Homebuilding Hotspots Count in North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton MSA


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 8th, 2013 – Aspiring home buyers eying opportunities at the Suncoast of Florida are headed on the right path based on recent industry data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In particular, the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the southwest Florida coastal area has emerged as one the country’s homebuilding hotspots, Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes.

Statistics from the NAHB’s First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for August showed that single family housing permits in this MSA have risen by 7.2% since the record low experienced here on May 31, 2009. This gain is the highest among the metropolitan areas in the Sunshine State, the full service realty firm says.

Appreciable home price gains

Besides housing permits, the other parameters of the IMI are improvements in home prices and employment level.  Only those MSAs which have registered gains in all three measures for at least six consecutive months are included in this index.

price trend graphic

For home prices, the level in North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton have risen 17.7% since the trough experienced in the area on February 28, 2011, also one of the fastest appreciation among the Florida MSAs. Likewise, employment in this MSA as of this August has improved by 4.3% t from its trough on September 30, 2010. These growth rates should come as strong incentives for move-up home sellers to engage the property market, Sarasota Bay Real Estate adds.

Push from the big boys

The realty company also observes that the increasing presence of national homebuilders is providing tailwinds to further growth of the property market in the MSA, Notably, the top U.S. homebuilder, D.R. Horton, has taken on some construction projects in Lakewood Ranch. This move has been viewed as a precursor for this builder’s bigger initiatives in this master development of more than twenty communities.

Currently, Sarasota homes for sale built by D.R. Horton are at the Oak Vistas, a neighborhood a short distance south of Lakewood Ranch. Many of the sales-listed homes in this community are attractively priced in the $200s and have floor plans from 1,800 up to about 2,400 square feet, featuring three to four bedrooms.

Lennar, reputedly the third largest U.S. homebuilder, is also actively building in the Sarasota-Manatee area. This Miami-based company is constructing additional homes at Stoneybrook in Venice and at Heritage Harbour’s River Strand neighborhood in Bradenton. Recently, Lennar also broke ground at the Bridgewater community in Lakewood Ranch.

Palmer Ranch front active as well

Another national homebuilder, Taylor Morrison, is as aggressive. This Arizona-based company has its hands full in its two Lakewood Ranch projects: the Esplanade Golf & Country Club and Haddington in Country Club East. Besides the Esplanade at Lakewood Ranch consisting of 1,250 home sites, the company is also behind Esplanade by Siesta Key, a gated community of 247 single family homes.

Additionally, Taylor Morrison is building at the 217-acre Arbor Lakes at Palmer Ranch, which is planned for 260 single-family homes. To help boost its war chest on the homebuilding front, the company had an initial public offering of its shares of stock at the New York Stock Exchange early this year.