Island posts gains in real estate

A look at the buyer activity this year

As we enter the start of season on Marco Island, we hear stories of the bitterly cold weather in the northern states. The cold weather coupled with the resolution of the credit crisis and the continued volatility of the stock market seems to bode well for real estate in Florida, especially Marco Island.

Consider that buyer activity is increasing, sales are up for the past two consecutive months, and, overall, for the past six months Marco Island posted a 27 percent gain. Across the bridge, Naples reported positive gains in October 2008 in a year over year comparison according to the Naples Area Board of Realtors.

Furthermore, “sales of existing single-family homes in Florida rose 5 percent in third quarter 2008 compared to the same period last year,” according to the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR).

Another factor providing an optimistic longterm outlook for Marco is the fact that the island is a fixed land mass of only 24 square miles offering very limited inventory growth from mass density developments and high-rise condominiums; whereas, other areas of the country still have an onslaught of inventory forthcoming to the market.

For Marco Island, as of Oct. 31, inventory was down 13 percent in a year over year comparison. As consistent with the overall market, the most desirable and best priced properties, for both foreclosures and re-sales, tend to be the first properties to sell.

Where is the largest amount of growth over the past six months for Marco Island?

Beachfront condominiums

Beachfront condominiums show the largest number of sales on the island. Just since May 1, Marco has seen 90 beachfront condominiums sell in comparison to only 60 sales for the same time period in 2007.

Marco Island offers a large variety of condominiums starting with a one bedroom, one bathroom condominium in Admiralty on the market for $179,000 to the spacious, grand penthouse available in exclusive, high-end condominium of Belize at Cape Marco offered at $11,900,000.

In the last six months, the condominiums that boasted the highest number of sales were found in the exclusive, high-end communities of Madeira and Belize at Cape Marco. Both Madeira and Belize posted eight sales with Belize sale prices ranging from $1,400,000 to $4,350,000 and sales in Madeira sale prices ranging from $1,550,000 to $2,750,000.

Single family: Inland

While sales of inland homes only edged out sales in water indirect homes, inland homes did post 53 sales versus 51 sales for water indirect homes.

For the six month time period of May 1 to Oct.31, sale prices ranged from a low of $146,000 to a high of $1,425,000.

The home that sold for $146,000 was a foreclosure, built in 1964, on an oversized lot, with only two bedrooms and bathrooms.

On the other spectrum, was the sale at $1,425,000, for a pinch lot home, with views of Roberts Bay, located in the Estates, built in 1988, offering over 3,500 square feet of living area, and numerous upgrades.

Single family: Water Indirect

Water indirect home sales posted 51 sales for the six month time period with sales ranging from $360,000 to $1,490,000.

At the low end of the range for $360,000 was a foreclosed home, built in 1968, with 1,374 square feet, and located on the main entry road to Marco Island, Collier Boulevard. The highest water indirect sale at $1,490,000 was a spacious, Key West style home built in 1992, with almost 3,500 square feet of living area, a bay view, and within walking distance to Tigertail Beach.

With the positive growth trends, minimal new development, and decreases to existing inventory, it appears that Marco Island is moving in the right direction. The following quote seems fitting for our current market conditions, “there may never in our lifetime, be a better time to buy,“ said Joe McAuliffe, an attorney and adviser in the Florida real estate market.

Natalie Kirstein, MBA, Realtor, works for Premier Properties of Southwest Florida Inc at The Esplanade. She can be contacted at or 784-0491.

© 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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