Calming waters

Castles in the Sand

It’s the end of July, and most of the country is hot, really hot. But if you live near the water as we do, it doesn’t seem so bad. Imagine living in a landlocked state and it’s 95 degrees day after day. Aside from keeping cool, living near the water has many other benefits, according to a book called “Blue Mind.”

Sitting on a beach has always been one of my favorite things to do and I have been fortunate enough my entire life to have quick access to wonderful beaches. It gives me a sense of well being and just staring at the water puts me in a mildly meditative state, a blue mind.

This is exactly what Wallace Nichols a marine biologist talks about in his book “Blue Mind.” He says that merely being close to a body of water, sea, river, ocean or lake can promote mental health and happiness. Further, water lowers stress and anxiety, lowers heart and breathing rate and improves creativity. Sometimes even dreaming or daydreaming about a beautiful beach and crystal water can calm down anxiety.

Nichols’s theory would explain the popularity of Anna Maria Island and the accompanying increase in real estate values. Coastal Living Magazine had a recent list of the happiest seaside towns in the country. Anna Maria came in fifth and the only picture the magazine used in their piece was one of Anna Maria’s iconic cottages on Pine Avenue.

Now it’s time to take a look at the June Manatee County sales statistics reported by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee:

Single-family homes closed 2.2% fewer properties, however, the median sale price was up 5% to $315,000 and the average sale price was $397,987, which is 8.8% higher than last June. The median percentage of original list price to the final sale price was 96%, about the same as last year. The median time to sell was 102 days this June. Last year it was 90 days and the month’s supply of properties is 3.6 months compared to 4.1 last June.

Condos closed 12.2% fewer properties this June compared to last. Like single-family homes, the median sale price for condos was also up by 3.9% to $199,000. The average sale price was also up 1.6% to $236,307. The median percentage of original list price to the final sale price was 95%, up 1.3 percent from last year. The median time to sell was 101 days this year compared to 111 days last year and the month’s supply of properties is 4.1 months, the same as last June.

With the exception of fewer closings, June’s numbers are all in the green for both single-family and condos. If you have a smaller supply of properties to sell, chances are you will have fewer closings – the good and bad of a great real estate market. In addition, the median percentage of listing to sale price is a good indicator of the health of the market. When you’re getting close to 100% of listing to sale, you know things are good.

This time of year, it’s not easy to find a state that is naturally cool, believe me, I’ve tried. It’s also not easy to find a place where people are not over-connected and over-stimulated, creating a red mind the opposite of a blue mind.

However, we have it right here on Anna Maria and the surrounding areas. Is it worth the extra money for a home on or near the water? Just ask anyone who has one. “Blue Mind,” a perfect name for a cottage on the beach.

More Castles in the Sand:

The condo dance

The suburbs and the millennials

Are you as smart as a private equity firm?