Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sarasota Real Estate Report

    The Sarasota and Manatee County real estate market in July, the latest month for which statistics are available, marked the 7th month this year where both sales and pending sales were down and the 6th month where the supply of homes available for sale has been higher than in the same period a year ago. At the same time, the median price of single-family homes and condos/townhomes rose again although the rate of price increases is moderating.

    Sarasota County recorded closings on 680 single-family homes sales and 255 condo/townhomes sales compared to 868 single-family homes and 338 condos and townhomes in July, 2015 for an overall drop year-over-year of 22.4%. In Sarasota County the drop was across both single-family homes and condo/townhomes. In Manatee County, there were 578 single-family homes and 214 condo/townhomes closings in July of this year versus 574 single-family homes and 192 condos/townhomes in the same month in 2015 for an overall year over year sales volume increase of 3.4%.

    Looking over the past 12 months, Sarasota County single-family home sales volumes have decreased by 21.7% from 2015 levels while condo and townhome sales decreased by 24.6% while Manatee County single-family home sales increased slightly by 0.7% from year-ago levels while condo/townhome sales increased by 11.5%.

    In Sarasota County, the median price of single-family homes rose from $219,500 last year to $242,500. The median price in Sarasota County of condominiums/townhomes rose from $190,000 last year to $205,000. In Manatee County, the median price of single-family homes rose from $250,000 last July to $279,250 in July. while in Manatee County the median price of condos and townhomes rose from $152,000 last year to $185,250 this July.

    One might ask how prices can continue to rise when sales volumes are down. The answer is because there is still a significant shortage of homes available on the market. As a result, the Sarasota-Manatee County real estate market remains a seller’s market with just slightly over a 4 month supply of properties on the market (4.2 months in Sarasota County; 4.4 months in Manatee County) compared to a 6-month supply which is considered to represent a balance between buyer and seller pressures.

    It should be noted, however, that median price data for a single month’s statistics can be distorted. Yet, as noted above July marks the 7th month this year where pending sales, an indication of future closed sales, are down and the 6th month where the supply of homes available for sale has increased. Based on market dynamics, it is reasonable to expect that prices will adjust to the slowing demand and the increase in the number of properties on the market.

    Linda Formella, Realtors Association of Sarasota and Manatee President said recently, “I believe we will see these price increases slow down as the supply of homes on the market continues to grow." If these trends continue, there will be opportunities for those planning to come to the Florida Sun Coast this fall and winter looking to invest in a home here on the Florida Sun Coast.

    If you are considering investing in a home or condominium here in the Sarasota Manatee County Sun Coast area, please contact me now to begin to learn about the many residential offerings available both on the mainland and out on our beautiful barrier islands like Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key and Siesta Key. I would be pleased to answer all of your questions. Call me at 941.228.9682 or visit my Sarasota FL real estate website to learn more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AquaPalooza Comes to Sarasota Florida

  On the waters off Longboat Key near tiny Jewfish Key in Potter's Cove, there was a huge party on August 13th.

  The event called AquaPalooza by its sponsor, Marine Max of Sarasota, was the first of its kind in the Sarasota Florida area. "AquaPalooza events are held in many cities around the country are customer appreciation events put on by Sea Ray, a major supplier of recreational boats,” says Jason LeFevre, general manager of Marine Max of Sarasota.

  LeFevre added, "Sea Ray owners are typically both young and not so young families that have a good time tubing or gathering their boats together. It’s not a big booze - go fast boating thing. It's more just a time and place to congregate and have fun."

  The waters in Potter's Cove are a popular hangout spot for owners of all sorts of watercraft from tubers and small sailboats to large powerboats. The party, including a DJ ran only run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. to avoid disturbing Longboat Key residents during the evening hours.

  The event almost didn't come to pass due to some Longboat Key property owners who thought the noise level would be objectionable, but just a week before the event the town of Longboat Key received an official opinion from Florida Attorney General's office that its attempts to limit noise on the water went beyond its local jurisdiction.

  Longboat Police were out in force making sure people adhered to the laws the local police are authorized to enforce. Looking forward to the event, Deputy Chief Frank Rubino said, "We're not looking to harass anybody. We just want to make sure there's no fights, no alcohol-related incidents and everybody just has a good time."

