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Real estate: Sarasota-Bradenton is a hot place to be; what to know about this top market – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

If there’s a list about places to be, chances are, the Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port metro area is on it. Best places to retire? Check. Top places to live? You bet. Surging real estate market? You better believe it. If you want to know about the area’s real estate market, the latest Herald-Tribune stories are here.

Kim Ogilvie, Michael Saunders and Co., Bruce Myer, Coldwell Banker Realty, and Judie Berger, Premier Sotheby's International Realty. Photographed Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

Sarasota real estate profession reaches unseen heights

Real estate in Sarasota-Manatee, as in much of Florida and across the U.S., has undergone a dramatic transformation in a remarkably short period, changing the profession along the way. The area’s long-overlooked luxury segment has taken off, drawing new buyers who see bargains on the less crowded Gulf coast. Five years ago, only one real estate agent in the Sarasota area had ever tallied $100 million or more in sales in a year. But in not only did more than a dozen Realtors join the $100 million club but for the first time in this region, the $200 million threshold in closed sales was breached, according to Multiple Listing Service data.

The downtown Sarasota skyline including Sarasota Bay.

What’s driving the Sarasota area’s luxury market to the stratosphere? 

Sarasota and Manatee counties’ luxury property has never been in higher demand or sold for so much money as it does today. Part of the reason is the area has been attracting more buyers from the northeastern coast of the United States who often have different price expectations, which has impacted the area’s luxury market. In combination with fewer homes and stronger demand, luxury price points have been pushed ever higher.

The 1.26-acre property at 100 Beach Ave. includes a 7,500-square-foot residence with five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and a half bath with direct gulf frontage of more than 110 feet of white sand beach. Marketing material for the property describes a custom built home with large windows maintaining water views throughout the property.

New record set for Manatee real estate sale:

An Anna Maria Island beachfront mansion has sold for $16 million, the highest price ever for residential property in Manatee County, according to the real estate agents who negotiated the sale. The 1.26-acre property at 100 Beach Ave. includes a 7,500-square-foot residence with five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and a half bath, with direct gulf frontage of more than 110 feet of white sand beach.

Area rents among most expensive in country for mid-size metros: 

Rents in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro are the 14th most expensive in the country for midsize metros, according to information from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

High rents cause hardship:

Along this stretch of the west coast of Florida, rents have shot up faster than anywhere else in the country, increasing by nearly 50% compared to a year ago. Rent in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area has increased 46% from November 2020. The median one-bedroom apartment had a rent of $1,600, with the median two-bedroom apartment costing $2,000 per month.

Is there a limit to how high rent can go?

Rents in Sarasota-Manatee have shot up faster than anywhere else in the country over the past year, but there are signs that the head snapping increases are hitting a ceiling, according to the latest data from Apartment List. Rents in the Sarasota area, for the first time since at least June 2021, increased more slowly than the national average, according to Apartment List data.

Sarasota among leaders in $1 million sales: 

A recent analysis of federal housing data showed several Florida metro areas rank among the top in the country within their percentage of total home sales above $1 million, with the Sarasota-Bradenton area ranking among the top 10 mid-size metro areas for luxury sales.

Sarasota a top location for movers:

National moving company PODS has put Sarasota at the top of its rating of the country’s most desirable locations. Sarasota had the highest ratio of move-ins verses move-outs of PODS customers from January 2021 to March 2022, beating out Dallas-Fort Worth, Nashville and Tampa, according to a news release on the PODS data.

Moving companies have the scoop on where people are going and Sarasota is on the list: 

Two reports from companies specializing in long-distance moves included the Sarasota metro area as one of the top locations in the country where people are moving.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.

An iconic Sarasota hotel may be near an end:

The Hyatt Regency Sarasota is under contract by a developer that is in the early stages of plans that will see the decades-old hotel demolished and redeveloped into a Thompson Hotel — a luxury brand owned by Hyatt.

Where have all the flippers gone?:

In the Sarasota area’s real estate scene, where the median home price has shot up to $500,000 amid a scarcity of homes for sale, real-life flippers have found it exceedingly difficult to stay in the profession. When they do find a property where the numbers can work, supply chain issues have pushed the cost of building materials higher than ever — eating away at potential profit.

Housing costs could hurt the local economy:

The drastic increase in home prices in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area prompted some alarm that costs have reached crisis levels that will affect the area’s tourism-dependent economy by making it harder for workers to find affordable places to live.

Hot place for corporate headquarters:

Punta Gorda has been identified by The Boyd Company, a corporate relocation consultant around since 1975, to be the best place to open a “new normal” corporate headquarters in the eastern U.S.

Sarasota County has received a request to redevelop the existing Siesta Key Beach Resort at Calle Miramar and Ocean Blvd. in Siesta Key Village. The existing buildings would be replaced with a five-story, 170-bed hotel.

Siesta hotel plans prompt backlash:

There’s little debate over whether the key could use more accommodations for visitors, but the size and scope of the proposed developments are hotly contested topics for Siesta Key residents, prompting considerable backlash.

This rendering shows Stillwell, a 274-home rental community, along with a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse. The gated community will only offer rental homes. Columbus, Ohio-based Coastal Ridge Real Estate recently broke ground on the project. The first homes may be complete as soon as early 2023.

Build to rent trend comes to Southwest Florida:

A Columbus, Ohio-based developer recently broke ground on Stillwell, a gated community in the Playmore District of Wellen Park that will offer all 274 single-family homes for rent and not purchase in south Sarasota County.

Ralph Mauro stands in front of a condo he rents in Lake Suzy, in DeSoto County, Florida, Mauro pre-paid for a condo in Sarasota on Feb. 2020 for use Jan 2021 to April. The 89-year-old could not get a vaccine before he could take possession of the condo and got no benefit from it because of the pandemic, he says. He paid well over $15,000 for the use of the property.

Seasonal tenant gets burned by pandemic:

A northern snowbird says because of COVID and his inability to get a vaccine in late 2020, he never set foot on the property he planned to rent for a winter, a non-visit that cost him more than $14,000.

Sarasota a top 10 place to live:

For its desirability, quality of life, and cost of living, Sarasota was named one of the best places to live in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The annual rankings, released this week by the media company, put Sarasota at No. 9 on a list of the 150 best places to live in the country, making it the only Florida city to land in the Top 10.

If you love pets, come on down: 

Sarasota and Bradenton are two of the best cities for pet lovers in the U.S. —  as if the sheer number of people walking their dogs around the bayfront wasn’t enough evidence. Sarasota ranked as the top place for pet lovers in the country, according to a list released this week by rental search website Apartment Guide.

Another list, another top ranking for Sarasota, for retirement:

Sarasota was crowned once again as the best place to retire in the U.S., according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2021-2022 data. The city previously won the title in 2021 and came in second for the 2020 report.



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