How Does Our Area Rank in Terms of Well-Being?

John Ringling Bridge and the Sarasota Skyline

John Ringling Bridge and the Sarasota Skyline

Florida’s Gulf Coast is no stranger to receiving high praises and accolades from Siesta Key Beach taking the top spot of best U.S. beaches to the Sarasota-Bradenton area being ranked No. 1 for Small Business Vitality.  

Recently, Gallup-Healthways released a study on the State of American Well-Being and has North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton ranked at #6.  To build this Well-Being Index, Gallup surveyed 354,473 people, measuring whether individuals feel a sense of purpose, have supportive relationships, are financially secure, are satisfied with their community, and are in good physical health.  Our region is one of several oceanfront U.S. metro areas to rank highest in terms of residents’ overall well-being. Just over 64% of residents surveyed agreed that our community is the best they can imagine, nearly the largest share in the country and far higher than the 51.6% share of respondents nationwide.

Here is a look at the top 10 cities:

1. Naples–Immokalee–Marco Island, FL
2. Barnstable Town, MA
3. Santa Cruz–Watsonville, CA
4. Urban Honolulu, HI
5. Charlottesville, VA
6. North Port–Sarasota–Bradenton, FL
7. San Luis Obispo–Paso Robles–Arroyo Grande, CA
8. Lynchburg, VA
9. Hilton Head Island–Bluffton–Beaufort, SC
10. Boulder, CO

For more on this Gallup-Healthways study, click here.

If you have been considering a move to our beautiful area, contact me today!

Season Off to Solid Start in Sarasota and Manatee

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Recent data produced by Florida REALTORS® for our two-county area indicates January 2017 to be off to a solid start to this season’s sales. Here is a breakdown of how 2017 is starting out for Sarasota and Manatee counties:

  • Inventory in the two-county area increased by 17.9 percent over January of last year. Sarasota condo inventory increased by 27.1 percent and single family homes went 20.8 percent. In Manatee County, condos were up by 11.4 percent and single family by 10.9 percent.
  • Median prices for Sarasota single family homes increased to $250,000, while Manatee single family increased to $279,000. Condo median sales prices rose to $239,900 in Sarasota and to $175,000 in Manatee.
  • Closed sales in the two-county area are up by 11.6 percent from January 2016 for condos. Meanwhile, single family home sales in Sarasota and Manatee showed an 8.2 percent decrease. Collectively, distressed sales experienced a 51.8 percent decrease from last year, while traditional sales (nondistressed) experienced an increase of 3.5 percent, making a healthier market.

With the number of new pending sales going up, median home prices rising, and inventory continuing to increase, it shows that the Sarasota and Manatee areas are nearing a “strong and balanced market.” For sellers this means more interested buyers and for buyers this means more homes to choose from.

Click here to read the full report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

 

Casey Key is Off to a Strong Start in 2017

For the area’s real estate market, 2017 is really off to a strong start, particularly for Casey Key. Recent activity on this beautiful island includes the highest sale since 2014!

Casey Key Sold Properties 2017

When Buying a House, What is a Must-Have for You?

Luxury Portfolio International recently conducted a survey to find out what the wealthy look for in a home.  For some it may be the waterfront views, while others are looking for a gourmet kitchen fit for the top chef in the family. However, this survey revealed that ample privacy, a Master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, and energy efficiency and environmental design are at the top of the list of “must-haves” for luxury home buyers. What are your “must-haves”?

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

Sarasota among Conde Nast’s best small cities

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Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that Sarasota has earned another accolade!  Condé Nast Traveler recently published their list of the “Best Small Cities in the U.S.” and Sarasota, Florida is on the list.  This list is a readers’ choice of the top 15 cities with a population of 150,000 or less.

This is the second such accolade awarded to Sarasota this year. Earlier in 2016, Condé Nast Traveler named Sarasota among the best food cities in the United States – a list also originating from the magazine’s readers.

Globally, Sarasota has long been known for its beautiful beaches and cultural arts, but one other thing that the magazine’s readers praised Sarasota for, which may not be quite as obvious, is our “growing farm-to-table movement.”  Here is how the magazine described our beloved city: “In a region best known for technicolor sunsets and thatched-roof daiquiri bars, Sarasota shines for its growing farm-to-table movement, soft beaches, and culture: Attractions include the Ringling Museum of Art, the restored Sarasota Opera House, and Lido and Siesta Key beaches.

What an honor it is to be included in a list of breathtaking locations such as Sedona, AZ, Aspen, CO, and Savannah, GA! Click here to see the full list.

If you have been considering a move to Sarasota Florida, contact me today!

A Seller’s Market Remains for Sarasota and Manatee counties

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While the number of overall closed residential sales, median home prices, and inventory are all up from this time last year, the Sarasota/Manatee area continues to be a seller’s market.  Sarasota county residential sales are only slightly up from September 2015 with a 3.3% increase in condominium sales and a 3% decrease in single family home sales. By contrast, Manatee county single family homes sales are up 13.8% from last year, while condominium sales have dropped 6.2%.

