MANATEE -- Three weeks of big purchases in the million-dollar home market have sold off luxury properties at the fastest rate in 2016.
Between April 18 and May 6, buyers have lined up to spend nearly $69 million on 33 homes and other Manatee County residential properties priced at or above the $1 million mark. The sales account for nearly 47 percent of all such closings in the county this year.
The activity was paced by nine recorded sales at Infinity, a new Longboat Key condominium. According to property sales records compiled by Manatee County, the sales in the 11-unit building have accounted for just under half of the dollar volume in the past three weeks, roughly $32.7 million.
The top two transactions last week were the $5.07 million sale of one of two Infin
ity penthouse units to John Jr. and Donna Krenicki, and $3 million paid by Ronald and Andrea DeFeo for another Longboat Key condo unit at the Positano community.
John Krenicki is a partner in the New York private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and previously served as vice chairman of General Electric and president and CEO of GE Energy. Ronald DeFeo is the CEO of industrial tool maker Kennametal. He and his wife are residents of Westport, Conn.
High-priced home sales during the past weeks have gone well beyond Longboat Key. Other areas seeing brisk sales include Anna Maria Island, The Lake Club in Lakewood Ranch and The Concession in East Manatee. Linda Formella, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee and manager of the Bradenton office of Michael Saunders & Co., said the spate of high-end closings stem from purchase agreements struck during the height of seasonal visitation in late winter and early spring.
"The season has something to do with it," she said. "A lot of the serious buyers tend to be making these decisions in March, so we see closings in April and May."
So far in 2016, 83 properties priced at $1 million or more have sold in Manatee County. Total sales in the category are $147.8 million, according to Multiple Listing Service data.
The pace of sales seems to be pushing ahead of 2015, which saw 159 $1 million-dollar-plus sales.
Formella doesn't know if the market sector will stay hot in 2016. Manatee County is competing well against luxury properties other areas in Florida by offering more amenities, size and resale potential.
"I think the word is out that Manatee County is just a great value," she said. "We would love to see the trend continue and we may for the next couple of months."
The most expensive residential property sale in the county this year was the other Infinity penthouse unit, which closed three weeks ago for $5.15 million. The buyers were Thomas and Carlotta Soviero of Massachusetts.
The highest price paid for a home in Manatee County last year was for a beachfront estate at 5871 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key. That 6,000-square-foot home sold for $5.625 million in early 2015.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.