Siesta Home Market Sustains Strength on Beach Upgrades


The median prices of Siesta Key homes sold in the 2015 first quarter slipped year-over-year, in contrast to sustained price gains overall in the Sarasota real estate market. Nonetheless, the fundamentals remain strong for residential properties in the barrier island.

One primary source of this strength is the forthcoming completion of the $21.5 million project to improve the amenities of Siesta Public Beach. This project is set for full completion by yearend of 2015, with the county providing funding through the penny sales tax. The project brings significant upgrades to various facilities in this world-class beach widely considered as a mainspring behind buying interest in Sarasota homes for sale.

More parking spaces

Siesta Home Market Sustains Strength on Beach Upgrades

Phase one of the improvements has already been completed. This involved the relocation of the tennis courts, the construction of a new maintenance building, and laying out a new parking lot near the tennis courts to create 150 parking spaces.

Construction of an additional two parking lots is covered by phase two which is already underway. Also included as the project moves into its homestretch is the construction of a playground and a picnic area. The old concession area will also be renovated, but its historic section built in the 1950s will be preserved.

Wayfinding tackled

Additionally, a new concession stand will be constructed. Besides a deck providing vantage point for beach and sunset views, this new building will house the office of lifeguard management and the sheriff’s office; concessionaires coming in will operate at the ground floor.

Recognizing that the multiple beach improvements can be quite overwhelming to visitors, county officials are now considering wayfinding modes to help tourists navigate Siesta Beach and nearby parks. Possible models being considered for the local beach were the wayfinding methods employed at Walt Disney World and at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Siesta Key’s wayfinding will likely utilize the iconic beach lifeguard watch towers which many visitors already use as parking reminders.

Home buying benchmarks

Some important benchmarks have likewise surfaced recently for prospective buyers of Siesta Key homes for sale. In the 2015 first quarter, median sales prices of properties in the island fell by about 1% to $485,000. This compares with sustained median price gains of 0.7%, 5.9%, and 13% for single family homes sold in all of Sarasota from January to March 2015. Median prices of condos sold overall in the county also rose consecutively by 5.1%, 10.3%, and 5.8% during the three-month period.

While the activity in Siesta Key homes for sale may appear lukewarm with the drop in their median price, some realtors believe that the slip is just an indication of lessening market volatility. They believe that sellers are becoming more realistic in their pricing. Well-priced properties, it was also noted, are also being grabbed quickly by buyers.

For hunters of the lowest-priced Siesta Key homes for sale, Siesta Isles is one community which is quite inviting. In early June 2015, a three-bedroom home here with a floor area of 1,594 square feet was sales listed with a price tag in the low $400s. Walking distance to Siesta Beach, this community also has a new listing in another three-bedroom home with a floor plan of 1,582 square feet and an asking price in the low $500s.