April home/condo sales skyrocket

Sales of single-family homes and condominiums on Anna Maria Island climbed 58.6 percent in April 2011 when compared with the number sold for the same month in 2010, according to the area’s real estate multiple listing service.

John Van Zandt of Island Real Estate checked the figures for Anna Maria Island sales and found 46 closings of Island properties in April as compared to 29 for April 2010.

“That’s really encouraging. I believe it shows the Island had a good season for property sales, especially as March figures were well above last year at that time,” Van Zandt said.

There were 27 single-family home closings in April this year and 16 for April 2010. At the same time, condominium sales were bumped from 12 in April 2010 to 18 sold in April 2011..

The average sale price of a single-family home also rose in April 2011 when compared with the same month last year.

MLS figures show the average single-family home sale on AMI for April 2011 was $553,296 compared with $523,063 in April 2010, a 5.8 percent increase.

“It’s definitely positive news, but we can’t say that it’s a sign the recession is over,” Van Zandt said. “You can’t compare Anna Maria Island to the mainland. The Island is different. It’s always in demand.”

At Gulf-Bay Realty, Jesse Brisson, who reports real estate transfers for The Islander, had the same MLS figures plus two by-owner sales. Those sales are not recorded by the MLS.

“A very good month, better than expected,” Brisson said.

He cautioned, however, that the figures do not necessarily mean prices are rising.

“It means there were more people looking this year than last, and they paid closer to the asking price. They took advantage of some bargains.”

“It’s still a buyer’s market with a lot of good values, especially for investors looking for rental income,” he said.

Vacation rentals are particularly attractive and at good prices, he said.

Condominiums in particular also are a good value following nearly three years of decline in the average sale price, and anything on the water always attracts buyers, Brisson noted.

“A lot of buyers are looking for an investment and paying cash. They look at the return on investment and see that tourism is good and vacation rentals are in demand,” he said.

Brisson and Van Zandt believe real estate sales will stay strong as the summer progresses.

“And we’re still priced well below other resort islands,” Van Zandt said.

“Where else can you get this for the price? Not Sanibel, not Captiva, not Marco Island,” he said.

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