women's Council of Realtors project
Reel time

Sharon Villars, of the RE/Max Alliance Group Real Estate office in Holmes Beach, was sworn in as president of the Women’s Council of Realtors on Thursday, Nov. 17, at an installation banquet at the BeachHouse restaurant. Guest speaker Ed Chiles spoke about the county’s gains in bringing tourism and weddings to the Island and Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Brockman spoke about the growth of the Chamber and benefits of membership. After a lunch in the covered outdoor area with the beach in the background, Past Local Chapter President Rose Schnoerr administered the oath of office to Villars, Bay Butler as president-elect, Sherry Richardson as vice president of membership, Paula Keegan-Bock as secretary and Brian Brown as treasurer.


Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between Aug. 10 and Oct. 10, 2009

Anna Maria

517 Blue Heron Drive Lot        $1,100,000
125 Crescent Drive Single family         629,900
210 Archer Way Single family         600,000
207 Spruce Ave. #A Duplex         304,000
428 Magnolia Ave. Lot        287,000

Bradenton Beach

1911 Bay Dr. N. Single family         $755,000
104 Gulf Drive S. 201Condo         425,000
1900 Gulf Drive N. #6 Condo         400,000
901 Gulf Drive S. #5 Condo         300,000
901 Gulf Drive S. #6 Condo         265,000
1801 Gulf Drive N. 152Condo         255,000
2101 Ave. B Single family         140,000


No recorded transactions

Holmes Beach

615 Ivanhoe Lane Single family        $850,000
607 Concord Lane Single family         610,000
5200 Gulf Dr. #608 Condo         488,300
519 77th St. Single family         472,500
6806 Gulf Drive Condo         457,500
303 64th St. #A Condo         450,000
7000 Gulf Drive #105 Condo         430,000
201 35th St. #4 Condo        390,00
214 67th St. Single family         385,000
6250 Holmes Blvd. 45Condo         359,500
4200 Gulf Drive #106 Condo         350,000
4102 Fifth Ave. Lot         350,000
430 63rd St. Half duplex         316,000
207 71st St. W. Half duplex         298,000
3100 Gulf Drive #5 Condo         225,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper