Rising Vacation Rental Demand Boosts Sarasota Real Estate Market


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, May, 11, 2013 – A more dynamic market for multifamily homes can be expected for the rest of 2013, as demand continues to grow in this real estate segment, Sarasota Bay Real Estate said. Whatever second thoughts of prospective sellers of townhouses and condo units have on engaging the market, the full service realty firm noted, should be dissipated by substantially improved prices and rising sales.

For March, the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) reported that the median price for condos has reached $182,000, compared with the $127,000 ebb registered in July 2010. March condo sales reported by SAR members totaled 259, up 7% from the year-earlier month.  Combined sales of multifamily homes in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties for March amounted to 492 units, a 15% gain from February and a 4% increase from a year earlier.

Tourism hits record high

Market Competition

The continuing tourism industry growth in Southwest Florida is contributing much to the resurgence of Sarasota condos for sale, Sarasota Bay Real Estate observed. The realty firm noted records showing that during this year’s first quarter, the traditional tourist peak season, over a quarter of a million visitors had booked to stay overnight in Sarasota County. This represents a 5.1% improvement from the first quarter in 2012 which was already a record year for the local tourist trade.

This year’s record-setting trend was also manifested in rental occupancy rate which hit an estimated 95% in Sarasota this past March. All told, records indicate that Sarasota County has approximately 15,000 short-term rental units, with 48% of these listed as condo units. Individual home buyers with an enterprising view at purchasing Sarasota condos for sale, Sarasota Bay Real Estate emphasized, have to work with a savvy real estate broker. These individual buyers, the firm said, have to compete with large institutional investors keen on tapping the immense potential of the rental property market.

Institutional buyers pose stiff competition

Market Competition

According to news reports, institutional investors in some Florida real estate markets have bids on hundreds of homes a day, accounting for as much as 70% of total sales. These big investors include the Blackstone Group, which has reportedly amassed 20,000 rental homes valued at $3 billion across the U.S. Another institutional player, American Homes 4 Rent has bought some 10,000 rental properties nationwide. These institutions are well-funded and have the ready cash, giving them the edge over individual home buyers, Sarasota Bay Real Estate said.

Working with a realtor with an inside track of the local property market should help in leveling the playing field for the individual buyers, the company added. There are many available properties which are off the beaten path of most home buyers and can only be discovered with the help of an experienced agent.

Some attractive Sarasota condos for sale, for instance, are available at Serenata, a 240-unit condominium complex easily accessible via University Parkway and I-75. The units here were designed as three-story garden homes with maintenance-free features and floor plans of up to around 1,300 square feet. The amenities in this community include a resort-type pool, a fitness center, and tennis courts. It is also near three golf courses—Rolling Green, Palm Aire, and the Sarasota Golf and Country Club. The asking prices of available Serenata homes start around the $100s. An onsite property management takes care of units acquired for vacation rental purposes.