Inventory for the two counties is up nearly 20% from last year at this time even though the current levels have followed the expected trend of off-season decline.  According to the September 2016 data, Sarasota county has a 4.2-month supply of inventory for single family homes and a 5-month supply for condominiums while inventory levels for Manatee county are slightly lower; however, neither county is too far off from a balanced market indicator of a 6-month supply.

Pending sales are have also decreased an overall 11% from 2015 but as the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee reports, this was not unexpected since 2015 recorded a historically high number of residential sales. Additionally, Linda Formella, the 2016 RASM® President pointed out other factors that can slow down the rate of pending sales such as back-to-school activities, storm warnings, and the anticipation of election results.

Click here to read the full report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

Median Sale Prices and Inventory Continue to Rise

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The Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee recently released the regional sales numbers for the month of July and while the number of residential sales substantially differ from the record numbers we saw in 2015, Sarasota and Manatee counties are starting to see a more normalizing trend as median sale prices and inventory continue to climb.

Over the past year, Manatee County increased in sales from 2015, with a 0.7 percent increase in single family homes and an 11.5 percent increase in condos, but by contrast, Sarasota County sales are more than 20 percent down for both single family homes and condos.  Additionally, in 2015 pending sales remained very strong through August, but this year, we saw significant slow-down in pending sales as early as May.  In July, records showed that pending sales are 18.5 percent lower than last year for Sarasota and Manatee counties.

However, median sale prices for single family homes in Sarasota County are up 10.5 percent from 2015 to $242,500, while Manatee County experienced an 11.7 percent jump from 2015 to $279,250. Year over year, condo median sales prices rose 7.9 percent from 2015 to $205,000 in Sarasota and 21.9 percent to $185,250 in Manatee.

Inventory is steadily rising as well with single family homes in Manatee and Sarasota each showing a 19.5 percent increase from July 2015, which equates to over 4 month’s supply of inventory.

“July marks the seventh month this year where pending sales are down. This is also the sixth month where listing inventory has been higher than the same period last year. It’s reasonable to expect that the prices will adjust to the slowing demand,” says Linda Formella, 2016 President of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

Click here to read the full report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

Is a Quality Healthcare System on Your List of Criteria?

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There are many factors to consider when considering a move to Florida.  For many, the sun, sand and surf will be at the top of the list of criteria, as would the cultural amenities of the area.  However, for others who are looking to move to Florida based on more everyday and practical criteria, the quality of the area’s healthcare system may be high on that list as well.

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) evaluated over 4,500 eligible hospitals in the nation for overall quality and safety, based on the performance level on a range of inpatient and outpatient measures. Only 2.2% (or 102) of those hospitals received a 5-star rating; and of those 102 hospitals, only 2 of them are located in Florida; the first being the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and the other being Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

But the accolades do not stop there!

A few days later, the U.S. News’ 2016-17 “Best Hospitals” ranked Sarasota Memorial Hospital in the top 10 for the state of Florida and cited Sarasota Memorial Hospital as being one of only 63 hospitals nationwide to earn “high performing” ratings in all nine inpatient surgical procedures and chronic conditions evaluated.

In early July, the Florida Department of Health notified Sarasota Memorial Hospital that it now qualifies as a Level II Trauma Center, making it only one of 31 hospitals statewide to have this designation.  Such a designation means that critically injured patients in Sarasota County can now be treated locally rather than be transported to another trauma center in another community.

As a community, we could not be more proud of SMHC’s dedicated staff, nurses and physicians and their commitment to providing their patients with optimal care.

If you are considering a move to Southwest Florida, contact me today!

Home Building and New Construction Jobs: Both on the Rise in Southwest Florida.

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The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that home building is booming in Southwest Florida with permits in Sarasota-Manatee increasing 65% from last year. However, some residential builders have expressed their concerns, stating that the availability of qualified skilled labor workers is becoming less while the demand for workers continues to rise.

It’s a huge daily challenge, no question about it,” said Michael Storey, president of Neal Communities, the region’s largest locally based home builder. “And it’s not only a quantity issue, it’s a quality issue as well. Finding skilled workers makes the equation even more difficult.

See more on this story at:  Construction companies struggle to find enough skilled workers

Michael Saunders & Company Ranked #1 in Sarasota County in 2015

Michael.Drayton.HeadshotRealTrends recently released its 2015 statistics for real estate brokerages in Sarasota County and Michael Saunders & Company ranked at the top of the list.  Saunders had 3,378 residential transaction sides (representing either the seller or the buyer), with a volume of $1.566 billion. It represented the seller in 1,664 sales and the buyer in 1,714 sides.

We are so proud to share our company’s accomplishments and could not be more proud to work with our amazing team of professionals under the awesome leadership of Michael and Drayton Saunders.

Click here to read the full report from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.