The Market Looks Ripe for First-time Homeowners


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, June 7th, 2016 – Steady job and wage growth coupled with low mortgage rates appears to be setting the stage for more first-time home buyers to engage in the market. This trend seems clear not only on the radar screen of some home builders but has also been apparently tracked by many prospective sellers of existing or pre-owned Sarasota residences.

In April 2016, new listings of Sarasota homes for sale was strongest in the $250,000‒$299,999 range around which many builders are targeting as an entry point for first-time homeowners. Newly listed homes in this price bracket rose a hefty 42 percent for the month and in the process boosted housing stock within the range by a robust 42.4 percent. Overall Sarasota home inventory for April 2016 rose by just 8 percent.

Rapalo Community Debuts

The Market Looks Ripe for First-time Homeowners

Amongst the fresh choices for first-time home buyers are the pre-construction residences that Express Homes entered in the roster of Sarasota homes for sale towards April 2016. A unit of D.R. Horton, this home builder has opened sales in its new community, Rapalo, in Venice where it is pre-selling three residences with tag prices edging towards the mid-$200s.

These homes come in three- to four-bedroom designs within floor plans of between 1,500 and 1,830 square feet. A gated neighborhood conveniently located at Englewood Road just about one and a half mile south of U.S. 41, Rapalo was developed with many of its homes sites offering lake views. The amenities in this community include a resort-style pool and adjoining pavilions scheduled to be built later this year.

A Flock of Pre-owned Options

Resale homes priced in the upper $200s at Rapalo’s neighboring gated community, Ventura Village, have also been recently listed amongst Venice homes for sale. These options on pre-owned residences were constructed towards the late 2000s and feature three bedrooms within floor areas in the 1,500‒2,000-square-foot range. This community likewise features many residences built around lakes, and it has a clubhouse and a swimming pool for common use of Ventura residents.

Prospective buyers can also level up to the $300s price range where several new sales listings were added at the Venetia, a sprawling community of about 650 homes off Jacaranda Blvd. a short distance north of Rapalo and Ventura Village. These newly available Venetia residences feature floor areas of about 2,000‒2,500 square feet, designed with three bedrooms and two baths. Access to several community facilities, including a 4,000-square foot clubhouse, two lighted tennis courts, a heated swimming pool, and a playground, is bundled with these fresh entries in the MLS of Venice homes for sale.

First-time buyers eying opportunities on homes priced at the $300s and below will indeed find a vibrant market which is stocking up on affordable but quality housing. Turnover of Sarasota homes for sale at these price points was at a remarkably brisk pace in April 2016. During the month, the median number of days between the listing date and contract date for closed sales for homes priced between $250,000 and $299,999 dropped by nearly 6 percent to 32 days, one of the lowest among various price ranges of Sarasota homes for sale.