Posts tagged Luxery Condos

August 2010 Real Estate Newsletter ALAN GALLETTO, Realtor; Anna Maria Island, FL.

 

Sales continue to run above average with sales for July at 18 (SF-11, Con-4, Dup-2 & Lot-1) up from last year’s 16 (SF-9, Con-6, Dup-0 & Lot-1). July 2010 Y-T-D sales are up 39% at 169 (SF-103, Con-46, Dup-13 & Lot-7) over July 2009 Y-T-D at 123 (SF-63, Con-47, Dup-6 & Lot-7). As you can see from the numbers the main reason for the big increase in sales this year is the increase in single family sales. The other three types of properties sales are running about even with last year. The sales numbers are still on track to exceed the average of 250 this year as demonstrated by the sales for the last 12 months at 280 and the continued strong pending sales (properties under contract) at 63 (SF-33, Con-20, Dup-7 & Lot-3). In July Island Real Estate put 4 properties under contract and closed 5 properties.

Inventory has remained stable, in the mid 500’s, since the first of the year and is currently at 544 (SF-266, Con-189, Dup-38 & Lot-51). Again the normal inventory level on the island is between 450 and 500 properties for sale so we continue to hover just above the norm. When the inventory drops below 500 and stays in that range or lower than I believe we will begin to see a significant increase in average and median sales prices on the island. Distressed properties (bank owned & short sales) have bumped up a little over last month and are currently at 53 (SF-19, Con-25, Dup-5 & Lot-4). The increase was due primarily to the increase in condos from 17 to 25. The mainland, in comparison, is still in the 30% plus range of inventory of distressed properties. The number of sales on the mainland are up about 13% over the same period last year but median sale prices are continuing to drop, down 12% over last year.

Well two more of Frank & Al

The Gulf oil spill seems to be plugged so that’s good news for the whole Gulf region. We here in southwest Florida have not seen any oil and don’t expect to see any. The beaches are still there normal white sugar sand texture and the waters blue/green clear.

In summary, the number of sales on the island continue to be strong up significantly over last year and look to continue in that direction based on the continued strong number of pended sales. The distribution of sales continues to be skewed to the low end with 90% of sales less than $700,000 and 5% over $1 million. Average and median sales prices have not increased significantly and probably won’t until the inventory drops below 500. There are still some very good deals out there on properties in good locations that would be great rentals for second home buyers but they are becoming less every day. With 30 year fixed interest rates at 4.74% down from 5.42% last year the numbers aren’t going to work any better than right now. If you’re planning on buying a property in the next year now is the time to buy something while there still are good buys in great locations.

 


SOLD… Gulf Front Condo 2 BR/2BA :: $625,000 :: Anna Maria Island Club 2600 Gulf Dr #17, BRADENTON BEACH, FL. Real Estate, Alan Galletto Realtor

2600 GULF DRIVE AMIC#17

ANNA MARIA ISLAND CLUB #17

This Gulf front condo is totally remodeled; Kitchen and Baths have Granite Counters and Wood Cabinets, Crown Molding throughout and much, much more! Luxurious and highly sought after Anna Maria Island Club two bedroom, two bath gulf front condo in one of Anna Maria Island’s premier Gulf front complexes.  The view from this Anna Maria Island Gulf front condo is breathtaking and spectacular to say the least.  Stroll for miles in either direction, or relax by large heated pool, hot tub and sauna directly on the pristine beaches of Anna Maria Island.  The open-air balcony looks over the pool and miles of white sandy beach where you could sit and watch dolphins, manatees or some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see!  The Home is Turnkey Furnished.  The development has secured access via an elevator.

 

 

Ask Alan -THE Realtor for other great real estate on Anna Maria Island, FL.

 

Call Realtor ALAN GALLETTO 941.232.2216 of Island Real Estate.

 

 

JUNE 2010 Real Estate Newsletter ALAN GALLETTO, Realtor; Anna Maria Island, FL.

