The time has come to leave the fence
Have you noticed it? Have you noticed the quiet hum that has settled over Anna Maria Island during the past couple of months? At first I thought it was a soft wind or a flock of pelicans overhead or even the surf, but soon I understood. I realized that what I was hearing was not a force of nature but a force of humanity as every homeowner on the Island stopped holding their breath.
Anna Maria real estate is back with a vengeance, and if you don’t believe me take notice of Anna Maria Island real estate companies and brokers who are advertising in this publication their sold and under contract properties right alongside their available properties. Not only is this a good strategy on their part, they’re also providing great information to potential buyers especially those who may still be on the fence. And if you’re one of those buyers who are still on the fence, time to take the leap, if it’s not too late already.
March was another milestone for our local housing market. The combined Bradenton and Sarasota single family homes sold during March was up 38 percent from the same month a year ago according to the Manatee Association of Realtors. This is the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. It was also the first time since 2005 that more than 1,000 sales were recorded in a single month. The median sales price of $163,800 is also up 9 percent from March of 2009.
Some of this activity can still be attributed to the federal tax credits for first time buyers and current homeowners as well as 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rates holding around 5 percent. The tax credits expired at the end of April which may have some effect in parts of Manatee County, but is not expected to impact Anna Maria since the profile of Island buyers who are in a large majority second home buyers and investors would not have qualified for the tax credits.
Nationally, sales of new homes also surged 27 percent during March, a sharp contrast to the previous month’s record low, and the biggest monthly increase in 47 years. Better weather after an extremely cold winter in most of the country and the tax credits could account for part of this increase. The national median sales price was also up more than 4 percent from a year earlier topping out at $214,000.
Another bit of positive information was revealed in a recent survey conducted by Move Inc. indicating that interest in residential real estate investment has more than tripled in the past year. This is good news especially for an area like Anna Maria Island which attracts many real estate investors, as well as the country in general since activity in real estate investment is often a precursor to a recovery.
The survey went on to say that more than 17.2 percent of all potential home buyers today say they plan to purchase a home in the near future as an investment compared with just 5.6 percent a year ago. In addition, more than 10 percent of Americans planning to purchase investment property in the near future say they will pay for the property using 100 percent cash, evidence investors continue to be lured by great pricing opportunities in the housing market.
If you’re a homeowner who is still holding your breath, it may be time to slowly let it out. It appears that not only has the bottom been reached, but the slog out of the valley has begun all we need now are for all the buyers to get the message.