In the News

In the News: Home Sales on Anna Maria

The Herald-Tribune has published an article on home sales and vacation rentals in Anna Maria.
Here's a little of what they said:

Tourism and new construction make Anna Maria hum
by Michael Braga
March 26, 2011

Not only are a record number of sun-pinked northerners strolling back and forth from their hotels and rental units to the surrounding beach, but the island has been attracting a type of visitor that had all but disappeared from much of Southwest Florida since the end of the real estate boom: construction workers.

Hundreds of them are now showing up every day to pour cement, paint shutters and pound nails into scores of homes and storefronts going up from Coquina Beach to Pine Avenue.

It is not as if the barrier island was unaffected by the Great Recession.
Real estate values have plummeted — as they have throughout the region —  thanks to the vision and marketing efforts of its business and political leaders, Anna Maria has been able to recover faster and more strongly than possibly anywhere in Southwest Florida.

One of the main reasons for this success is that the island is providing beach-hungry tourists with what they want when it comes to vacations — short-term rentals.

No other island community in the region provides as many homes and apartments for rent on a weekly basis, and the supply not only fuels the local tourism industry but construction as well.

"We are benefiting from a vacation-rental perfect storm," said Larry Chatt, a rental specialist. "The whole nation is finding the value of renting homes and apartments with kitchens and more bedrooms, where they can cook meals and sleep more people at a lower cost than hotels. And Anna Maria just happens to have a lot."

There are more than 3,800, representing nearly two-thirds of the island's housing stock. That number has been steadily rising from a base of 40 percent in recent years because more part-time residents see the value of covering their tax, insurance and mortgage costs by renting their places when they are not around.

At the same time, a rising number of investors also have gotten into the game.
"About 90 percent of the buyers who walk through our doors these days want to know about how much rental income a property can generate," Chatt said.

Most everything these developers have created is more attractive and colorful than what it replaced, enhancing the island's laid back, Caribbean atmosphere and drawing attention from major newspapers and magazines.

Since 2008, more than a dozen publications including USA Today, The New York Times and Southern Living have done travel features on Anna Maria Island, extolling its "cushy white sand" and "teal waters."
"The key is short-term rentals," Van Zandt said. "Monthly rentals like you've got in Venice, Longboat and in much of Sarasota County doesn't do you much good in the modern world. People want shorter stays."

Looking for a vacation home rental?  Call us today:  941-567-6253 or visit us at:  Coastal Cottages AMI.

Thinking about owning a home in Anna Maria? Visit our sister site:
An Island Place Realty at or call Sue at:  941-779-9320 or 941-779-9322.

In the News: 
The Islander Newspaper reports figures for February tourism, with the headline:
"February Tourism Rate, Dollars Climb."
Anna Maria Island accommodation managers, owners and rental agents said two weeks ago that their occupancy rates in February 2011 were extremely good and better than figures from last February. Revenues from resort tax collections in February 2011 were up 1.1 percent against the same month last year, and the latest tourist figures from Research Data Services Inc. of Tampa to the Bradenton AreaConvention and Visitors Bureau show a 2.4 percent increase in visitors for February 2011 compared with February 2010.

The RDS report said 50,300 visitors came to the Island and surrounding area in February 2011, while 49,100 were here in February 2010. Although a 2.4 percent jump might not sound like a major increase, in terms of visitor expenditures the hike was considerable, said Anna Maria Island Chamber of
Commerce president Mary Ann Brockman. 

The increase in visitors relates directly to economic activity, and that jumped several million dollars,” she said. 

Visitors to the Island and Longboat Key spent $47.9 million in February 2011, a $2.1 million (4.7 percent increase) jump from the $45.8 million in expenditures reported in February 2010. Direct impact spending climbed by 4.6 percent, rising from $72.3 million in February 2010 to $75.7 million for February 2011.

The area’s average daily rate for February 2011 was $149.7, up 2.6 percent from the $145.9 figure for the same month in 2010.

Visitors listed the top five attributes of vacationing in the area as:
  • beautiful beaches
  • sunning on the beach
  • a clean environment
  • a family-friendly atmosphere 
  • value for money.

In the News:

Can the Anna Maria City Pier Centennial Ever Really Live Up to the Original Party?
Published Sunday, May 15, 2011 2:00 am
by Merab-Michal Favorite

 The Anna Maria City Pier was built in 1911 as a way to promote tourism and receive supplies.
Read more here:  City Pier

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