May continues the strong sales performance we have been seeing since mid 2009. There were 28 properties sold in May (SF-20, Con- 6, Dup- 1 & Lot- 1) compared to 23 (SF- 11, Con- 10, Dup- 2 & Lot- 0) in 2009. Island Real Estate sales continue to be strong in May with 12 properties put under contract and 12 closings in May (10 of them on the island 36% of the island sales for May). As you can see from the charts below Y-T-D through May 31, 2010 sales are up 64% over the same period in 2009. Average and median sales prices are still trending up for single family and multi-family properties and condos are still down due mostly to the skew of sales so far this year to the low end. The number of properties sold in the last 12 months is up again to 282 which reflects the strong sales in the second half of 2009 and continuing into the first half of 2010. If this continues we will do well over the average of 250 sales per year on the island. Pending sales (properties under contract) continue to be strong with 66 properties ( SF-38, Con- 20, Dup- 4 & Lot- 4) currently pended.

Inventory which was at 543 last month has stayed flat at 549 (SF- 261, Con- 192, Dup- 44 & Lot- 52). Over the past 10 months it has fluctuated between 498 and 575. The continued strong pended sales will put downward pressure on the inventory. Distressed properties (short sales and bank owned) are currently at 47, about the same as this time last month. Distressed sales continue to be about 8% of the inventory and 20% of the sales.

There continues to be some great opportunities out there for some great buys. The special email that I sent out a few weeks ago on a short sale at Starfish Beach condo (a 4 unit condo complex like Palm Isle Village) we have already put under contract this week. Those good buys go fast. There are some great opportunities on Frank & Al’s Great Buys this month. For those looking to build a new canal home 718 Key Royale Dr. is a terrific buy at $399,000. This is the lowest price water front lot for sale on the island. There is also a set of plans for a 3,300 sq ft home that goes along with it. With building cost down to $100-$125/sq ft (compared to $300/sq ft at the peak) now is the time to build that custom canal home. For those of you looking for a 2bedroom/2 bath condo close to the beach, 3702 6th Ave unit 4 is a great buy at $259,000. It’s a block to the beach and with a new kitchen, two large porches you can’t buy anything this close to the beach at this price. On the luxury end 108 36th St the new condo unit at Palm Gables listed at $1,490,000 was custom built for this owner and has never been rented. This unit has great panoramic gulf views and would be a terrific rental. Last but not least 200 & 202 38th St., which is a short sale, is a good buy at the list price but who knows what the bank will accept. I think a good offer to the bank for both units would be $1.2million to 1.3million which at $1.3 million would be a steal ($650K a unit) for these 3,100 & 2,500 square foot units. They currently do $55K and $65K in rentals and with a little “fluffing” and “buffing” (spending under $10K) they could easily do $70K and $80K. Palm Isle Village is still the best buy on the island for one and two bedroom condos close to the beach. With 25% down, they just about break even after tax, and there is nothing else on the island that matches this investment.

As I stated last month, the number of sales transactions are significantly up but the distribution of sales are skewed to the low end with 90% of the sales under $700K. In spite of this the average and median sales prices are trending up. The sales by quarter chart will not be updated until the end of June but with 56 properties sold in April and May, the Q2-2010 trend will be significantly up. In summary the number of sales on the island is significantly up while sales prices are down about 35% from the peak in 2006. Inventory is settling down to historical norms and distressed properties are stable and low. Sales for May were up 22% from last year and Y-T-D sales through May of this year were up 55% over last year.

May 2010 Real Estate Newsletter ALAN GALLETTO, Realtor Anna Maria Island, FL.

