Low-End Home Market Is Heating Up


Folks on the lookout for more affordable housing will now find amazing strata of choices among Manatee-Sarasota homes for sale. Besides resale homes and foreclosures or REOs, a growing number of their options are now being filled by newly built residences from homebuilders or developers who have anticipated the resurgence in the low-end market that has become evident in recent months.

In one monthly reading based of government data, it was estimated that nearly 40% of all homes sold in February 2015 across the United States were new builds priced in the $200s range. This stands as the highest since March 2008 and provides a hint of increasing demand from the lower-income U.S. market segment.

This trend was seen in Manatee in May 2015 when deals were closed on 196 resale homes priced at the $200s, representing 32% of total sales for the month, about a half more than the level a year earlier. In Sarasota, this sign that the low-end market is heating up was also in evident in May 2015 during which 179 pre-owned homes priced in the $200s were sold, a figure that was nearly 28% above the year-ago level and represented some 23% of total sales for the month.

Choices from top American builder

Low-End Home Market Is Heating Up

The nation’s top homebuilder, D.R. Horton, is one of the developers well positioned to tap the vibrant activity in the low-end segment of the housing market in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. Early in 2015, the company opened selling in its Soleil development north of University Parkway on the Sarasota/Manatee County line.

A gated community with no CDD fees, Soleil is planned for 184 coach-type condo homes grouped in several units per building. Designed with separate entrances and garages, these units have floor areas of either 1,402 square feet with two bedrooms or 1,661 square feet with three bedrooms. Their listed prices among Manatee-Sarasota homes for sale start in the low $200s.

Separately, a 15-acre Soleil West is being developed for 66 single family homes. Sales-listed at the $300s, these residences are designed with floor plans ranging from 1,400 to 3,130 square feet, featuring either three or four bedrooms.

In addition to Soleil, D.R. Horton has several other communities in Manatee with affordably priced new builds. One is the Covered Bridge Estates in Ellenton where current sales listings start in the upper $100s. Newly built homes priced in the $200s can likewise be found in this builder’s Prospect Point and Stoneledge communities, both of which are in Bradenton.

Options at North Port

Heading south to North Port, low-end home market offerings can likewise be found in the Villas at Charleston Park, a resort-style, gated community where builds from Maronda Homes and Lennar Corp. are available. The newly constructed residences here are also priced in the $200s, with floor areas of between 1,480 and about 2,000 square feet designed with three to four bedrooms.

This new development’s amenities include a clubhouse with a pool, billiard and exercise facilities, and a library. A deed-restricted community, the Villas at Charleston Park consists of 182 home sites developed amid a pleasant setting of lush oaks and four lakes.