Home prices in Manatee, Sarasota up

January 16, 2013 

MANATEE -- Home prices in Manatee and Sarasota, including distressed sales, increased by 12.2 percent in November compared to a year ago, according to new data released Tuesday.

CoreLogic analytics said home prices nationwide increased 7.4 percent in November comparied to November 2011, the most since May 2006.

On a month-over-month basis, home prices in Manatee and Sarasota, including distressed sales, increased by 2.6 percent in November 2012 compared to October 2012.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased on a year-over-year basis by 6.7 percent in November 2012 compared to November 2011. On a month-over-month basis excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 0.9 percent in November 2012 compared to October 2012. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned transactions.

Statistics show that December 2012 home prices, including distressed sales, are expected to rise by 7.9 percent on a year-over-year basis from December 2011 but fall by 0.5 percent on a month-over-month basis from November 2012 reflecting a seasonal winter slowdown.

"For the first time in almost six years, most U.S. markets experienced sustained increases in home prices in 2012," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "We still have a long way to go to return to 2005-2006 levels, but all signals currently point to a progressive stabilization of the housing market and the positive trend in home price appreciation to continue into 2013."

State orders company to stop selling insurance

SARASOTA -- Dental Care Alliance, LLC d/b/a Dentrite Dental Services of Sarasota, was ordered Tuesday to stop operating as a discount medical plan organization.

DCA offers its Dentrite discount dental plan via its website, www.dentrite.com. Dentrite's plan's participating providers include four dental practices at 25 locations throughout Florida, the state Office of Insurance Regulation said.

The agency said DCA has never been granted a license to operate in Florida as a discount medical plan organization. This is the second time that DCA has been sanctioned for engaging in the unlawful transaction of discount medical plans in the state of Florida, the state said. For more information, contact the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services toll-free in Florida at 877- 693-5236 or by email.

AMF Bradenton Lanes to offer free kids bowling

BRADENTON -- Sometimes all it takes is getting the right foot started -- or the left, if you're right-handed. At least that's usually how it works for bowlers. Kids younger than 18 will find out for sure 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at AMF Bradenton Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road, during "Kids Fest."

All youngsters who at

tend will receive one hour of free bowling, including loaner shoes, plus $1 hot dogs and $1 sodas. The alley's mascot Tommy 10-Pin and pro bowler Palmer Falderen, who formerly taught members of the U.S. Olympic team, will be on hand.

There will be face painting, bowling pin decorating, balloon animals and snow cones. A fire truck from the City of Anna Maria is slated to be on site from 10 a.m. to noon. Bumper bowling will be set up for the littlest bowlers, while other youth may enjoy trying for strikes with the color pins, where a strike with a color pin wins a free game.

Children who sign up to play on this season's youth league receive one free hour bowling, shoes included, plus $1 hot dogs, $1 sodas, a free 2-hour bowling session pass with shoes, and the chance to win a new custom bowling ball valued at $159.

Information: 941-758-8838.

Neal Communities marks 100th buyer in two areas

MANATEE -- Neal Communities is celebrating a milestone in two Manatee County communities: the 100th homebuyer at Woodbrook in Bradenton and Belleisle in Lakewood Ranch. Woodbrook, located off Lockwood Ridge and Honore Avenue, opened in November 2011, and Belleisle in Country Club East at Lakewood Ranch opened in February 2011.

"Buyers have proven this is the perfect opportunity to purchase a new home in Florida," Pat Neal, president of the Lakewood Ranch-based home building company, stated in a press release. "The market has steadily recovered since the openings of both Belleisle and Woodbrook and buyers realize that the value in Florida real estate continues to increase as well."

Belleisle homes range from 1,594 to 2,641 square feet, and prices start in the $220,000s at the private, gated community. At Woodbrook, homes are priced from the $130,000s and range from 1,079 to 2,535 square feet.

FPL warns customers of telephone payment scam

Florida Power & Light issued a warning Tuesday that some customers have been the target of a payment scam.

The customers reported suspicious phone calls from people claiming to be FPL employees. Some calls appear on the caller ID as an FPL number in Miami, but the calls are actually coming from an Internet phone service outside of the U.S., according to a press release.

The caller tells the customers their accounts are past due and they must pay with a prepaid Money Pak card to avoid being disconnected, the release stated. But the callers do not work for FPL, and FPL does not accept the Money Pak card as payment, FPL stated. FPL also does not ask for personal information unless the customer initiates the contact.

FPL has notified local law enforcement and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more information, go online to www.FPL.com/FPLprotect or contact FPL at the number listed at the bottom of the FPL bill.

Sarasota chamber plans annual kick-off breakfast

SARASOTA --The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will present "Business Leading the Way" at its annual kick-off breakfast Feb. 8. Guest speaker is Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, who will present the "Six Pillars" for determining Florida's future.

The Six Pillars framework for strategic planning includes: talent supply and education; innovation and economic development; infrastructure and growth leadership; business climate and competitiveness; civic and governance systems; and quality of life and quality places.

The chamber will also present its 2013 goals and announce new member benefits and opportunities for the coming year.

The breakfast will be 7:30-9:15 a.m. at the Sahib Shrine Center, 600 N. Beneva Road. Cost is $35 in advance for members; $45 after Jan. 31; $55 for future members or guests. For more information or to register visit www.sarasotachamber.com/events or call Heather Kasten at 941-556-4056.

-- Herald staff reports

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