  Only time will tell whether this first AquaPalooza evolves to become a regular event where, like so many other events in the Sarasota area, many people come, have a good time, and go home happy to live in an area that "just knows how to have day of good, clean fun."

  If you are among the many people who are considering moving to the Florida SunCoast, as the Sarasota area is called, call me at 941.228.9682 or visit my Sarasota FL real estate website to learn more about the Sunny Sarasota Florida lifestyle. I would truly enjoy acting as your guide and helping you locate the Sarasota home that perfectly suits your needs and wishes.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Introducing Bayfront Park, A Sarasota Gem

  One of the many advantages of acquiring a home or condo in Sarasota, Florida is how close you’ll be to one of Sarasota’s most casual and most inviting public parks.

  Bayfront Park (also known as Island Park), is practically surrounded by water with a marina servicing large yachts and powerboats on its northern side, views of all of Sarasota Bay, and across the Bay, the barrier islands Bird Key and Lido Key. To the south of the park, you'll see smaller boats in a small harbor area with beautiful Siesta Key behind them. Turn around and on the mainland you have outstanding views of the Sarasota downtown skyline.

  The famous “Dolphin Fountain” is one of the more memorable features of the park and is a “must see” as is the “unconditional Surrender” kissing sailor statue nearby. At various times of the year, Bayfront Park is also home to a variety of arts and cultural events including the annual "Season of Sculpture" which draws sculptors from both locally and internationally

  The park has comfortable benches under old Florida Banyan trees for your relaxation and people watching. In the center, there’s a large lawn area for those who wish catch a few rays, toss a Frisbee or just relax in the warm Sarasota sunshine.

  Your children or grandchildren will love Bayfront Park for its playground and spray fountain wafting water into the air from playful animal statues. If you have favorite dog, Bayfront Park is the perfect place to take it for a walk as the park is dog-friendly. Many people bring their dogs here for a bit of exercise playing in the warm waters.

  Hungry? For seated dining, Marina Jack’s is located right at Bayfront Park. For more casual fare, O'Leary's offers burgers, sandwiches and such plus a tiki bar where a range of tropical drinks, wine and beer is available as you listen to live music relaxing at picnic tables as other more ambitious types go rollerblading or biking on the half-mile of paved walkway within the park.

  Feeling in the mood for some time on the water? The park has a canoe/kayak launch. Paddle boats and wave runners can be rented at O’Leary’s. Or, venture out on a LeBarge cruise from Marina Jack’s and enjoy morning dolphin and manatee watches, nature cruises or a tropical sunset cruise with a light fare menu, full bar and live entertainment.

  If you haven't experienced the delights of living in Sarasota Florida, Bayfront Park is but one of an endless list of places to go and things to do and see on the Florida Sun Coast. For more information about Sarasota and the many residential options available here, visit my Sarasota real estate website or, for immediate service, call me at 941-228-9682.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Laurel Meadows - A Very Attractive Sarasota Neighborhood

  From time to time, I like to introduce my readers to a local Sarasota neighborhood that may be of interest to those considering moving to the sunny Sarasota area. Laurel Meadows, located just east of I-75, is just such a community.

  Laurel Meadows began being developed in 2000 and was completely sold out by the end of 2005 because it featured things a lot of families wanted, reasonably-priced homes on larger than usual lots in an attractive area, away from downtown traffic but still convenient to everything you could want and yet a short commute to downtown Sarasota and our wonderful beaches.

  In Laurel Meadows, three local builders offered a variety of three and four bedroom floor plans of Florida contemporary design with cathedral ceilings; many with 3-car garages which sold originally for between the low-$200,000s and the low-$300,000s. Laurel Meadows is an attractive community across from the Laurel Lakes neighborhood which has considerably more expensive homes. Backing onto a large expanse of farmland, and bordered by a large lake and wooded preserve to the south, Laurel Meadows is enveloped by natural beauty. Palm trees line the divided entrance to the neighborhood and many of the homes are arranged around five picturesque lakes, one of which is available for fishing, but only by neighborhood residents. The modest $215/quarter homeowners association fee is yet another attractive feature of this community.

  Today the community includes a nice mix of residents including single professionals, retirees, emptynesters, families with children and snowbirds. This is a neighborhood where people walk their dogs and take strolls in the evening and neighbors look out for each other. Families with children especially like the district schools serving the neighborhood, Tatum Ridge Elementary, McIntosh Middle School and Sarasota High School.

