Anna Maria Rentals Raking It In


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, April 4th, 2016 – Rental properties have grown tremendously in Anna Maria Island as a result of the surge in its popularity as a U.S. tourist destination in recent years. This development in turn is generating a profound impact on the market for Anna Maria homes for sale and the island’s real estate development.

It was reported that as of October 2015, 48.5 percent of all bed tax revenues in the county was accounted for by Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach, the island’s three cities. Their combined share for this period was up from the 35.3 percent slice that the island had some eight years ago.

In dollar terms for the first 10 months of 2015, the whole of Anna Maria Island already surpassed its total tourism tax collection of $4.9 million in 2014. This compares with tax revenue of just $1.4 million in 2007. Even if the recent collection was adjusted for inflation and the 2009 tourism tax hike is factored in, the 2014 figure comes out 138 percent above that of seven years earlier.

Old-timers Cash In

Anna Maria Rentals Raking It In

The proliferation of rentals, encouraged by more tourists coming in, certainly provided a strong impetus to this revenue leap. By one estimate, vacation rentals that real estate companies added since 2010 have risen by at least 30 percent. Many developers, in the process, have been paying top dollars for island properties which could be converted into moneymaking vacation rentals, a factor that has significantly boosted prices of Anna Maria homes for sale.

With the sharp rise in prices of Anna Maria homes for sale, a lot of longtime islanders have cashed in on their properties in recent years and chose to live elsewhere. Many of these folks, most of them the island’s pioneers, also opted out as they felt that recent heavy influx of tourists has taken its toll on the quiet and laid-back lifestyle they used to enjoy.

Some realtors also noted that a new breed of individual buyers, have entered the Anna Maria home market. Learning their lessons from the Great Recession and the last housing bubble, majority of these buyers now want better financial security and returns from their purchases. In one realtor’s estimate, between 80 and 90 percent of inquiries on Anna Maria homes for sale came from those interested on putting the acquired residences on the rental market.

Soft Spot for Rental Investors

Increasingly, however, the price range attractive for rental property investors appears to be fast eroding with the substantial gains in listed prices of Anna Maria homes for sale in recent years. According to a report of the Urban Land Institute, the average listing price of a condo in the island has reached $387,000 and $800,000 for a single family home as of 2014.

Going by the MLS of Sarasota homes for sale around end-March 2016, there are only about a dozen properties priced under the $400s in Anna Maria which could draw the interest of rental investors. Many of these are in the Bradenton Beach condominium Runaway Bay on 1801 Gulf Drive less than a mile north of Cortez Bridge linking the island with historic Cortez Village in the mainland.

Built in 1978, Runaway Bay has undergone an extensive renovation and provides a clubhouse with party room, fitness facility, a heated pool and tennis court. Aside from a bayfront pier, this community also has a deeded beach access. Its units are in one- or two-bedroom configurations within floor areas ranging from 691 to 1,090 square feet. Weekly rentals are allowed at Runaway Bay which has an onsite property manager.