Southwest Florida Seen Growing Anew as Retirees’ Destination


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, February 7th, 2014 – The rise in national home prices, which was estimated at a 12.8% clip in October, seems providing a tailwind for retirees to settle in Southwest Florida, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports. The full service realty firm says it goes along with industry observations that the sustained home price gains this year come as an incentive, particularly for homeowners aged 55-plus, to consider selling and settling in the warmer climes of the Sunshine State.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) put the national median for existing home sale price at $199,500 in October. Its 12.8% advance marked the 11th consecutive month that double-digit price increases were posted on a year-over-year basis.

Moderate price gains

Comparing the October NAR sales data with local statistics, Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes that retirees from out of state can land favorable deals by selling their properties and considering options on Sarasota homes for sale. The realty firm says that the local price spike in October was more moderate and median prices also lower compared with the national level.

Median sale prices for single family homes in Sarasota County in October 2013 rose 11.6% to $185,776 from $166,500 a year earlier.Condos’ median sale prices this October was up 20.7% to $175,000, compared to $145,000 ayear ago.

Tight market inventories

Prospective buyers of Sarasota homes for sale, however, will have to contend with an inventory of available properties as tight as the national level. In October, the Sarasota inventory for single family homes stood at 4.8 months for single family homes and 5.5 months for condos. These levels compare with the 5 months’ supply at the national level for all residential types.

Notably, both national and local  inventories are under the 6-month market equilibrium level. The tight inventory situation, nonetheless, appears moderating in Sarasota where available properties on the market totaled 4,032 in October. This was the first time since April 2013 that inventory rose beyond the 4,000 mark. A gain in available single family homes accounted for the month’s increase. There was an additional sales listing for 200 single family homes, while condos listed dropped by some 200 units.

Advice for bargain hunters

Buyers seeking bargains will also have to work harder and more closely with their realtors, Sarasota Bay Real Estate says. It notes that homes priced under the $200s have become scarcer and more properties that are entering the market are priced above the $200s level.

The real estate broker says the current MLS listing of Sarasota homes for sale carries only about 112 available properties priced between $175,000 and $200,000 that approximate the local median home prices. Many of these available homes are already in the pending sales list.

New in the market

There are several new listings, however. One is a 1,530-square-foot home with three bedrooms and two baths. Located at Ridgewood Estates, this home built in 1971 is priced a shade under the $200s.

Another new listing is priced slightly below $180,000, featuring three bedrooms and two baths in its floor area of 1,524 square feet.