April sales continues the strong sales performance for 2010 and the sales activity remains very strong here on Anna MAria Island, FL.  There were 28 properties sold in April (SF-16, Con-11, Dup-1 & Lots-0) compared to 21 (SF-10,Con-9,Dup-1 & Lot-1) in 2009. Island Real Estate sales continue to be strong with 10 properties put under contract and 9 closings in April (32% of the closing on the island). Since January 1st I, Alan Galletto, have personally closed over $6,000,000 worth of property. From the charts below Y-T-D through April 30, 2010 sales are up 66% over the same period in 2009. If you look at the Year end 2009 average & median sales prices and compare them to the previous 12 months and April 30, 2010 average & median sales prices you can see that single family homes, duplex’s & lots are trending up and condos have leveled off. If this trend continues we will see some appreciation in properties by the end of the year. Again, this month the properties sold in the last 12 months are up to 275 compared to the previous 12 months of 267. This is also a very good trend and shows sales on Anna Maria Island, FL. continuing to increase. Another good sign in the market is pending sales (properties under contract) is very strong at 71 (SF-46, Con-18, Dup-3 & Lot-4).  Last month at this time there were 63 properties pended. Inventory, which last month had bumped up to 567, has dropped down to 543. Over the last 9 months it has been fluctuating between 498 and 575.  As I said above, sales look to continue to be strong over the next several months which will continue to pull the inventory down. Distressed properties (short sales & bank owned) last month dropped to 33 and this month bumped up to 43. Distressed properties on Anna Maria Island, FL continue to be low at 6%-8% of the inventory compared to 26% on the mainland.

For another consecutive month one of Frank Davis & Alan Galletto’s Great Buys has gone under contract.  The canal home at 521 69th St. Holmes Beach on Anna MAria FL. went under contract and is due to close the end of June.  This month we still have 5806 Imperiore, Holmes BEach on Anna Maria, FL. listed at $389,000 a 2 bedroom/2 bath totally remodeled and turnkey furnished. For those of you looking for an entry level condo 100 yards to the beach check out 3702 6th Ave. #4 Holmeas Beach, Anna Maria FL. now listed at $259,000.  You can’t get this close to the beach for this price.  We still have our luxury picks 108 36th St. Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, FL. a beautifully appointed condo in Palm Gables listed at $1,490,000. You have to see this property to appreciate it. Also please check out 200/202 38th St. Holmes BEach on Anna Maria Island, FL. ($895K & $775K) a two unit gulf view condo well under market for units with Gulf Views.

Check my web site www.AlanGalletto.com  to look at the average and median sales prices at the end of 2009 and compare them to the last 12– 75% of the total sales were months sales and the 2010 year-to-date sales you can see that all four types of properties average & median sales prices are trending up.  That, along with a continued increase in sales volume, are all good signs for the island market.  What is also interesting is that the average & median sales prices as well as sales volume are up and at the same time high end sales are only a small fraction of the total sales. In 2006 – 56% of the total sales were under $700K.  In 2007- 78% of the total sales were under $700K. In 2008 under $700K.  In 2009 – 90% of the total sales were under $700K.  In 2010 Y-T-D through April – 92% of the total sales were under $700K.  You can see that although the number of sales are up, a smaller proportion of the total sales are over $700K than in previous years.  That would understate the increase in average and median sales prices.  The sales by quarter chart shows just the first quarter of 2010 until we get the full 2nd quarter numbers but based on Aprils sales and the strong pended contracts I would expect the sales to continue trending up.

Next month begins hurricane season (June 1 – November 30) so I’ve included an updated map of all the US hurricane landfalls from 1950 – 2009 which shows that the Florida west coast is less vulnerable than most of the US coastline.


Keep those calls and e-mails coming!  We love hearing from you……Alan & Frank

Ask Alan -THE Realtor for other great real estate on Anna Maria Island, FL.

Call Realtor ALAN GALLETTO 941.232.2216 of Island Real Estate.

www.Alangalletto.com

April 2010 Real Estate Newsletter ALAN GALLETTO, Realtor Anna Maria Island, FL.

