Top 10 Homes Released by Clientele Luxury Magazine

Just Released by Clientele Luxury – the Top 10 Homes USA Fall 2017 Edition!
 

Top 10 Homes in the USA – Fall 2017
Clientele Luxury Magazine

Have a first look at the Top 10 Homes USA Fall Edition that will Premier in Barnes & Nobles Oct 3, 2017 and at several Luxury High Net Worth Events in October & November.
 
Click here to view the entire publication online.
 
I am proud to announce that my ‘Ohana listing located at 6633 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key made this Top 10 list. Sitting upon 2.57 acres directly on the Gulf of Mexico, ‘Ohana is an island paradise. Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty once described the peacefulness of ‘Ohana by stating, “If Zen could be described in the form of a building then this would be it. Whether the property is best expressed as a house or a small, intimate and very private southeast Asian inspired super-spa, Ohana has soul – lots of it.
 
If you have been considering a move to our beautiful area, contact me today!

Ohana on Longboat Key as Featured in Clientele Luxury Magazine’s Top 10 Homes in the USA – Fall Edition
Click to view the magazine.

“Up On The Roof” at the Newly Opened Westin Sarasota

Photo Credit: Westin Sarasota guest

Photo Credit: Westin Sarasota guest

According to one Associate Editor for Sarasota Magazine, the views from atop The Westin Sarasota will leave you awe-struck and with a vocabulary full of “Ooohs, Aaahhhs, and WOWS!” Perhaps it was The Drifters who said it best in their 1962 hit song, “Up On the Roof ” – “Right smack dab in the middle of town, I’ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof (up on the roof).”

The newly opened, pet-friendly Westin Sarasota Hotel, sitting adjacent to the picturesque Sarasota bayfront and attached to the VUE, features 18 floors, 255 luxurious rooms and suites, a salon/spa, a fitness studio with state-of-the-art equipment, 26,000 square feet of meeting space, the new Evoq restaurant that is open daily to the public for casual elegant dining, and the literal crown of this jewel that is also open to the public, The Roof Bar and Eats with comfortable couch seating, poolside dining, and spectacular views of Sarasota. 

If you are looking for a piece of Sarasota paradise for your out of town guests to stay or just need to unwind for an evening and take in a more panoramic view of Sarasota, visit The Westin Sarasota today, located at 1175 N. Gulfstream Ave.

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

Michael Saunders & Company Ranks Among the Nation’s Top Brokerages

Out of the top 500 real estate brokerages nationwide, Michael Saunders & Company was ranked at #70 in terms of sales volume and #96 in terms of sides of transactions.  REAL Trends, a leading authority on news, research and information about the real estate brokerage industry, recently announced these results in the REAL Trends 500 report, an independently verified compilation of the nation’s leading residential real estate companies.

It is important to understand two factors about this report.  First, in order for a brokerage to qualify for REAL Trends 500, that brokerage must close a minimum of 500 residential transactions sides (either buyer or seller) over and above the previous calendar year. Second, this compilation only includes the sales of residential homes; leases, commercial property sales or vacant land sales are not taken into account.

To give a better perspective on what this report means for the nation’s top brokerages, Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends states that while “housing sales in the nation were up 4.9 percent in 2016 from 2015…the REAL Trends 500 firms were up 6.6% in the same period.” This marks the third consecutive year that the nation’s largest brokerage firms gained market share and further demonstrates that “America’s largest brokerage firms have figured out how to grow their share in all kinds of markets.”  In other words, whether a buyer or seller market; a slow or hot market, the agents of the REAL Trends 500 firms are stepping up, conquering challenges, and closing the sales! 

As a company, we are always honored to be recognized nationally; however, we are just as honored to be recognized locally.  When REAL Trends compared our firm with others in the Sarasota real estate market, Michael Saunders & Company showed a strong lead both in the number of transaction sides and sales volume for 2016. 

