The Anna Maria Island Real Estate Market continues to show strong and consistent improvement for 2009.  Sales for October were again over 200% ( SF-10, Con-8, Dup-1 & Lot-0 = 19) of October 2008 sales   ( SF-7, Con-0, Dup-1 & Lot-0 = 8).  October Y-T-D sales for 2009 are now equal to sales for the same period in 2008 (186 vs. 187).   The consistently strong monthly sales for the second half of 2009 have brought us from 32% behind 2008 sales at mid-year to even with 2008 sales through October 2009.  With pended sales (properties under contract) still strong at 57 (SF-32, Con-19, Dup-4 & Lot-2) 2009 is still on track to exceed 2008 sales on the island.

Distressed properties (short sales, foreclosed & bank owned) have bumped up a little to 35 (SF-12, Con-18, Dup-3 & Lot-2).  Of the 12 single family distressed properties 11 are short sales and 9 of them are listed between $199K and $599K.  Of the 18 distressed condos 17 are short sales and 15 are listed between $99K and $415K.  Additional good news is that the inventory on the island continues to decrease with it currently at 500 (SF-244, Con-180, Dup-43 & Lot-33).  As I mentioned in past newsletters the normal balance of inventory for the island is between 450 and 500 properties for sale.  An inventory below 400 begins to turn into a sellers market because the demand begins to outstrip the supply.

Taxes came down in 2008 for most properties and based on this years Trim notices, it looks like they will come down again for 2009.  Assessed values for the three cities on the island are down from 2008.  Bradenton Beach assessed value for properties for 2009 is down 16.63% from last year, the highest of the three cities.  The City of Anna Maria is down 9.08% and the City of Holmes Beach is down 8.66%.  Manatee County (the majority of the tax) plans to use reserves to make up most of the short fall for the county.  The three cities on the island plan to keep their millage rates at or near where they are currently.  Since the assessed values are down the taxes should go down again for 2009 on most properties.

Frank and Al’s Great Buy’s this month has only one change from last month.  The addition for this month is 211 69th St a duplex that is very close to the beach listed at $499,000.  It has a 2/3 bedroom and 2 bath updated seasonal unit on one side and a 2 bedroom 1 bath with an annual renter on the other side.  The annual unit has been just upgraded with new tile throughout.  For those who are looking for an entry level property on the island 312 64th St (one unit of a  2 unit condo’ed duplex with a common pool) has large square footage (2010) with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, a large 2 car garage and it’s a short sale at $329,000.

Rental income is up significantly over last year due mostly to all the continued good press Anna Maria Island is getting around the country and around the world.  The latest was an article in Islands Magazine that picked islands around the world by category such as Best unplugged Experience (Kauai), Best for History Lessons (Capri), Best for Family Reunions (Virgin Gorda)….etc. and the winner for Best Quaint Island (Anna Maria Island)…..we knew that.  Also, the Washington Post travel section has been running a series on Florida west coast beaches and Anna Maria Island got a lot of great press.  Speaking of rentals, the City of Holmes Beach commission squeaked through (in the dead of night) a change in the comp plan about 6 months ago of the rental policy in the residential (R-1 zoned) low density part of the city.  This change in the comp plan changes the minimum rental policy for the residential low density zoned area (see attached chart) from 1 week to 1 month.  That will significantly affect the rental capability of any property owned in that part of Holmes Beach.   Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.

To summarize the island market, sales have surged the second half of this year to make up a 35% deficit we had in June to match 2008 sales through October Y-T-D.  I expect a continued strong performance for the last two months of the year so that 2009 sales will exceed 2008 by at least 10%.  Inventories have been continuing down to their lowest level since the 4th quarter of 2005.  The island market is on a solid base to show some appreciation by the end of 2010.

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