Close to 500 buyers will be having a very merry holiday this season, as they move into their new purchases. According to MLS, 473 residential properties have come under contract in Manatee County since November 1, most of which are expected to close before the end of 2009. Their average listing price, according to MLS, is $245,600. Since December 1 (and as of this writing December 14), a total of 130 homes have sold in Manatee at an average sales price of $221,766. That’s a 14 percent increase in the number of sales between this and last year although prices dropped 17 percent on average for the same period. On the Island, residential sales fared better: They dropped 10 percent in price for the period, but the number of sales more than doubled the first two weeks of December this year versus last year.

This activity spells lots of cheer for many new homeowners and it means lots of hope and good signs for a recovery in our market. December has not been very active in recent years in our neck of the beaches. This year, there’s an uptick. It’s as beautiful to see as as a gorgeous big ribbon on a box. May the holidays bring everyone some joy.

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