A decade in real estate
When The Anna Maria Island Sun began publication in September of 2000, Anna Maria’s real estate market was in first gear. The market had moved out of neutral and was slowly accelerating forward comfortably sitting in first on its way to second.
By the time our fifth anniversary was upon us, the market was well into third gear heading for overdrive. Now we’re at 10 years and the deceleration of real estate has both shocked and delighted, depending on whether you’re a buyer or a seller. The question now is what will the next 10 years bring?
One thing’s for sure the Anna Maria Island of 10 years ago looked a lot different than today’s.
Starting in Bradenton Beach, the renovation and vast improvement of Bridge Street, with the addition of state of the art hotel accommodations and restaurants, invites people to stroll along have dinner and check out the shops. The renovation of the Bridge Street Pier adds to the appeal of the street while keeping with an old Florida casual feel.
Holmes Beach has had a number of conversions of small hotels to condos, as well as the renovation of several old duplexes into charming village like condo rentals. In spite of the slow real estate market, Holmes Beach continues to be a flurry of activity with new construction and major renovations to single family homes.
The Mainsail project appears to be on, The AMI Chamber has moved into a brand new location during the past 10 years, and the improvements made to the two main shopping areas in Holmes Beach have moved the middle of the Island from 1950 to 2010.
Anna Maria city continues to be the residential heart of the Island with fabulous single family waterfront homes wrapping right around the tip of Bean Point from North Shore Drive to Bay Boulevard.
The Pine Avenue restoration is in full swing bringing in new businesses and construction, while keeping the fundamental nature of Anna Maria.
It’s no accident that home values grew exponentially as the Island was able to offer appealing improvements and services to a wider range of buyer without losing its original essence. People come to Anna Maria from all over the country and the world, not only because we have warm weather and clear water, but because of Anna Maria’s aura of timelessness.
This is the reason why in the midst of the worst housing slow down since the depression, real estate on the Island is still valuable and still priced higher than it was 10 years ago. Like every other real estate market in the country, the Island hit its approximate peak in the 2005-2006 market after adding incredible wealth to housing values anywhere between two to three times from five years earlier.
The market fell, but it didn’t fall all the way back, settling at the more realistic sale prices of 2003-2004, creating opportunities for buyers who appreciate everything Anna Maria represents to buy well valued properties.
As sobering as the real estate market has been during the last several years, it’s even more sobering to those of us at The Sun to realize that 10 years have passed so quickly. With the real estate market back in overdrive and the Sun providing the best real estate information available, we’re both ready for another extraordinary 10 years.
Happy anniversary to The Anna Maria Island Sun, its publishers Maggie and Mike Field and all the talented and innovated staff I’ve had the privilege of working with throughout the journey. In the words of the 60s counter culture, “It’s been a trip.”