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MLS: Island sales up, prices down in 2010

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Sales of Island homes rose 35 percent for the year from Nov. 30, 2009 to Nov. 30, 2010, according to the My Florida Multiple Listing Service.

John van Zandt of Island Real Estate on Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, said the latest MLS information he received via the Manatee Board of Realtors shows “a strong performance in terms of numbers of sales” for the Island.

While that’s good news for the industry, he noted that the information was “raw data” and does not consider price differences on the Island for Gulffront, canalfront or interior Island residences.

The MLS data showed 304 total homes sales on the Island in the 12-month reporting period that ended Nov. 30, 2010, against 225 recorded for the 12 months before Nov. 30, 2009.

For prospective buyers, the news was good. The average per-square-foot price of a single-family home declined 4 percent during the reporting period, falling from $309 in November 2009 to $298 by November 2010.

“It’s good news for buyers, not so good for sellers,” van Zandt said.

His advice to anyone who needs to sell a property now is to become “price competitive. Your property could be worth less tomorrow.”

He also said that now is a good time for buyers to jump into the market, but they should “buy to hold, not to flip, as short-term signs still point to a decrease in value pretty much across the board.”

In round figures, the MLS reported the average price of a single-family Island home for the 12-month period from November 2008 to November 2009 was $529,500, while the average price of the same-category home sold in the 2009-10 reporting period was $505,000.

The average price of Island condominiums also fell during the reporting period. The year’s average Island condo sale price on Nov. 30, 2009, was $333,500, but had dropped to $305,000 for the year ending Nov. 30, 2010.

Multi-family homes gathered considerable interest from investors during 2010, according to the MLS data, with prices inching upward. The average price of a multi-family residence was $372,600 for the 12-month period ending Nov. 30, 2009, but rose to an average of $395,000 from that date to November 30, 2010.

The MLS information is available at van Zandt’s website, www.calltheislanders.com.

Island Real Estate is at 6101 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

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