The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 32 - May 11, 2011


Florida homebuyers: Be here now

It's May, and we can all look forward to warm lazy days, plenty of elbow room at the beach, no traffic and best of all, getting a table at our favorite restaurant. But are we really happy the winter visitors are gone, and more important, have they made a mistake leaving?

In view of the March home sales reports both nationally and locally, anyone interested in purchasing Florida real estate should be here now. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales rose during the month of March by 3.7 percent over March of last year. This was more than expected, as economists polled by Reuters predicted sales to rise 2.5 percent. During six of the last eight months, sales have risen on a national level giving the industry a good dose of cautious optimism.

Much of the sales activity remains in the foreclosure and short sales arena, accounting for about 40 percent of transactions. Because of this, prices are continuing to be pushed lower, since foreclosures and short sales typically are about 20 percent below market value. These depressed properties are being frequently purchased by investors, foreign and out of state buyers, who hope to turn a profit as the supply thins, clearing the way for higher prices in the future. To put this is some perspective; the Associated Press reported that half of the homes listed in the Tampa Bay area are selling for less than $100,000.

In addition, these sales have shrunk the supply of unsold homes in five of the major markets in the country, including Tampa Bay, by 13 percent over the past year. The March sales pace put the supply of existing homes on the market at an 8.4 month supply down from 8.5 in February. The ideal number is a six- to seven-month supply, so we're getting there.

The Sarasota-Bradenton sales market also reported home and condominium sales in March at levels not seen in almost six years, the most since August of 2005 in a single month. Sarasota-Bradenton's sales were somewhat less than other areas of the state including Miami and Tampa, but activity anywhere in the state is good for the entire state.

Like the rest of the country, Florida sales prices are also down, with the median Florida house selling for $126,500 in March, almost $10,000 less than a year ago. As reported by the Florida real estate industry, statewide sales were up 24 percent but prices were down 11 percent.

Finally, according to the National Association of Realtors, 35 percent of the sales in March were a record setting all-cash transaction. This fact is also born out in our local market, where real estate offices are reporting an unprecedented number of all-cash sales.

My advice to potential Florida homeowners is to get back in your vehicles and head south on either I-75 or I-95. If you wait for next winter's buying season you may have missed the bottom of the market and the opportunity of a lifetime.

If you haven't visited Anna Maria during the summer I promise you'll enjoy the warm water and even warmer home prices.

Real Estate Transactions
Real Estate Transfers from Jan. 1 to 31, 2011
Sponsored by Alan Galletto Island Real Estate

Sold Date | List Price | Sold Price | Address | Provision | Property Style

Anna Maria

01/21/2011 329,000 310,000 612 North Bay Blvd None SF Res
01/25/2011 1,474,000 1,050,000 103 SeaGrape Ln None SF Res

Bradenton Beach

01/31/2011 179,900 152,500 611 Gulf N Dr # D23 None Condo Res
01/14/2011 299,000 280,000 244 17th St N # 25 None Condo Res


01/27/2011 169,000 150,000 4227 126th W St None SF Res
01/24/2011 749,000 722,000 12519 Safe Harbor Dr None SF Res
01/21/2011 736,800 728,800 12310 BayPointe Ter Reo/Bank Own SF Res

Holmes Beach

01/18/2011 244,700 222,000 3402 Sixth Ave # 3 None Condo Res
01/21/2011 275,000 250,000 6400 Flotilla Dr # 11 Short Sale Condo Res
01/28/2011 349,000 310,000 6200 Flotilla Dr # 293 None Condo Res
01/20/2011 334,900 304,000 6313 Gulf Dr None Condo/TH Res
01/12/2011 699,900 500,000 5808 Gulf Dr # 109 N None Condo Res
01/05/2011 475,000 425,000 526 70th St None SF Res
01/21/2011 498,900 475,000 213 70th St None SF Res
01/14/2011 575,000 570,000 206 55th St None SF Res
01/28/2011 619,000 580,000 309 68th St None SF Res
01/14/2011 1,999,000 1,775,000 717 Key Royale Dr None SF Res
01/31/2011 359,000 345,000 307 63rd St None Duplex Inc
01/21/2011 1,000,050 1,000,050 534 70th St Cash Vacant Land


Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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