The Anna Maria Island Market continues to move along at a traditionally normal pace.  Sales for the month of August were up 70% (SF-15, Con-6, Dup- 0 & Lot- 1 = 22) over 2008 (SF-8, Con-2, Dup-2 & Lot-1 = 13).  This allowed us to catch up on the year-to-date sales which for 2009 Aug Y-T-D is  144 vs. 2008 Aug Y-T-D at 174 only 16% lower.   Single family average and median home prices on the island seem to be leveling off as do condo and multi-family properties.  Pending properties (properties under contract) continue to remain strong at 57 (SF-28,Con-25,Dup-3 & Lot-1).  As you can see the sales of property on the island is a little behind last year but I expect it to end up about the same as last year when we get to the end of the year. That being said, the properties selling are the most aggressively priced properties.

Distressed properties (short sales, pre-foreclosures, in-foreclosures & bank owned) continue to decline with the current number at 13 or under 3% of the inventory.  At the same time the inventory continues to decline with 514 properties currently for sale on the island down from 535 last month.  When we get below 500 we will be in the historical normal range of inventory for the island.

Financing continues to be a challenge especially for condos.  Banks are requiring at least 25% down with good credit and more if the condo association is not financially strong.  Single family homes and duplex’s are the easiest to finance right now but appraisals are still a problem with banks using many appraisers who know little about the area in which they are doing appraisals.  In addition, the banks are requiring 6 month olds comps which sometimes are hard to find.  I find that some banks are holding loans in their portfolio’s from customers with very good credit and those are much easier to complete.  Loans that are sold to Fannie May are much harder to get approval on because they have far more stringent bureaucratic general rules and conditions.

Check out Frank & Al’s Great Buys this month.  One of last months great buys went under contract (204 Archer Way) and is expected to close at the end of this month.  There are still some good buys left so check them out.  This month we have an “Early Bird Special Short Sale” not listed yet for those of you who are ready to buy.  It’s a direct Bay Front Condo 4BR/3Bath, 2,600 sq ft, built in 2006 with a 12k boat lift & dock that was bought new in 2006 for $2,300,000.  It is just three short blocks to the beach and will be listed around $895,000.  Anyone with serious interest can contact me for more information.  As you can see from the distressed property numbers above, we are running out of distressed property “good deals”.

We’re coming into the time of year that the locals love.  The island is quieter, you can walk into any restaurant without a reservation and the weather is always great.  If you’re looking for a rental on the island the rates are the lowest this time of year and there are some great rental deals.  Call Larry or any of the rental girls to book a great deal.

To summarize the island market at this point, the inventory is continuing to fall and is approaching the norm.  That’s a very good sign because that has to happen before we are going to see the start of any appreciation.  We have the lowest inventory since the 4th quarter 2005.  The number of sales is still lagging behind 2008 but we made up a good part of the difference in August.  We are looking at a very high number of pending sales which bodes well for sales over the next 30-60 days.  Prices, both average and median sales price, in all type of properties seem to be leveling off which is also an important indicator in order for us to see the start of any appreciation.  Some good news for property owners is that the Trim Notices (estimated taxes for 2009) are out and based on 2008 sales most non-homesteaded properties taxes have gone down again this year.

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