Are Buyers Backpedaling on Dream Homes?


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 27th, 2016 – Take notice if some realtors say that many first-time home buyers would likely settle for less home in 2017. With the home market facing a regime of rising interest rates, indeed it seems that more aspiring homeowners would be inclined to scratch the “have-to-have” amenities and go for smaller, less pricey residential choices.

Recent sales statistics in Sarasota and Manatee do indicate that some buyers may now be starting to backpedal on their dream home and settle for just the essentials in a residence. In November, the bulk of the sales and highest rate of year-over-year increase in the two counties were notably on mid-priced single family homes in the $200s‒$300s price points.

Hefty Sales Gains

Are Buyers Backpedaling on Dream Homes?

In Sarasota, there were an estimated 194 single family homes sold priced in the $200s and $300s, up about 50 percent from November last year. A similar hefty gain was recorded in Manatee where home sales at these price points totaled 146, up 36 percent from 2015.

Overall, November home sales in Sarasota totaled 568 units, up 5.2 percent from last year, while total Manatee homes sold for the month rose 18.4 percent to 431 units. The median price of Sarasota homes for sale during the month was recorded at $265,000, up 15.8 percent, while a 3.3 percent spike to $279,000 was recorded in Manatee.

Market Listings Heat Up

New listings of homes for sale in the two counties are likewise strongest at homes priced around the mid-$200s. In November, about 200 single family homes at this median price range were sales-listed in Sarasota and Manatee, up some 24 percent compared to last year.

Some builders are actively pursuing opportunities in this mid-priced segment too. CalAtlantic, the merger between Ryland Homes and Standard Pacific, has recently stepped up marketing efforts for affordably priced homes in its new community, Keyway Place, in Englewood.

Modest Two-bedroom Choices

This national builder is offering in this gated community modest two-bedroom builds with floor plans of 1,635 square feet priced starting from about $260,000. Up north in Palmetto at the Old Mill Preserve, CalAtlantic has new homes also around this price range but larger with three to four bedrooms within floor plans of up to approximately 2,300 square feet.

Folks who are scaling down on their choices can likewise focus their search on existing homes in older Sarasota developments like Colonial Oaks located between Fruitville and Bee Ridge Roads. Many of the residences here were built in the late 1980s but still remain impressive with their Florida ranch-style designs and spacious lots. One recent listing in this community is offered with a tag price in the mid-$200s, featuring three bedrooms within a floor area of nearly 1,600 square feet.

South of Bee Ridge, some choices at around the same price range but with smaller square footages could also be found at Hyde Park Terrace. Also sales-listed just recently, these are new construction which could draw the interest even from those prospective buyers who won’t settle for nothing less than the home of their dreams.