Consistently good is how I would characterize the Anna Maria Island Real Estate market for 2009.  Sales for the month of September were over 250% (SF-9, Con-11, Dup-0 & Lot-2 = 22) of 2008 sales (SF-3, Con-1, Dup-3 & Lot-1 = 8).  Sep. Y-T-D sales for 2009 are now only 9% behind 2008 (167 vs. 182).  Where as for 2008, sales per month fluctuated from 8 to 41, sales in 2009 have been more consistently steady ranging from 15 to 23 per month and in line with the traditional number of sales per month on the island.  In the first 6 months of the year, sales for 2009 were 32% below 2008.  Through September we are only 9% behind 2008 because of the fact that sales in the third quarter of 2009 were much stronger then 2008.  Based on the continued strong pending (properties under contract) sales numbers, 52 (SF-31, Con-18, Dup-3 & Lot-0) I expect we will close the last 3 months with strong enough sales numbers to exceed last years sales.

Distressed Properties (short sales, pre-foreclosures, in-foreclosures & bank owned) are still very low on the island (19) and are expected to continue to stay very low.  The inventory continues to decline slowly as we approach the normal inventory level for the island. Currently the inventory is at 514 (SF-251, Con-184, Dup-40 & Lot-39) which is unchanged from last month.   Again, we’re looking to get the inventory under 500 which is the norm for the island market.

Sellers, I’ve said this before and it continues to be true….If you want to sell your property you have to list it as close to the market as possible.  A property that just sold for $495,000 is a good example of chasing the market down.  It was a townhouse, 3BR/2Bath, west of gulf drive a block to the beach which was on the market two years starting at a list price of $995,000.  The price was slowly reduced over time until it finally sold last week.  If the seller had listed it at $699,000 originally it would probably have sold in the $600,000’s (based on similar properties sold 2 years ago) and the seller would have saved a year and a half of carrying costs.

Buyers, there aren’t many distressed properties on the island and most of them aren’t necessarily the best buys.  If you’re planning on offsetting some of your operating cost with renting your property, then you have to look at your total cost of ownership, that is, what rental revenue the property can generate minus all the operating expenses and the debt service.  At the price that property is selling for today on the island, a property that is a normal “arms length transaction” in a good location will have a lower cost of ownership then most distressed properties.  I can help you with this analysis on any properties you’re considering.

Frank and Al’s Great Buy’s this month has something for everyone.  The property at 204 Archer Way listed at $349,000 that was under contract is back on the market.  There was no problem with the property, the buyer couldn’t get her financing together.  This is a great starter single family home only a block to the beach.  The “early bird special” direct bay front Condo I included last month has already gone under contract within 2 weeks of being listed.  Another great buy on the list is the 3 bedroom/3.5 bath, 2400 sq ft condo with Gulf Views at $775,000.  This property currently does $50,000 a year in rental income.  The short sale 4bedroom, 2 baths, 2,040 sq ft at 312 64th St listed at $329,000 is a great buy.  It’s a short sale…..make an offer at $200,000, you never know what the bank will take.  I closed two short sales this month that were a couple hundred thousand dollars under the mortgage.

To summarize the island market, we’re very close to traditional inventory levels and at the lowest inventory level since the end of 2005.  Due to strong sales the last few months, year-to-date sales are down only 9% from 2008 and it looks like we will exceed 2008 sales (212) by the end of the year because pending sales continue to be strong.  Average and median sales price’s for all types of properties continue to stay level and distressed properties continue to remain low (19).  Please don’t hesitate to call for more specific information.  Be sure to visit your realtor website at for listings and more info.