Sales continue to be above average as we roll into 2012.   Sales for January 2012 were 28 (SF-13, Con-11, Dup-2 & Lot-2) up 75% over January 2011 which were 16 (SF-8, Con-6, Dup-1 & Lot-1).  Sales for the last 12 months were 352 (SF-179, Con-131, Dup-17 & Lot-25) up 10% compared to the previous 12 months which had sales of 322 (SF-187, Con-96, Dup-24 & Lot-15).  You can see from the charts below that average and median sales prices for the last 12 months are up for all property types over the previous 12 months.  Currently there are 14 distressed properties (SF-7, Con-6, Dup-1 & Lot-0) in the inventory of 412 (SF-193, Con-140, Dup-28 & Lot-51).  Of the 14 distressed properties 5 are in Bradenton Beach and 9 are in Holmes Beach.  Of the 5 in Bradenton Beach 3 are short sales and 2 are bank owned.  Of the 9 in Holmes Beach 8 are short sales and 1 is bank owned.  Pended properties (properties under contract) continue to be strong at 60 (SF-36, Con-17, Dup-4 & Lot-3) up from 45 last month which is a good sign for continued strong sales.  Inventory on the island has dropped down to 412 down from 427 last month and 456 the previous month.
Another one of Frank, Larry & Al’s Great Buys went under contract since the last newsletter.  The property at 5505 Gulf Drive listed at $324,900 went under contract and is pended to close on March 15th.  With the inventory so low the number of “good” properties (close to the beach with high rental income potential) are becoming very slim.  For those of you who may have missed out on Palm Isle Village and Starfish Beach Cottages the units at Island Garden Villa’s are a great buy as well as great rentals.  The units start at $289,000 and are totally remodeled, in excellent condition and have an excellent rental history.  We also just secured bank financing for these units even though they are a newly formed condo which says a lot for the complex.  Go to the website for more information   www.gardenvillasales.com  .  Another great buy are any of the three single family homes (7001 Holmes Blvd, 5704 Holmes Blvd & 302 67th St) of which each are on a conforming duplex lot.  This leaves many possibilities; live in the home as is, remodel the home, or tear down the home and build two single family land condos.  These are all listed in the low $400’s which is not much more than the lot value.  Check out all the properties on Frank, Larry and Al’s Great Buy’s.
To summarize the current island market, sales continue to chug along at historically high rates.  To put it in perspective, January 2012 sales at 28 was the highest sales for January since 2005 at 29.  January sales for the years in between were 2006 – 18, 2007 – 9, 2008 – 11, 2009 – 15, 2010 – 14 and 2011 – 16.  With the number of transactions at highs well above average and the inventory at levels well below average it is putting pressure on the availability of properties in great locations that would be very good investment properties.  For example there are only 10 properties for sale on the island “west of gulf drive”.  This is putting upward pressure on the prices of these properties above the normal appreciation we’re seeing on the island.  If you look at the charts below of average and median sale prices for the last twelve month sales versus the previous twelve months sales you can see that average and median sale prices are up for all types of properties.  From a pricing standpoint 67% of the single family inventory is listed below $700K whereas 79% of the single family sales for the last twelve months have been below $700K.  Condos have 90% listed below $700K and 96% of the sales for the last twelve months are below $700K.  At the rates that properties on the island have been selling over the last two years if the inventory drops below 400 that would account for only one year of sales and the only time that happened was in 2003-2005.  Because of where the market is I have been seeing more and more sellers pushing back on low ball buyers and holding to their price.  I’m also seeing buyers losing deals because of multiple offers on property.  In addition check out the chart at the end of my newsletter with the 30 year fixed mortgage rates over the last 200 years.  The bottom line is if you’re in the market to buy, sooner is better than latter.