If 2009 will go down in our minds as the year of the economic slowdown, then 2010 is hopefully going to become the year when gray skies cleared. One sign of this new beginning is the fact that the number of residential home sales in Manatee County from January 1 of this year through December 15th grew 14% over last year for the same period. Another sign I like is that condo sales, which had fallen from grace (in all of Manatee County, a total of only 575 units sold during the 2008 period), this year represent about 21% of total unit sales. To put this into better perspective, condo sales outperformed single family home sales on the Island this past year. They represented just under half of all residential sales as opposed to last year when condo sales accounted for under one third of all sales on the Island.

Pricing was down, however. The average County residence sold in 2008 for $252,000; this price dropped this year by 33 percent to $170,000. However, because rates appear to be staying low, and with homebuyer tax credits extended, I am confident that unit sales will continue to grow. And, I also believe prices will stabilize, given that predictions point to and end of foreclosed properties by the end of 2010.

No matter what 2010 is about to bring, I’m one to believe in the New Year as a time for new hope, new aspirations and new beginnings. And that means blue skies.

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