Sarasota County
COMPANY 2016 Sides
Michael Saunders & Company . . . . . . . .  . 5,857
RE/MAX Alliance Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,470
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate/NRT . . 4,368
Keller Williams Sarasota Lakewood Ranch . . . . . 1,953
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty . . . . . . . . 1,771

COMPANY 2016 Volume
Michael Saunders & Company . . . . . . . . . $2,430,886,648
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate/NRT . . . $1,606,303,000
RE/MAX Alliance Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,249,148,937
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty . . . $878,682,050
Keller Williams Sarasota Lakewood Ranch. $507,941,433

So, if you have been considering buying or selling a home, consider Michael Saunders & Company and contact me today!

US Pending Home Sales are the Highest in Almost a Year

National Association of Realtors logo (PRNewsFoto/National Association of Realtors)

National Association of Realtors logo (PRNewsFoto/National Association of Realtors)

The National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday that the pending home sales index climbed 5.5% in February to 112.3%, which is the highest point in almost a year and the second highest point since 2006.

Lawrence Yun, the Association’s chief economist, suggested that a combination of a rising stock market, an uptick in consumer confidence and warmer weather have all played a part in encouraging prospective home buyers.  It was also suggested that rising median home prices may be urging people to make offers now rather than wait and risk price increases.

Additionally, the Association reported last week that even with the sales of existing homes falling in February after a strong January surge, sales are still solidly ahead from a year ago.  Similarly, local pending sales experienced a slight decrease in February, but 2017 started out strong with a 9% increase in Sarasota County and a 6.4% increase for Manatee County and overall, sales are still up from where they were at this time last year.  Even despite a sharp rise in mortgage rates since last November, the U.S. housing market as a whole is looking very strong.

For the full story from Herald Tribune, click here.

If you have been considering buying or selling a home, contact me today!

Sarasota – The Cultural Capital of Florida

Photo by Cliff Roles – Cast of Asolo Repertory’s production of West Side Story 

When we say that Sarasota is full of “arts and culture,” what exactly does that mean?  Well, aside from being internationally recognized for our beaches, Sarasota is also gaining “arts and culture” notoriety not only in the state of Florida, but nationally and even internationally for being one of the “few communities in the nation that have the depth and quality of arts and cultural offerings” that can be found in Sarasota.  Those offerings include live theater, concerts, ballet, opera, galleries, museums, exquisite architecture, art walks, festivals, and of course, our beloved circus. 

John Ringling

John Ringling

In fact, the foundation of our community lives within the arts and circus magnate, John Ringling of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.  When he decided to bring the circus’ winter headquarters to Sarasota, he also brought with him a keen vision for real estate development and an incredible passion for arts and culture.  Thus, “with the seed of arts planted in prominent style, a community was created where artists were valued and creativity was cherished. Today, that legacy lives on.”

Numerous publications have noticed Sarasota beyond our gorgeous beaches as well.  Here is a list of recent accolades:

  • American Style Magazine named Sarasota as the No. 1 “Small City for Art in the United States”
  • NerdWallet listed Sarasota in the “Best Small Cities for Art Lovers”
  • Sarasota’s iconic Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been recognized as the No. 1 “Performing Arts Hall in North America” in the 2,000-seat category by Venues Today five times
  • Movoto named Sarasota among “The Best Cities in Florida for the Arts”
  • TopRetirements.com said Sarasota is known for “Most Big Cultural Institutions per Square Inch”
  • Coastal Living Magazine named the Sarasota community of Towles Court among the “Top 10 Artists Colonies in North America”
  • The annual Sarasota Film Festival was recently named one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by Movie Maker Magazine

From new museums on the horizon like the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA) to the expansion of the Ringling College of Art and Design that includes new sound stages scheduled to open soon, our community is committed to keeping Sarasota as a “hub for creativity and culture.”  Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 is one of the most exciting initiatives dedicated to maintaining our status as “Florida’s premier destination for arts and culture” whereby a long-term master plan has been set for re-investing in 42 acres of land along the Bayfront near the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The goal of this project is to create a “permanent expression of Sarasota’s cultural prowess while inhabiting one of the city’s most beautiful and accessible waterfront settings.

Click here to read more on this story from Michael Saunders & Company

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

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

Jan2017Sarasota

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

sarasota-florida-gettyimages-115029141

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!