  For shopping convenience, there’s a Publix grocery store within walking distance at the corner of Iona and Bee Ridge Roads. Across from the Publix is Rothenbach Park, a great little park with a walking trail, kids playground area, picnic tables, full facilities and even a great radio-controlled model airplane flying field. The Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary wildlife preserve and the 360+ acre Celery Fields Park & Audubon Center are just down Palmer Boulevard. Shopping and restaurants are a short drive away at Westfield Sarasota Mall and University Town Center. Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s are equally close by.

  For health care, the well-regarded Doctor’s Hospital is on Bee Ridge Road just beyond the I-75 interchange. For golfers, the 45-hole municipal Bobby Jones Golf Club is just minutes away and for those who prefer a private club, several private and semi-private course are also close by. All of Sarasota’s cultural venues like the Asolo Theater, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Ringling Art Museum are only 20 to 25 minutes away. The soft, crystalline sands of famous Siesta Beach and the world famous St Armands Circle shopping and dining mecca are not much more than a 30 minute drive away.

  With its quiet streets and plentiful sunshine all year round, Laurel Meadows offers plenty of home options at reasonable price levels. But understand that people who live in Laurel Meadows seem to really like it there so homes are not always available. In the past 18 months, five homes have sold ranging in price from about $260,000 to $350,000.

  Of the 84 homes in the community there are just 2 homes for sale right now so if Laurel Meadows sounds like the kind of community you’d like to live in, call me today at 941-228-9682. I'd be delighted to show you these two homes and, if neither of these is exactly what you desire, I can then alert you to other homes when they become available in Laurel Meadows or other similarly attractive Sarasota Florida neighborhoods.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Introducing McClellan Park Neighborhood

  Set in the picturesque “West of the Trail” area of Sarasota is McClellan Park, a delightful neighborhood of mostly older homes in a tranquil setting of winding streets, lovely gardens and lush canopies of seemingly ageless trees. Because there's a real sense of history here, new residents, even when they tear down an older home and rebuild, make a sincere effort to preserve the charm of the “Old Sarasota” of nearly a century ago.

  Just south of Downtown Sarasota, McClellan Park in bound roughly on the north by Hyde Park Street, on the west by Oriole Drive and Blue Heron Drive, on the south by Cunliff Lane and on the east by South Osprey Avenue. McClellan Parkway runs through its center. This is the kind of neighborhood that invites residents to evening strolls and neighborhood gatherings. Here, you may find yourself strolling to Morton’s Gourmet Market for fresh produce and prepared foods at 1924 South Osprey Avenue or a bit further to Gecko’s Pub and Grill or the Pacific Rim for casual, contemporary Japanese & Thai fusion fare. Nearby, the 5 O‘Clock Club offers live after-hours music.

  The neighborhood was originally developed by its namesakes, Katherine and Daisietta McClellan during the Florida land boom in the 1920’s. Many of the older homes are cottage-style bungalows, many of which having undergone faithful renovation keeping to the historical character of the neighborhood. Intermixed with them are larger homes designed to reflect the nature of the neighborhood as well as an appreciation for quality and aesthetics. This neighborhood invites front porch visits, and neighborhood backyard gatherings with friends. And, it is situated within walking distance to the quaint Southside Village area just to east of the neighborhood.

  The neighborhood is served by excellent schools, some of which were established back when the West of the Trail neighborhoods were first developed. Southside Elementary School, for example, which opened in 1926 became over the years a magnet for families to relocate into the area because of its high educational standards.

  Because of its close proximity to Sarasota memorial Hospital, McClellan Park a favorite neighborhood for many health care professionals who practive at the hospital.

  In a McClellan Park home, you'll be minutes from the incredible variety of arts, culture, entertainment, dining, and shopping of Downtown Sarasota and only minutes from the soft, white quartz beaches of Siesta Key. For golfing enthusiasts, your home will be less than 30 minutes from a half-dozen world-class country clubs with challenging golf courses. For those with yachts or sailboats, your home will be close to deep water marinas at Marina Jacks and the Sarasota Yacht Club.

  If you prefer a cookie-cutter, every home looks the same, type of neighborhood devoid of mature trees and meandering sidewalks, McClellan Park is not for you. But if investing in a home in a historically significant, yet wonderfully friendly, casual neighborhood close to everything sounds appealing, I would be delighted to introduce you to McClellan Park and its sister neighborhoods in the “West of the Trail” area of Sarasota Florida. Call me at 941.228.9682 or visit my Sarasota real estate website for information on this and other unique Sarasotaq neighborhoods..

