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It’s almost the New Year. In 2016 economic growth will continue to chug along, employment will continue to increase, and homebuyers will continue to feel confident in purchasing a new home. Here’s a closer look at the trends that will have the greatest impact on the Florida housing market.

New homes will come back big time.
New home construction was one of the hardest-hit industries after the housing bust. Single-family home construction increased 10 percent this year and is expected to rise another 23 percent in 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That coincides with healthy sales. New home sales grew 15 percent this year and are forecast to jump 26 percent in 2016.

Buyers will want green and smart homes.
Homebuilders are increasingly incorporating eco-friendly features into projects to meet growing demand largely from affluent baby boomers who prioritize energy efficiency, a healthier indoor environment and durability. More than half of builders say they are working on green projects, according to a study from Dodge Data & Analytics for the National Association of Home Builders. Those percentages are expected to rise over the next five years.

Homeowners will want natural amenities.
Today’s homebuyers are drawn to living healthier, and nature-based amenities top their list. They have spent much of their lives in cars and offices and now want fresh air and walkable neighborhoods within easy reach of parks, beaches, waterways, sporting facilities and other preferred outdoor adventures. They want to be able to cruise the neighborhood on their bike or jump on their boat for a fun day on the water.

For those seeking a new address in Florida, The Islands on the Manatee River might just fit the bill. Located on the Suncoast, The Islands is a private waterfront community that captures everything to love about the Florida lifestyle. Situated on 225 pristine acres, The Islands features estate-sized homesites with private docks, picturesque harbors and navigable access to the tranquil waters of the Manatee River.

Project manager Tom Charles admits to feeling good about the progress of the $32.69 million bridge project that will link Lakewood Ranch and Parrish, giving Manatee County another much needed north-south corridor.

The Fort Hamer Bridge is about one-fifth completed with 400 feet of two-lane concrete decking and sidewalks poured from the north terminus to pier 16. The bridge now arches toward an island in midstream, where it will eventually touch down before curving toward Upper Manatee River Road on the south shore. Despite the recent heavy rain challenges, the project should be completed by early 2017.

When completed, the bridge will have 19 piers. So far, four piers are completed with the fifth to be poured by month’s end when the contractor, Johnson Brothers Corp. of Hillsborough County, pauses for the holidays and returns January 4th. Before long, construction workers will be able to drive on the portion of road deck that has been completed, which will assist with the project.

For residents of The Islands, located immediately adjacent to the new Ft. Hamer Bridge along the Manatee River, the new bridge is life changing. This previously secluded paradise is one of the only places in Florida where you can still live in a gated community, on a half-acre+ homesite with a private boat dock in our backyard, priced from the $700s. The Ft. Hamer Bridge now opens the door to the surrounding area, eliminating 20 minutes of extra travel time to this pristine paradise.

The Islands is now ideally located within 5 minutes of Lakewood Ranch and a short driving distance to the coastal cities of Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa.

To preview the location of The Islands and learn more, click here.

Original Article

Selecting the right homebuilder that understands your wants and needs in a new home is one of the most important decisions during the home buying process. Fortunately, The Islands on the Manatee River has some of the best builders around.

Arthur Rutenberg Homes
Arthur Rutenberg award-winning designs feature high ceilings, window-laden leisure rooms, and indoor areas that seamlessly become outdoor areas. They offer more than 85 designs, all customizable. The Design Centers will help you select colors, products and options to create a home that is uniquely yours. The Arthur Rutenberg Homes newest model, the Monaco, is currently open for showing at The Islands on the Manatee River.
“We have already recommended your company to neighbors who are now having a new home built on a nearby lot and we would unhesitatingly recommend you to anyone.”- Customer Comment

John Cannon Homes
For over 25 years, John Cannon Homes has been designing and building luxurious custom homes in southwest Florida. Their award-winning homes are each as unique as the individual homeowners themselves and are designed with craftsmanship and commitment to customer satisfaction. John Cannon Homes newest model, The Baylee, is currently under construction at The Islands on the Manatee River.
“Can’t get enough of the Design Center. With its welcoming and friendly staff offering trendsetting new products and the location is convenient. Home to a professional and knowledgeable staff who provide timely and productive meetings!”- Customer Comment