Sales continue to boom on Anna Maria Island with 34 properties sold in March (SF-21, Con-5, Dup-5 & Lot-3) versus 17 (SF-10, Con-5, Dup-1 & Lot-1) in 2009. After lower than normal sales (less than 20 per month) in the first half of 2009, sales went to higher than normal (over 20 per month) in the last half of 2009 and continued right into the first quarter of 2010. As you can see from the charts below sales for the first quarter of 2010 were 74 properties versus 41 for the first quarter of 2009, an 80% increase. Sales continue to look strong over the next couple months as well with pending sales at 63 (SF-33, Con-23, Dup-4 & Lot-3). Island Real Estate continues to show strong sales with 14 new contracts and 14 closings in March. I have sold 12 properties in the last six months totaling $10,391,000 in sales. As you can see from the historical graphs, single family and multi-Family transactions are trending significantly up. Average sale prices for single family, Multi-family & condos also are trending up. In the last 12 months there were 267 properties sold as compared to the previous 12 months of 250 which again reflects very positive sales growth. Based on these trends I feel we will see sales for 2010 of over 250 properties on the island.

Inventory has bumped up about 5% this month to 567 (SF-277, Con-200, Dup-45 & Lot-45). The increase was primarily in single family homes and because of the strong sales over the last 9 months I think the inventory will flatten out to below 500 in the next few months. Still the inventory is at a two year low. Distressed (short sales, foreclosures & bank owned) properties have dropped from 45 last month to 33 this month or 6% of the inventory. Of the 267 properties sold in the last 12 months about 20% of them were distressed properties 56 (SF-22, Con-25, Dup-7 & Lot-2) versus 50% of the sales on the mainland in Manatee County.

Another one of Frank & Al’s Great buy’s from last month went under contract. A cute little island cottage, 2305 Ave B listed at $339,000, is under contract and is due to close by the end of April. For those of you who feel they missed out and are looking for something similar, check out this month’s recommended entry level single family home 5806 Imperiore listed at $389,000 a 2 bedroom/2bath totally remodeled island cottage 2 blocks from the beach. For a great condo buy don’t forget Palm Isle Village, the 11 unit 1 and 2 bedroom condos across the street from the beach. There are 7 units left for sale and the Cost of Ownership on these are the lowest on the island. You can own one of these units for $57/month to $343 per month. The single family home at 4002 6th Ave. listed at $400K that I said was the best buy for single family homes last month went under contract….you have to move fast. The best new condo buy, by far, on the island is 108 36th St Palm Gables listed at $1,490,000. This 3 bedroom/2.5 bath unit is exquisitely decorated and furnished. The quality of this direct gulf front unit is surpassed only by Vista Grande who’s only two units that were for sale closed last month.

If you look at the sales by quarter chart you can see that from the peak (Q2-2005) quarterly sales on the island has only popped up above the average for two quarters until Q2-2009. Since Q2-2009 it has been consistently above the average quarterly sales. This is consistent with the fact that we have had strong sales from mid 2009 right into the first quarter of 2010. I personally have sold 12 properties in the last six months which adds up to $10,391,000 so you can see things are very healthy. The good deals on the island for people willing to do major renovation are becoming fewer and fewer but there are still great buys across the board because of the current market pricing. Of the 267 properties sold in the last 12 months Island Real Estate sold over 20% of them and half of those we had both sides of the sale. Another mile stone was that our website had over 100,000 hits per month in February and March. That means somewhere around 75-80% of the people searching the island are hitting our website. The market is good in Paradise….hurray and get a piece.

Keep in touch, we love to hear from you……….Alan & Frank

3BR/3BA Luxury Gulf Front:: $1,490,000:: 7316 Gulf Drive #8 Holmes Beach, FL

Elegant luxury living on Anna Maria Island with views of the Gulf.  2-3BR/3BA condo in La Casa Costiera, a 12-unit complex right on the Gulf of Mexico.  Private elevator and 2 garage spaces.  Enjoy the heated pool and spa – feels more like living in a home than a condo.  This is the only condo building that has windows on all 4 sides like a house!  Bring in the SUNSHINE and the views of the beautiful sunsets over the GULF of MEXICO!!  Great seasonal rentals.Luxury Gulf Front Complex

MARCH 2010 Real Estate Newsletter ALAN Galletto, Realtor Anna Maria Island, FL.