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Frantic Pace of Sarasota Real Estate Sales is Cooling Off

  The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported recently that for the fourth time in the past five months, sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums across Southwestern Florida dropped below the level seen in the same months a year ago. Home sales in the Sarasota Florida area specifically continued at a slightly slower pace compared to 2015. Altogether, in February, a total of 1,359 single-family homes and condos were sold compared to 1,428 in February, 2015.

  At the same time, the number of properties available for purchase in both Sarasota and Manatee County expanded. There were 8,269 properties (5,540 single-family homes and 2,729 condos/townhomes) available for purchase at the end of February, an increase of 8.9% over the level a year ago . While the months of supply of single-family homes remained about constant at a 4.7 month supply, there was a slightly increased number of months supply of condos in both the Sarasota and Manatee county markets (from a 4.7 month to 5.1 months supply in Sarasota and from 5.1 to a 5.4 month supply in Manatee County).

  After the frantic pace of sales and a shortage of available inventory we witnessed in 2015, this slight reduction in early 2016 volumes is a welcome sign of moderation in the Sarasota real estate market. this less frantic pace of sales and increased number of properties available from which to choose will allow those who wish to purchase a home or condo in the Sarasota - Bradenton real estate market the opportunity to buy the home or condo of their dreams in a more reasonable and rational process. While it may not always seem so, Realtors appreciate a more rational marketplace as much as buyers do so eveyone is happier with this slightly slower pace.

  If you’re in Sarasota now or planning to visit our warm and sun ny city in the near future, I’d love to show you homes and condos that will meet your every wish and desire on the waterfront, in a country club community or in vibrant downtown Sarasota. Let’s work together to make your dream of living in one of America’s most popular and welcoming mid-sized cities, come true.

  Visit my Sarasota real estate website to learn about all the many ways you will love making Sarasota your new hometown. For immediate service, call me now at 941-228-9682.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Introducing Laurel Oak, An Attractive Sarasota Country Club Community

  Laurel Oak is a private member-owned country club community close to downtown Sarasota that features, among its many other amenities, two championship golf courses. This gated community features over 400 single-family homes on well-lighted streets, sidewalks for biking and strolling and 24-hour security on its 800 acres of scenic lakes, wetland preserves and lush green links on its golf courses.

  The 45,000 square foot clubhouse offers a junior-Olympic size heated swimming pool, twelve Har Tru clay tennis courts eight of which are lighted for evening play, in addition to casual and fine dining and an active social calendar.

  One of the unique features of Laurel Oak Country Club is its exclusive arrangement of reciprocal privileges with the Bird Key Yacht Club on beautiful Sarasota Bay allowing Laurel Oak members to enjoy year-round access to the yacht club’s boating, tennis, swimming and dining facilities. Another unique feature of this community is that residents who love the lifestyle as well as the proximity of Laurel Oak to downtown Sarasota, but who are not golfers, are not required to be members of the country club.

  Homes in Laurel Oak available today vary considerably in size and price assuring that there a home that will meet the needs and wishes of everyone. For example, there is currently a 2,200 square foot 2 bedroom, 2 bath plus den villa home that has been meticulously maintained by the original owner. The price on this home was recently reduced by $20,000 to $399,000. To tour this home, please mention MLS# A4129949 when you call me.

  At the other end of the spectrum, there is a spectacular 4,872 square foot, 5 bedroom, 5 bath custom home with 2 fireplaces, 2 wet bars, a cabana steam room, a resort-style waterfall pool and 2 jacuzzis with panoramic views of a large lake and the 11th hole of the East golf course. This home, built in 1997, is available for $1.249 million. Mention MLS# A4132711 when you call if you’d like to tour this exquisite home.

  Many of the homes for sale in the Laurel Oak Country Club community are maintenance-free making them particularly attractive to those who will be visiting Sarasota only part of the year until they are ready to live here year round.

  If Laurel Oak Country Club sounds like the type of community you’d enjoy, I would be pleased to show you homes in this attractive golfing community if you would please call me at 941.228.9682. To become familiar with other Sarasota country club and waterfront communities, visit my Sarasota Florida real estate website.