Sales for  March 2011 exceeded last year with 40 properties sold (SF-15, Con-17, Dup-4 & Lot-4) compared to March 2010 at (SF-22, Con-5, Dup-5 & Lot-3) considering 2010 was the best year in sales on the island since 2005 the peak year for sales.  Sales for the first quarter 2011 were 78 (SF-33, Con-34, Dup-5 & Lot-6) versus first quarter 2010 at 76 (SF-44, Con-19, Dup-8 & Lot-5) again exceeding the pace of sale for 2010.  Of the 40 sales in March 2011 15% (6) were distressed properties versus March 2010 29% (10) were distressed properties.  As you can see below of the 78 sales for March 31, 2011 Y-T-D 14% (11) were distressed compared to the 76 sales for March 31, 2010 Y-T-D 29% (22) were distressed.  Sales continue to look strong into the future with pended sales at 80 (SF-45, Con-32, Dup-1 & Lot-2) which is almost double the normal number of pended sales at any point in time.  Of the pended sales 29% are distressed properties (23).  We have reached another milestone with inventory for the first time in over 6 years falling below 500.  Current inventory is at 496 (SF-245, Con-167, Dup-35 & Lot-49) and of that 7% is distressed inventory (SF-12, Con-16, Dup-4 & Lot-1).  If you look at sales over the last 12 months at 322 and compare it to sale for the same 12 months a year ago which were 269 it demonstrates the strong sales we have been seeing.  It looks like the strong sales will continue for 2011, well above the average of 250.  The other thing we’re seeing is because of the strong sales the number of exceptional properties for sale are much smaller than in the past year.  Properties that are in good locations and therefore great rentals are much smaller in number.
 From  last month’s Frank and Al’s Great Buy’s three more properties went under contract.  The short sale, 100-B 52nd St, a two unit condo with gulf views ( 100-A 52nd St is still available), 3103 Avenue E a new construction land condo with gulf views and 111 Oak Avenue, the classic beach cottage circa 1926 west of gulf drive.   All three went under contract within 5% of the asking price.  We have two new listings on the list for this month, 458 63rd St. a 2bedroom 2 bath on Watson’s bayou with great open water views and 4001 5th Avenue a new Tuscan style home with 3 bedrooms 3 baths and very close to the beach with  peaks of the gulf.  The sleeper no one has figured out yet is 2916 Avenue E a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, totally remodeled with a pool,  4 houses to the beach that has a purchase price to yearly gross rental revenue (PP/YGRR)  ratio of 10.  Most properties on the island have a ratio of 14-16 (lower is better in this ratio) and there aren’t many properties that have a 10 ratio (10 years of gross rental revenue equals the purchase price).  Another good buy are the 3 land condo’s left next to 3103 Avenue E that just went under contract.  They are close to the beach with some gulf views and have the potential to have a purchase price to gross yearly rental revenue ratio of 10 because of their location.  Also you should be looking at 100-A 52nd St next to the B unit that just went under contract.  This is also a great rental with a current PP/YGRR of 11.5 and with cosmetic changes could be a 10 easily.  Those of you seriously looking for a property should make a move now.
 There was a very good article in the Herald Tribune Business Weekly ( Anna Maria Island has Antidote to Recession) about tourism and the economy on the barrier islands which points out how much better Anna Maria Island is doing than all the other barrier islands on the west coast.  It describes how tourism is critical to the region’s economic recovery and how Anna Maria “gets it” and the rest of the region has been slow to catch on.  Read the full article at:  
 T summarize sales in March were strong as were sales for March, 31 2011 Y-T-D.  Te inventory has dropped to the lowest level in 6 years at 496 into the normal range of 450-500 properties for sale.  Pended properties are at a 6 year high of 80 which supports a continued record pace of sales for 2011. Prices seem to be down to a level that is spurring record demand and that is good for the island market.