 


 

Sales for February were much stronger than last year with 26 properties sold on the island (SF-13,Con-9, Dup-3 & Lot-1) versus 9 (SF-5, Con-3, Dup-0 & Lot-1) in 2009. February sales of 26 are the highest in the last 20 months except for December which were 28. As you can see from the charts below, property sales on the island thru February this year are 40 versus 24 in 2009. As I said in last months newsletter, pending sales continue to be strong (in the 50‘s and 60’s) which bodes well for continued strong sales numbers. Current pending sales are 57 (SF-33, Con-18, Dup-2 & Lot-4). Island Real Estate continues to show a strong number of contracts (Nov-9, Dec-9, Jan-12 & Feb-12). If you look at the last 12 months sales in the chart below, both the average sale price and the median sale price are trending up as is the total number of sales in the last 12 months. We ended 2009 with 224 properties sold for that 12 month period and you can see that in the last 12 months there were 250 properties sold.

Inventory has bumped up about 10% over the last 2 months and is currently at 541 (SF-261, Con-193, Dup-43 & Lot-44). The Inventory hit a five year low in January at 498 and two thirds of the increase since then has been in single family homes and the other third in condos. The number of Distressed (short sales, foreclosures & bank owned) properties continue to remain at 8% of the inventory and about 18% of the sold properties over the last 12 months. This again shows that buyers are still grabbing the best deals first. Compared to distressed sales in Manatee County, which are 50% of the sales, the numbers on the island are in line with the percent of the inventory that is distressed.

Frank and Al’s Great Buy’s are going like hot cakes. Last month’s luxury pick 5622 Gulf Drive condo (Vista Grande #2) went under contract for very close to the list price of $1,799,000 and will close by the end of March. Vista #1 closed in February for $1,650,000 and that makes all four of the units in Vista Grande sold. Palm island Village condo’s are still the best buys on the island with the ratio of list price to rental income in the 8,9 & 10 range (lower is better on this ratio) which is much lower than anything on the island. These units will just about break even with a 30% down payment. Last month we closed another unit at Palm Isle Village unit 3203 Gulf Dr. (2bedroom/2bath) for $439,000. If you want a new ground level condo, in a great location that will cover all operating expenses and a 70% mortgage, Palm Isle Village is the place to buy. The next best buy on the island is 4002 6th Avenue a 1,500 sq ft home built in 2000 3 bedrooms/3 baths a block to the beach listed at $400,000. It was just reduced to $400,000 so I don’t think it will last long (see Frank & Al’s Best Buys). If you’re looking for a canal home the two best buys are first 610 Hampshire Lane which fronts on the golf course and has the big canal in the back. It’s 1,911 sq ft 3 bedroom/2.5 baths and needs to be updated but it has great bones and in a great location and listed at $559,000. If you want to be in Key Royale and have a view of the canal but not be on it then 678 Key Royale Drive is a great buy. It has been updated with new tile, new kitchen, new A/C and new windows and has 3 bedrooms/ 2 baths and is 2,160 sq ft with a large back yard with plenty of room for a pool. It is listed at $355,000. Call me for more information on these properties.

This month we have a new graph, for those of you interested, of the quarterly sales of all types of property on the island from the first quarter of 2005 to the current quarter. Since the peak in Q2-2005 and the precipitous drop in transactions in 2006 you can see the steady trend up in transactions as the prices came down compared to the historical average of 60 properties sold per quarter.

Tourism on the island continues to remain strong. Island Real Estate continues to lead with marketing efforts on the World Wide Web for both real estate sales and vacation rental searches. It is Island’s strong marketing campaigns that generate above average income levels for our rental owners. Driving around Anna Maria Island I saw a lot of competitor vacation homes empty in the month of February. If your investment rental is not with Island Real Estate and you think we might be able to help please give me a call. I can help get the right personnel to answer any questions you may have about our property management services.



