Happy New Year- Last January I started the Newsletter by saying “With 2009 the year of stabilization and improvement, 2010 was the year of the market poised to turn up, 2011 will be the year of a modest increase in prices” which it was and predicted 2012 would continue with modest increase in values which it did.

Sales in 2012 were the highest in the last 30 years except for 2005 & 2004.  It was a record breaking year on Anna Maria.  December 2012 sales were 38 (SF-27, Con-9, Dup-1 & Lot-1) up 46% over December 2011 at 26 (SF-14, Con-9, Dup-3 & Lot-0).  December 31, 2012 Y-T-D sales were 430 (SF-244, Con-126, Dup-27, Lot-33) up 26% over December 31, 2011 at 340 (SF-174, Con-126, Dup-16 & Lot-24).  Of the 2012 sales only 11% were distressed properties (bank owned or short sales) compared to 16% or 56 (SF-17, Con-30, Dup-6 & Lot-3) in 2011.  Inventory on the island continues to remain low at 321 (SF-155, Con-106, Dup-32 & Lot-28).  The inventory last month was 319 and for the last six months the inventory has ranged between 295 and 321.

If you’re looking for some very good properties to buy check out Frank, Larry’s & Al’s Great Buys this month.  The best investment buy in the whole inventory is still 2916 Avenue EIt has averaged $65K in gross annual rental income for the past five years and did $66,778 in 2012 which makes it a 9.4 ratio (purchase price/Gross annual rental income) at list priceNo other property has that low a ratio which is why it’s the best investment property currently for sale on the island.  Check out the Cost of Ownership Analysis attached.  Another property close to the beach (3 houses to the beach) is 115 36th St which has been recently reduced to $599K.  There is plenty of room for a pool which would make it a great 2nd home or a very good investment property.  One of the nicest new Gulf front condos currently for sale on the island is 108 36th St (Palm Gables).  This unit was custom built, has been impeccably decorated with Robb & Stucki furniture and hand painted island murals and has never been a rental although it can be rented weekly.  Check out the other great buys this month.

The strong Canadian dollar and the attractive real estate prices in south Florida have pushed Canadian snowbirds to south Florida in large numbers because of a perfect storm.  Canadian baby boomers can find great real estate deals in Florida and the strong dollar buys more in the U.S. then it could in recent years (Source: Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel).  We have been seeing more Canadians come into the Island market in the last year than any time since most Canadians who owned property here sold out in the 1990’s when the U.S. dollar was very strong against the Canadian dollar.

To summarize the market, 2012 was a banner year with the first time since the MLS has been recording sales, except for 2005 & 2004, sales were over 400 properties (2012-430, 2004-435 and 2005-438).  The one number that really jumps out at you is the number of single family homes sold in 2012 (244).  If you look at the Marketing Stats graph you can see that there were more single family sales in 2012 than any other year ever.  In 2005 only 182 , 2006 – 74, 2007 – 111, 2008 – 121, 2009 – 118, 2010 – 187 and 2011 – 175.  Single family sales in 2012 were 30% higher than the next highest year which was 2011.  Distressed properties remain low and will continue to do so into the future.  They are currently at 6 (SF-4, Con-1, Dup-1 & Lot-0) 2% of the inventory.  Pended properties ( properties under contract) have dropped down to the average range at 38 (SF-20, Con-9, Dup-5 & Lot-4).

An update on the Holmes Beach building moratorium on R2 lots which went into place Dec, 25th 2012, anyone looking to build new on an R2 lot in Holmes Beach is pretty much in limbo until the city lifts the moratorium.  It will be lifted when they pass a floor to area ration on R2 lots.  They have been discussing a LAR of .31 which means on a 5000 sq ft lot your maximum footprint would be 1,550 sq ft so the maximum 2 level up home would be 3,100 sq ft…..More to come.

Ask Alan Galletto-THE Realtor for real estate on Anna Maria Island, FL. 941.232.2216