More people and we’re still growing

Castles in the Sand

We’re at the end of our winter season, and as much as I hate to say it, the traffic was worse than ever. I know everyone says the same thing every year, but they’re correct every year. It is indeed worse and for good reason.

Between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, Manatee County gained an estimated 10,000 more residents according to the U.S. Census data. This makes Manatee County the 44th fastest-growing county in the United States between 2010 and 2017.  In addition, we added about 62,700 people during a seven-year period, and they all want to go to our much-publicized beaches.

The estimated population of Manatee County as of July 1, 2017, was 385,571, and there’s more.

The Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research estimates the 2020 high projected population to be around 405,100, and by 2045 it could go as high as 645,200, and with all of the new development either underway or planned, I believe every one of those numbers. What effect this has on real estate values, in general, is almost impossible to predict, but more people need more housing – you do the math.

But this is still 2018, and it’s time for my one million dollars and over analysis of properties sold and listed in Cortez and the three cities on Anna Maria Island. This time I looked at January, February and March for sold properties and currently available properties for sale or pending as of this writing.

The statistics on foreclosed properties are from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office, and the properties on the market are from the website, which generally reflects properties on local multiple listing services. Also, please note that I use primarily condos and single-family homes in the analysis.

Properties $1 million and over that closed between January and March of this year are as follows:

Cortez had one sale at $1,112,500; the previous three-month period had none. The city of Anna Maria had 11 sales during this period ranging from $4,260,000 to $1,140,000; during the previous period there were nine. The combined cities of Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach had eight sales between $1,925,000 and $1,000,000; the last three-month period had 11.

Available properties for sale as of this writing are: Cortez has four properties either available or pending between $1,100,000 and $1,500,000; the previous three-month period there were five. The city of Anna Maria has 56 properties either available or pending ranging from $4,995,000 to $1,169,000. During the previous three-month period there were 42. And the combined cities of Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach have 70 either available or pending properties between $4,600,000 and $1,000,000. The previous three-months there were 47.

So, what does this snapshot of our coastal market tell us? First of all, it tells us that the number of closed properties is more or less stable. However, the number of available properties, some of which are pending, is up on the island, particularly Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach, which is way up. There are certainly closed sales that are not reflected in these numbers, and, hopefully, the next three-month period will reflect more closing as we start to ease out of the winter selling season.

What we do know for sure is more and more people are discovering our little piece of paradise, which will only lead to bigger and bigger traffic jams. I can almost guarantee you that a year from now I will be writing the same thing as I stated in the first paragraph of this column – it’s the worst year for traffic ever, assuming I can get over the Cortez Bridge.