February 2010 Real Estate Newsletter Anna Maria Island FL Realtor Alan Galletto

 

 

February 2010 Newsletter

Well we just got the numbers for sales in January and 2010 looks to be starting off about even with 2009 with 14 properties sold in January (SF-8, Con-5, Dup-0 & Lot-1) compared to 15 (SF-9, Con-4, Dup-2 & Lot-0) last year. Of course one month’s data doesn’t tell us much but there are some other indicators that point to a strong 2010. First, pending properties continue to be strong with 62 (SF-33, Con-18, Dup-6 & Lot-5) properties under contract. For the last 6 months pended properties have been in the 30’s and 40’s with the last three months being in the 50’s and 60’s. Another healthy indicator is the number of properties Island Real Estate has put under contract the last several months (Nov-9, Dec-9, Jan-12) and we have 9 already for February. To put that in prospective last year 224 properties were sold on the island (just under 19 per month on average) and we account for 20-25% of the island sales. You can see that bodes well for stronger sales in 2010 than 2009.

Inventory for this month has bumped up a little to 532 (SF-264, Con-188, Dup-39 & Lot-41) from 498 last month but last year at this time the inventory was at 616. Last year we had a similar bump up in inventory in February and then it continued down over the rest of the year so we will see how the next couple months will go. Of the properties on the market the distressed (short sales, foreclosures or bank owned) properties are still running consistently below 8% yet as you can see from the tables below, of the number of properties sold over the last year about 20% have been distressed properties. That says that buyers are grabbing up the best deals first. Another interesting number is that even thought the number of sales on the island for the last year has been in the normal range, 98% of the properties bought have been below $700,000. For the State of Florida as a whole, 50% of the properties sold in the last 12 months have been distressed. The Manatee County numbers of the per cent of properties sold in the last 12 months that were distressed properties is 47%.

For those of you who are interested in what the trends are in Manatee County I’ve attached charts that show the inventory, sales, and median & average sales price trends for single family and condos for the last 12 months. The net, for those of you not interested in the detail, is Inventory has been slowly trending down over the last 12 months for both single family and condos. Single family average & median sales prices have trended up slightly while condo average and median sales prices have trended down.

The best condo buy on the island right now is in Palm Isle Village. Since lowering the prices about a month ago we closed unit 3207 in January for $310,000 and Unit 3203 this month for $439,000 and there is a lot of activity on the remaining 7 units. These units come very close to paying for themselves after all expenses and a 75% mortgage. If you pay cash they through off a healthy net positive cash flow. This is the 3rd year we have been renting the PIV units and they are terrific rentals. Give me a call for the details on any specific unit. See the complex at

Rentals are very strong this year with IRE rentals, as of this writing, up 20% in January, 10% in February, 35% in March over last year. The summer rentals are also looking strong with bookings as of this date up 40% to 70% over this time last year. Other new news, Island Real Estate has made a significant investment in a 10’ box truck that we are outfitting with all the normal supplies and tools to fix properties onsite without having to use high cost vendors. It will allow us to respond immediately to minor issues and satisfy the guests problem faster so they can enjoy their stay. We think this is a huge win for our guests, owners and IRE. Another exclusive from IRE.

In summary the island market sales are in the normal range for our market. We are still in the high side of normal for inventory and have to burn off a little more to get to a balanced market. There are still some “deals” on the island from a price stand point but not many left that are good rentals. Sales continue to be strong with pended sales at a two year high. Interest rates are expected to rise over the next six months so it looks like rates today are as low as they are going to get.



Pine Avenue – Residential over Retail City of Anna Maria Island, FL. Real Estate ask realtor Alan Galletto

THE VISION - An ‘Old Florida Style’ village center on Anna Maria Island, Fl sprinkled with beach cottages, professional offices and retail-boutique shops to serve the surrounding community.

ANNA MARIA ISLAND, FLORIDA & PINE AVENUE – Known for its unspoiled crystal white sand beaches, its relaxed ‘Old Florida’ lifestyle, friendly residents, great restaurants, gorgeous views of the Bay and one-of-a-kind shops.

