A recent home sale in Manatee County is a sign of just how hot the Florida, including Anna Maria Island, housing market is again. “We had a property on the market for about 17 minutes before it had an offer,” said the president of the Manatee Association of Realtors.
At the beginning of June, I had German clients who wanted to put offers in on two different island properties that were snatched up within an hour or two of being listed. The Manatee Association of Realtors said you can thank, or blame, Manatee County’s hot housing market on groups of investors who are watching listings for existing home sales like hawks. The investors pay a high price with cash, eliminating much of their competition. “They are coming in and scooping up a lot of existing inventory, really making it hard for the homebuyer who needs financing and has to have a mortgage.”
Given the trends and upward pressure on prices, it looks like Manatee County and the entire state has become a seller’s market. Pending sales, contracts on existing properties not yet completed, rose 31.9%. On Anna Maria, sales for the past 12 months are up a record pace of 405 over 379 properties sold during the same period last year. The inventory is at the lowest level in the past decade, at 303, coming down from a high of almost 1000 in 2006.
The seller’s advantage, with multiple offers, is becoming the norm. High demand and low supply continue to push up prices of single family homes and condos. Pending properties, 61 compared to 41 last month, are at seasonal highs, indicating continued sales growth. Lot sales are up higher than they have been in years. In Anna Maria alone, a record seven lots were sold in the last six months, with 13 currently under contract, due to close.
It would seem that the City of Anna Maria’s attempt to squash development is not working. Investors and builders are continuing to construct vacation rental homes at a record pace, seizing the opportunity of increasing tourist business on the island.