What the heck happened?
Imagine waking up from a long afternoon nap, maybe on the beach or in the hammock, and not really knowing where you are or what went on during the time you were snoozing. As much as I hate to admit it, I think I’ve been snoozing.
I just woke up – no not literately, but figuratively – and what I woke up to are the asking prices of properties on the Island. For several months I’ve been commenting on the listing prices of homes advertised in this paper, frequently accompanied by a loud gasp. I finally decided to take a closer look, which really made me catch my breath.
As of this writing, realtor.com, which basically reflects properties that are listed on the Multiple Listing Service, had 56 properties listed at or over $1 million within the three cities of Anna Maria Island. Imagine how silly I felt thinking that a post-it note would be large enough to write down all the listings when what I really needed was a lined legal pad.
In the cities of Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach, realtor.com had 40 properties starting with a high of $3,900,000 and ending with $1,049,000. In addition there were 12 properties on the brink of $1,000,000 ranging from a high of $999,000 to $949,000.
Moving on to the city of Anna Maria, realtor.com had 16 properties over $1,000,000, starting with a new construction property asking $4,500,000 and ending with $1,050,000. There was also one property in Anna Maria listed at $910,000. I could hardly believe my eyes. I knew prices were going up quickly, but I was blown away with the number of properties in this price range.
But I guess in view of a few other things that are going on in Manatee County, I shouldn’t have been surprised. In May, the Bradenton Herald ran a story about the mall at University Town Center being constructed near Interstate 75 and University Parkway. Benderson Development is the developer and has set an opening date of October 2014. It has designed the mall to draw shoppers from as far south as Fort Meyers, making it a regional and even a national destination.
In addition, it is combining the mall with a rowing, polo and other sports facilities, as well as hotels and restaurants. Manatee County is supporting the rowing facility in its bid for the 2017 World Rowing Championships and has earmarked funds for this purpose.
Also Manatee County has just entered into a partnership between Port Manatee and the port of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to promote trade between the United States and South America, another bright spot on the future of our region. And of course, IMG Academy continues to expand and recruit elite athletes from around the world. There are also several new residential developments in the planning including Long Bar Pointe along Sarasota Bay which after being on hold for several years is finally getting off the ground.
So what the heck just happened? Not only did I just wake up, but so has Manatee County – from the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island to the high end residential communities as far east as Interstate 75 and everywhere in between.
We’re back in the game, and the game has gotten very expensive. So if you want to live in one of the best waterfront regions in the country, better get moving before the over $1 million properties become over $2 million and then $3 million and on and on.