THE INVESTMENT - The first phase construction of 315 & 317 Pine Avenue is now complete; custom 1,270 to 2,000 square foot (s/f) residences with up to 615 to 2,500 s/f office/retail below are offered at current market valuations. This gives the opportunity to participate in a great idea.

More information about the pine Avenue project can be found on this website: www.pineavenuesales.com

Please enjoy the YouTube video about this Pine Avenue project and call me with your inquiries about investment in this unique Florida lifestyle.

December 2009 Real Estate Newsletter Anna Maria Island FL Realtor Alan Galletto

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you and we hope your Holidays are full of happiness and joy.

As we approach the end of another year the Anna Maria Island Real Estate Market continues to improve for 2009. Sales for November 2009 were up again a healthy 30% (SF-9, Con-8, Dup-1 & Lot-1 = 19) over November 2008 sales (SF-8, Con-4, Dup-1 & Lot-2 = 15). Sales have been consistently strong the past seven months and for the first time this year sales for 2009 (205) are ahead of 2008 (202). Pended properties (properties currently under contract) also continue to be very strong at 61 (SF-34, Con-22, Dup-4 & Lot-1). Of those 61 pended properties 39 of them are scheduled to close in December. If only half of them close by year end we will definitely beat 2008 sales by a healthy number.

Distressed properties (short sales, foreclosed & bank owned) continue to be below 10% at 40 (SF-13, Con-25, Dup-1 & Lot-1) the majority of them condo’s and most of them short sales and most of them less than $500K. The inventory remains about the same from last month with it currently at 502 (SF-242,Con-186, Dup-40 & Lot-34). It broke 500 earlier this month and got down to 498. The good news is that the inventory trend is down and the sales trend id upwards.

Financing for single family and multifamily properties is relatively easy with 20% down and good credit and the rates are still at an all time low. I’m seeing current 30 year conforming fixed rates at around $5.37%. Appraisers doing appraisals for banks, until recently, stated the island market as a declining market,- that has changed. The island market isn’t designated in appraisals as a declining market anymore. This, along with the numbers we are seeing, points to a rising market. For those of you currently looking for financing HUD is requiring all financial institutions to provide a new Good Faith Estimate (GFE). The new GFE is 3 pages long instead of the old one page GFE. It will include the loan origination charges (the charge for getting the loan), all other settlement services (appraisal, credit report, home inspection…etc) and all the other things you are used to seeing on a GFE such as loan amount, interest rate & monthly principal & interest. What’s new about this new GFE is not only the form but that the HUD-1 (settlement statement) at closing must match the original GFE within the allowed tolerances (some charges can’t change and others can vary by 10%). If there is a change or variance above the tolerance allowed then the lender must reimburse the buyer/borrower for the excess at closing or within 30 days. These new rules will apply to all mortgages beginning in January1, 2010 but some banks are already beginning to use them. Ask your lender to explain them in detail.

Some newsletter readers are paying attention to Frank and Al’s Great Buys. Since last month’s newsletter a client made a cash offer on 211 69th St (a duplex) and closed on it a few days ago. This great duplex, remodeled, close to the beach with two garages sold for $445,000. The new property in this month’s great buys is a single family charming bungalow in the north end of Bradenton Beach. It’s a ground level, cutely remodeled, 3 bedroom 1.5 bath which is currently being used as a rental. It’s one block to Bay sunrises and three very short blocks to the beach and listed at a great price. Check out the virtual tour.

Rentals is closing the year very strong. Island Real Estate rentals are up about 20% for 2009 and there are strong bookings into 2010. Since we have implemented a quality assurance program the ratings we are getting from our guests satisfaction surveys have improved dramatically. Happy guests mean return guests and return guests mean higher occupancy for our owners.

To summarize, the island market sales continue to build and we will close 2009 with about a 10% increase in sales over 2008. Sales are trending up and inventory is in the normal range and trending down and I think the island market is on a solid base to show some appreciation by the end of 2010.