Anna Maria Is Vacation Rental Hotspot


Investors in search of residences viable as rental properties in Manatee would have a smart bet in opportunities at Anna Maria Island, given the glowing travel reviews that it has been consistently getting.

One of the recent positive testimonials for this island came from the online travel booking facilityTripAdvisor, which named the Anna Maria among the top 30 fastest-growing vacation rental destinations in the country. Two other tourist magnets in Florida—Sunny Isles near Miami and St. Petersburg—were included in this list useful not only to tourists but also to investors seeking attractively priced Manatee homes for sale.

TripAdvisor came up with the compilation through an analysis of travel behavior and rental demand across US regions based on the number of visits in its website on rental listings of a particular destination. The comparative periods used were January to April of 2014 and 2015. Using a similar methodology, the online travel facility previously ranked Anna Maria as No. 4 in the “Top 10 Islands in the US” for 2014. 

World-class ranking

Anna Maria Is Vacation Rental Hotspot

The popularity of Anna Maria was likewise reaffirmed earlier this March when the island’s Coquina Beach was voted by readers of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s “top island beaches for perfect sand.” Coquina is the only U.S. beach in this listing which also included Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia; Cayo de Agua, Los Roques, Venezuela; Cocoa Island, Maldives; and equally impressive beaches in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

Significantly, the authorities of Anna Maria are proactively addressing issues arising from the influx of more visitors in the island, particularly on added vehicular traffic and limited parking spaces. Possible long-term solutions include a mainland parking garage and public transportation to the island. For the short-term, cameras on several road intersections for better traffic monitoring in the island are being considered.

One investor definitely bullish on rental prospects for Anna Maria is the hotelier Mainsail Lodging and Development which is investing a projected $20 million for the construction of a four-building, 37-room luxury hotel in Anna Maria’s Holmes Beach. The hotel buildings will be developed around Mainsail’s existing 50-slip marina and will complement the hotelier’s 12-unit Mainsail Beach Inn nearby. Project completion is expected in the summer of 2016.

Rental property choices

Similar vacation rental opportunities, though at a lesser scale, can be found for enterprising prospective buyers of Anna Maria homes for sale. To them, the sweet spot for sales-listed residences ideal as rentals are those homes in the island priced around the $400s and $500s range. Listings below these price levels are very rare among Anna Maria homes for sale.

A visit to Anna Maria’s Luana Isles subdivision could start off a hunt for potential rental investments. As of early June, a residence in this community with a successful record as a rental property is available at slightly above the mid-$500s. This residence, built in 1971, has two bedrooms and one bath within its floor area of 832 square feet. At Anna Maria Beach, a two-bedroom, “tree house” style home built in 1980 with a floor area of 1,152 square feet and an asking price around the mid-$400s is another possible choice as a rental property investment.