Javic Homes
The “Javic Experience” starts by understanding your lifestyle and how you live. Then, they work with you on architectural and interior design so that your home reflects your individuality. Javic Homes is an honored member of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program selected for exceptional reputation, strong market presence, quality craftsmanship and innovative design. Javic Homes currently builds in the Rive Isle and Harbourside neighborhoods of The Islands on the Manatee River.
“Javic did an outstanding job staying on top of the construction schedule and always promptly answered my questions. There were no surprises or delays, in fact my home was completed ahead of schedule. I would highly recommend Javic Homes to anyone interested in building a home!!!” – Customer Comment

As a premier waterfront estate community near Florida’s Gulf Coast, The Islands on the Manatee River is proud to present new homes from Southwest Florida’s finest luxury homebuilders including Arthur Rutenberg Homes, John Cannon Homes, and Javic Homes. From concept to completion, our master builders offer old-world craftsmanship and extensive knowledge to help create a new waterfront home for you in the Sarasota Bradenton area of Florida. The Islands offers half plus acre homesites and nearly every home has a private dock. To learn more about a home at The Islands of Manatee River click here.

With more than 20 years since the last World Rowing Championships were held in the United States, Sarasota was selected to host the event in 2017. The selection of Sarasota is a prestigious honor that will feature the area’s rowing facilities.

More than 42,000 rowers, coaches and support staff from across the globe will travel to Southwest Florida for racing days scheduled from September 24th to October 1st at Nathan Benderson Park in 2017. Nathan Benderson Park is the next best rowing facility, providing the public access to a picturesque 500-acre lake and an exciting world of recreational pursuits.

The World Rowing Championships are the highlight of the rowing community. The only other event that comes close to the championships is the Olympic games. Nathan Benderson Park has also been selected as the site for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team Trials. According to U.S. Rowing Director of High Performance Curtis Jordan, the trials are scheduled to take place April 18-24, 2016 and seven Olympic-class rowing events will be contested during the weeklong regatta.

Currently athletes from Harvard, Duke, and Columbia University among others use the park’s world-class rowing and training course as well as the Manatee River located near by. Residents of the Islands on the Manatee River are able to see these teams practice sprint and long distance races on river from their backyard. Situated on 225-acres of pristine land, the Islands features estate-sized home sites with private docks, picturesque harbors and access to the Manatee River and Gulf of Mexico. For more information on a luxury waterfront home in the Islands community, click here.

While many parts of the country head inside during the cold winter months, residents of the Sarasota/Bradenton area in Florida are blessed with warm weather year round. If you’re lucky enough to be spending your winter on the Suncoast, here are five not-to-be-missed winter activities:


Backyard living doesn’t just mean swimming pools and patios anymore. With the growing focus on health and wellness, today’s homebuyers are demanding access to health/wellness and nature-based amenities.

As the largest generation to retire in five decades, the spending trends of Boomers continue to drive the economy. They have spent much of their lives in cars and offices and now want fresh air and walkable neighborhoods within easy reach of parks, beaches, shopping, dining, entertainment and culture.  New home communities like The Islands on the Manatee River on Florida’s Gulf Coast are just minutes from beaches, waterways, sporting facilities and other preferred outdoor adventures.

“Our community is surrounded by peaceful waters and nature preserves,” says Roy Premer, CFO at The Islands Development Group. “The residents love being able to boat, fish, and bird watch whenever they want.”

Research shows that group-oriented outdoor exercise improves social skills and confidence, while even increasing mobility and dexterity. Outdoor activities can also be an effective way to exercise and get your daily dose of vitamin D.  It’s no secret that nature reduces stress and increases relaxation. Positive mood, better concentration and more creativity are also added benefits.

Buying a home in a waterfront community can provide a relaxing sanctuary for the mind, body and spirit. At the Islands, private boat docks behind every home afford homebuyers the luxury to easily spend more time on the water, launch a kayak or simply witness a colorful sunset.

Even more intriguing for the real estate industry is that 41 percent of leading-edge boomers – a group with over $500 billion in spending power*, they will definitely purchase another home. What’s at the top of their list? You guessed it. Nature- based amenities.

To find out more about The Islands on Manatee River in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, click here.

* Brent Green, author of “Marketing to Leading Edge Baby Boomers”