The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 17 - January 26, 2011


No snow in Florida

During the second week in January while the northeast was digging out of the second major snow storm in as many weeks, the state of Florida was the only one in the country that didn't have snow. Even Hawaii experienced snow in some of its mountain areas, but in the Sunshine State the sun kept shinning.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that sales in many vacation communities across the U.S. soared last year to levels not seen in a very long time. They point out that the second home market has been driven by deep discounts, cash purchases and buyers' rising stock portfolios.

The paper profiled four traditional vacation and second home markets in the country highlighting the percentage of increase in numbers of properties sold last year. Barnstable County on Cape Cod, Mass., increased 9 percent; Hilton Head, S.C. increased 13.6 percent; the waterfront community of Mercer Island, Wash., increased 181.8 percent and Palm Beach, Fla., increased 39.3 percent. The sales volume in Palm Beach is now comparable to the 2007 peak. In some markets around the country, as stated by Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors' chief economist, prices have come down so low that buyers are starting to fight for some of these vacation properties.

The article points out that, according to the National Association of Realtors, only one in 10 real estate transactions are generally for the purchase of a vacation home. However, even though this is a small fraction of the overall market, it is significant because vacation homes are often big ticket properties and attract discretionary buyers.

A few days after the Journal published this report, it printed a story about the National Association of Home Builders' annual meeting in Orlando. The group's chief economist, David Crowe, predicts growing consumer confidence based on new jobs being created, a robust holiday sales season and better than expected sales of cars and furniture in 2011.

As far as general pricing around the country, 2011 is expected to remain flat with some gains next year going forward. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates will continue to go up, reaching around 5.25 percent by the end of the year.

These reports are pretty much a mixture of the good with the bad. Being a prime vacation area, Anna Maria is certainly seeing a considerable increase in sales with an increase in appreciation the inevitable outcome. Buyers are starting to get off the fence with their purchasing decisions and can only hope that the train hasn't already left the station when it comes to getting the best properties for the best price at the best interest rates.

And don't discount the ability of cold snowy weather to drive people south. In addition, this is the first year of that enormous baby boomer retirement bubble. Boomers with the ability to buy their retirement homes should do so now before they find themselves really out in the cold.

It may get a little chilly on Anna Maria in January but highs of 50 and 60 degrees is a long way from 24 inches of snow. So just sit back and let Mother Nature do her part in revitalizing the real estate market. Not to worry, mother will make it all better.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between Aug. 2 and Oct. 9, 2010

Anna Maria

721 North Shore Single family $1,100,000
512 Bayview Place Single family 800,000
216 Palm Ave. Single family 699,000
104 Maple Ave. Single family 667,500
309 S. Bay Blvd. Single family 425,000
780 Jacaranda Rd. Duplex 357,500
216 Archer Way Single family 332,500
204 Archer Way Single family 300,000
333 Tarpon St. Lot 300,000

Bradenton Beach

500 Bay Dr. S. Single family $965,200
2317 Ave. C #300 Condo 315,000
1325 Gulf Drive N. #165Condo 300,000
1325 Gulf Drive N. #166Condo 300,000
1325 Gulf Drive N. #164Condo 285,000
1325 Gulf Drive N. #161Condo 285,000
1325 Gulf Drive N. #264Condo 280,500
501 Gulf Drive N. #103Condo 240,000
1325 Gulf Drive N. #163Condo 239,800
501 Gulf Drive N. #305Condo 227,000
2211 Ave. C Single family 220,000
2311 Canasta Drive Single family 165,000
2412 Gulf Drive. N. #125Condo 160,000
2412 Gulf Drive N. #224Condo 155,000
2412 Gulf Drive N. #225Condo 155,000
1603 Gulf Drive N. #18Condo 150,000
1603 Gulf Drive N. #19Condo 150,000
117 Seventh St. N. #9 Condo 150,000
1603 Gulf Drive N. #33Condo 109,000
107 Sixth St. S. Single family 100,000
2503 Gulf Drive N. #302Condo 100,000
1603 Gulf Drive N. #34Condo 70,000


12909 42nd Terr. W. Single family $1,025,000
11900 Cortez Rd. W. RV resort
#10, #17, #28, #45 Multi-units 619,700
4224 Marina Ct. Condo 525,000
3860 Mariners Way #413Condo 274,900
12329 Baypointe Terr. Lot 140,000

Holmes Beach

528 72nd St. Single family $1,450,000
3212 Gulf Drive Single family 1,300,000
616 Hampshire Lane Single family 775,000
3009 Ave. F Duplex 763,500
403 80th St. Condo 595,000
203 76th St. Condo 584,500
525 74th St. Single family 550,000
612 North Point Drive Single family 525,000
303 61st St. #A Condo 510,000
209 69st St. Duplex 480,000
6200 Flotilla Drive #273 Condo 480,000
227 85th St. Single family 440,000
517 70th St. Single family 416,500
203 82 St. Condo 400,000
519 77th St. Single family 400,000
405 N. Harbor Drive Single family 400,000
614 Concord Lane Single family 399,900
506 74 St. Single family 390,000
405 74 St. Condo 375,000
3706 Gulf Drive. Single family 370,000
6250 Holmes Blvd. #70 Condo 355,000
6200 Flotilla Drive #274 Condo 365,000
322 64 St. Condo 350,000
207 55 St. Single family 305,000
4104 6 Ave. Condo 285,200
609 Emerald Lane Single family 285,000
2903 Ave. B Duplex 278,000
3703 5 Ave. #3 Condo 270,000
309 58 St. Duplex 270,000
3207 6 Ave. Single family 260,000
3803 East Bay Drive #2 Condo 260,000
6919 Holmes Blvd. Half duplex 250,000
2805 Gulf Drive Single family 249,000
3702 Sixth Ave. #4 Condo 230,000
504 Key Royale Drive Single family 223,000
2705 Ave. C Single family 200,900
2710 Ave. C Single family 160,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper