The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 17 No. 34 - June 7, 2017


Youth and real estate


Whoever said youth is wasted on the young haven't met the young people I have recently who are starting businesses on the Island. They have vision, energy and are not against a little hard work. This can only be good news for an island that has always been an attraction for retirees and tourists, but what does the real estate market have in store for this generation?

Generally, around the country first time buyers are rushing to buy homes after a decade on the sidelines. The national home ownership rate is up to 63.5 percent from a low of 62.9 percent, and the number of new owner households was double the number of new renter households in the first quarter of this year. Per Trulia, it's the first time in a decade there were more new buyers than renters.

The millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, are stepping into adulthood faster than their older siblings. Despite tough lending standards and student debt, this generation is exhibiting confidence in the economy and in themselves to move out of their parent's house and into one of their own.

According to Fannie Mae, first time buyers have accounted for 42 percent of buyers so far this year, which is up from 31 percent at the lowest point in 2011. Because of this rapidly growing phenomenon, builders are starting to switch from the high-end market to building homes for first time buyers.

All of this may sound great, but there are still tough mortgage qualifying regulations to overcome and the possibility of increased rates that may slow down the milennials and their Nikes.

Also, nationwide there still is a shortage of inventory, which is near 20-year lows per the National Association of Realtors.

Never-the-less real estate sales go on and these are the April numbers for Manatee County from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee's website:

Single-family closed homes were up 1.5 percent from last April. The median sales price was also up 5.4 percent to $295,000, and the average sales price as well was up 2 percent to $362,553. The listing to sale price was virtually unchanged at 95.4 percent, active listings were up 3.6 percent but the month's supply of homes was still just over 4 percent.

Although these aren't blowout numbers, they show a steady increase across the board. However, the numbers for the condo market are not quite as good, indicating this market is a little soft.

Closed sales were down 22 percent from last April, the median sale price was up 2.1 percent to $170,000, but the average sale price was down 31.8 percent to $213,022. This appears to be an outlier number based on something that occurred in April of last year, so don't put too much stock in it. List to sale price was 93.8 a little lower than last year, and the active listings are up 9.7 percent, the month's supply is at 4.9 percent, a little higher than last year.

Nationally, home sales declined in April by 2.3 percent from March of this year per the National Association of Realtors.

"Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it's stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase," according to the NAR's chief economist.

So, what does this mean to our young entrepreneurs? It means they need to keep up their work ethic with a goal to owning their own home, maybe not on Anna Maria with it's million dollar properties, but around Manatee County you can still find affordable first-time buyer homes. With their vision, I have no doubt they will figure it out.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper