Sarasota Real Estate Market Heats Up as Boomers Buy

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Sarasota Florida is one of the hottest real estate markets in the US. Even with many buyers sitting on the fence and expecting price decreases, April of 2012 saw more property changing hands since the boom of 2005. Sales in April topped those in March by 6.6%. A total of 886 transactions closed, 21 shy of the record high of August 2005 where 908 properties changed hands reports Sarasota Bay Real Estate.

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Current statistics show that single-family home prices in Sarasota are 21.4 percent higher than the low experienced 13 months ago and condo prices are 30% higher than their respective low point. Distressed sales are also at a 3 year low.

Still on the fence about buying property in Florida? Do you think prices will decline further in coastal cities such as Sarasota? If you do, you are missing out on one of the hottest real estate markets in the Sunshine State in nearly 7 years. In April, 589 single family homes traded owners as did 297 condos. Year-over-year, this is a 17% increase from 2011 and 21 shy of the record 908 tallied for August 2005.

Yet with so many buyers flooding the Sarasota market, skepticism remains high.

Christina Miller of Sarasota bay Real Estate states that many out-of-state buyers believe Sarasota is in a depressed market when they are considering everything being reported by the national media companies and what is going on in their own local market. When they come to Sarasota Florida to buy a vacation home they think they are the only buyers in the market looking to make a purchase and they have no sense of urgency when it comes to making an offer on a property.

What they discover is the house they wanted to buy 2 days ago was just lost to another buyer, or, they still think its 2009 and they can steal a property for a ridiculously low price. Whichever the case, they are getting shoved aside every-single-time.

I deal with a lot of very frustrated buyers on a day to day basis. They come to Sarasota with a set of expectations and when I inform them of what is currently going on in this market, they automatically assume I am not being honest with them because I am in sales. It literally takes a buyer getting snubbed out of 2-4 deals before they realize what I am saying to them is true.

Sarasota is experiencing a white-hot market and people are snatching up properties as fast as they can before prices really start to go up and currently sellers are not coming off their list prices. If you are not willing to act fast and offer at least 90 to 95% of list price then you will not be successful in buying a home in Sarasota, added Christina.

Current statistics show that single-family home prices in Sarasota are 21.4 percent higher than the low experienced 13 months ago and condo prices are 30% higher than their respective low point. Distressed sales are also at a 3 year low. These are all signs that the Sarasota real estate market is indeed on the cusp of experiencing a full-blown recovery.

Baby Boomer Buyers

The group that makes up the bulk of the buyers is the over 55 crowd who have recently taken advantage of stock market gains, cashed out of stocks and are buying real estate with the proceeds. The vast majority of transactions being conducted are all cash sales, many a result of a multiple offer negotiations.

Locations in Demand

Communities seeing a huge surge in prices and demand are gated golf communities such as Laurel Oak Estates. This community is interwoven between the links of the Laurel Oak Country Club just east of Downtown Sarasota. List prices of Laurel Oak Country Club homes for sale have jumped nearly 25% in the previous 12 months. There is still plenty of inventory in the community, however, you will not get it for the price it was offered for a mere 12 months ago unless you are quick and somewhat lucky.

Siesta Key is also another hot spot in the Sarasota real estate market. When Dr. Beach named Siesta Key the best beach in America in 2011 sales surged. The good deals for Siesta Key beach front condos were around $300,000 for 2 bedroom 2 bath residences, now those same condos are being offered in the low to mid $400’s.

Longboat Key is a whole different market all-together. The higher-priced Longboat Key real estate listed for sale is starting to move. Many condos well north of the million dollar mark have changed hands in the last 6 months.

Master planned developments such as Palmer Ranch are experiencing the lowest levels of inventory in over a decade. As a result, a good deal on any of the Palmer Ranch homes for sale is increasingly hard to find.

In all of Sarasota County, the only market remaining that is somewhat soft is the North Port area. Even there activity is starting to surge since all the really good deals in Sarasota have started to dry up.

Christina Miller of Sarasota Bay Real Estate expects to see the demand for Sarasota real estate to increase this next season to a level Sarasota has not experienced previously. Prices are still incredibly low compared to 2005 and in many cases less than what it costs to build new. If the 2011/2012 season was any hint as to what’s to come, the 2012/2013 winter season may be the last chance many would-be buyers will get to purchase real estate at these prices.

Where to Start

Would-be home buyers can keep their eyes on properties listed for sale in Sarasota through one of the many real estate broker websites focused on the Sarasota-Manatee market. The website published by Sarasota bay Real Estate updates directly from the MLS system every 60 minutes making it vastly more current than large real estate portals like Realtor.com, Trulia.com or Zillow.com. Sarasota Bay Real Estate does not require registration to search the available properties for sale which is an added plus for those weary of giving out personal information. Their website can be found here: SarasotaBayRealEstate.com

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