Buyers Willing to Pay High Premium on Sarasota Waterfront Homes


Waterfront homes in Florida are still less expensive compared to those in other popular U.S. home buying destinations, even as the premiums paid for such properties in the Sunshine State’s Riviera Beach, Sarasota, Tampa and Lake Worth are among the top 10 percentage-wise in the nation. Price-wise, Honolulu tops in median price for waterfront homes with an estimated $3.8 million, which compares with the national average of $370,900.

In the same analysis by the Internet-based home marketplace Zillow, the median price for Sarasota waterfront homes was estimated at close to $1.8 million, a 1,132% premium over the $143,000 non-waterfront median home value in the area. This percentage rate for Sarasota was topped only by the 1,154% premium in Riviera Beach based on this city’s waterfront median home value of $906,700 vs. the nonwaterfront median price of $72,300.

Bradenton was ranked 17th with the widest waterfront–nonwaterfront price gap among U.S. urban centers with over 100,000 residents. The Zillow analysis estimated Bradenton’s waterfront median home price at $413,400 which is 103% more than the city’s $203,700 median price estimate for nonwaterfront homes.

Gains steady

Buyers Willing to Pay High Premium on Sarasota Waterfront Homes

Zillow examined sales data from 1996 up to 2014. The analysis found out steady increase of waterfront premiums throughout that period, except between 2007 and 2011during which some narrowing of the gap was observed.

All told, 250 communities were covered in the Zillow analysis including other popular destinations for waterfront properties like Hawaii, the Long Island Sound coast, and California. The Zillow study limited its analysis on urban areas with properties adjacent to bodies of water larger than 10 square kilometers. Only those single family residences within 150 feet of the water were considered in this analysis.

Wider picture, same story

Separate local statistics which included residences on small lakes, rivers, ponds, and canals, affirm the high premium that buyers are willing to pay on Sarasota waterfront homes for sale.

Historical data from the real estate statistics company Trendgraphix showed that waterfront premium in Sarasota County grew from 83% in 2001 to the current 147% estimate. In Manatee County, however, the percentage difference between waterfront and nonwaterfront homes during the same period declined to 59% from 68% under Trendgraphix’s expanded definition of waterfront properties. One recent sale in the county was in Bradenton’s Bayshore Gardens where ownership of a two-bedroom, 1,638-square-foot home changed hands for $229,900.

Price point choices

Venice would be an ideal destination for prospective buyers in search of waterfront Sarasota homes for sale well below the estimated Zillow median price of about $1.8 million. At Venice’s Golden Beach community, for instance, a three-bedroom, 1,231-square-foot home close to a canal and just a block away from the beach is sales-listed with an asking price of $329,000.

A West of the Trail community, Holiday Harbor, is another good place to commence a search for waterfront Sarasota homes for sale. The prices of available properties here also typically start in the low $300s. The prime listings in this community are priced in the $1 million level, featuring three to four bedrooms within floor plans of up to more than 4,300 square feet.

In Manatee County, some million-dollar waterfront choices can be found at Anna Maria Island. The Shore Acres subdivision here has several listings in the $2 million–$4 million range, which are single family homes also with floor plans of about 4,000 square feet and four to five bedrooms.