Sarasota Real Estate

The numbers noted on January 2008 home sales figures for the whole of Southwest Florida are giving more credence to real estate observers and agents who are contending that the housing market is ahead of the rest of the state, or ahead of the nation as a whole, in recovering from the doldrums created by the US housing crisis.

According to January figures, the 4 percent increase in sales for the Sarasota-Bradenton region, and the 13 percent raise for the Charlotte County-North Port areas, have marked 2 of only 3 sales gains for the state’s 20 most lucrative and largest markets.

However, the sales gains came at a huge cost, with median home sales prices dropping by 13 percent in the Sarasota-Bradenton region and 21 percent in the Charlotte County-North Port area, as home sellers continued to adjust to the realities of the present housing market.

Comparing Markets In The Southwest Fla. Region

In a comparison of sales in the Southwest Florida region for January, Sarasota-Bradenton real estate agents sold 490 homes in January, as compared to 472 in the same period last year.

In Charlotte County-North, brokers were reported to have sold 175 homes last month, as compared with 155 for the same period last year. The drop in home sales in other parts of the state ranged from 6 percent in Fort Walton Beach to 51 percent in Ocala. During January, pricing in Sarasota-Bradenton slumped by 13 percent to $246,300, and in Charlotte County-North Port it went down by 21 percent to $156,800, basically almost on pricing during the last several months.

According to the Florida Association of Realtors, only 6,737 homes changed hands in Florida last month, which represents a 28 percent reduction from the same month last year.

The median sales price was pegged at $208,600, which also dipped by 14 percent. Home sale prices basically declined in every market in the state, except in Panama City, which saw a 13 percent raise, and Pensacola, which noted a rise of 3 percent. The biggest seen so far was in the Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie market, which saw a 27 percent reduction.

Are Foreclosure Rates Still High?

The reports of the gains in home sales however came with a more sobering note on Monday, with the Southwest Florida region noting around 1,924 foreclosure actions in January, which was only a bit fewer than the ones in December.

At this time last year, the Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties had reported only 198 foreclosures. On a per-capita basis, Charlotte County’s January foreclosures placed it at No. 7 in the state and No. 42 nationally, closely followed by Sarasota County at No. 8 and No. 45, respectively. On a national level, the 233,001 foreclosure actions filed in January rose 8 percent from December and nearly 57 percent from a year ago.

According to RealtyTrac, a real estate firm that records foreclosures nationally, January’s foreclosure numbers demonstrate that foreclosure activity is continuing on its upward trend, though much slower than the 19 percent spike at this time last year. RealtyTrac adds that many key states actually experienced reduced foreclosure activity from the previous month. The state of Florida was third in foreclosure activity behind Nevada and California, two other states which experienced speculative buying during the 2004-05 housing season.

Housing Market Observers Are Painting A Positive Outlook

The housing industry as a whole is still in an upbeat and hopeful mood, despite the depressing foreclosure figures, because industry observers were encouraged by the January figures.

According to Sarasota-Bradenton brokers, they are convinced that the market has hit its nadir, a notion shared by some Florida economists, who noted that the market has already hit bottom in Sarasota, and some are beginning to pick up the pieces, by buying homes right now, and temporarily holding them as rental properties.

Some have found that single-family homes in Sarasota sell for $150,000 or less, and can finance them as a rental property for $1,200 to $1,300 per month to cover their expenses. As of now, local housing analysts are saying that rentals are more favorable in Sarasota than in Charlotte or North Port, because they had such a huge building boom there.

Investing In a Good Home In Sarasota, Florida

The city of Sarasota, Florida is one of the fastest-growing districts in the state. It is considered a truly wonderful place to own a home, and as a result, the Sarasota real estate market is a thriving and active one.

To anyone who has visited Sarasota, it comes as no surprise as to why Money Magazine named Sarasota as one of the best places to live in the United States. This award, combined with a lot of other real estate media interests, has greatly led to the thriving real estate market in Sarasota.

Sarasota Is A Premier Real Estate Investment Hotbed

For homeowners who desire to relocate to the communities within Sarasota, and acquiring real estate, there are a number of guides that help investors in acquiring good homes in the vicinity.

Before investing, it helps to learn about the city’s geography. Sarasota lies on the central west coast of Florida. The area includes Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands, also known as “keys”, that lead out into the Gulf of Mexico. Sarasota’s coastline is famous for its powdery-white pristine beaches, such as Siesta Key and Longboat Key. As of 2005, the population of Sarasota County was pegged at 366,256, an increase of more than 40,000, or 12.4%, over the 2000 census figures. The per capita personal income in Sarasota County, as of 2002, was $41,658.

Real Estate Options Are Diverse

The city affords potential investors a wide variety of investment options to choose from. Home seekers can find elegant waterfront estates, beachfront condos, and more traditional homes further inland, as well as a variety of other property choices. It would be wise for investors to know that investing in Sarasota real estate is considered as one of the best things you can do.

Potential buyers can get on a tour of model homes, gated communities and upscale, pricey condominium units.

Since the city offers a broad spectrum of property choices, from coastal real estate to condos and homes further inland, it would be helpful to seek assistance from online property guides to help buyer choose the right home. Property seekers could go online to check on potential homes, like checking on blogs about Sarasota neighborhoods, Sarasota neighborhood profiles (on, and Sarasota neighborhood search.

Buying real estate is a major purchase, and for most people, a home is considered the greatest financial investment they would ever make. For extra help, it would be a good idea to ask the assistance of a professional real estate agent or adviser. For starters, try checking on the Home Builders Association Of Sarasota website for additional information.

There are also a lot of sites that cater to homebuyers in the Sarasota region. These online sites are helpful in giving helpful tips and guidelines about real estate investing. Consumers can also read about the variety of experiences of successful real estate investors, and learn from their stories.

Sarasota – Jewel of the Gulf Coast

In between Fort Myers and Tampa Bay, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, you’ll find Sarasota County’s sparkling shoreline. Whether you’re looking for a simple day in the sun, relaxing on the beach, or the amazing experience of floating on air in a parasail, there are thousands of things to do in Sarasota for everyone with a heart for travel.

The Amazing Beaches of Sarasota County

With shimmering sands that sparkle like diamonds and sapphire-blue waters that dazzle and amaze, Siesta Key Beach is the true jewel of the gulf coast. Even “Dr. Beach” agrees, when he rates Siesta Key Beach as the #2 beach in the world. If you’re coming down to Siesta Key Beach, whatever your reason, you’ll want to make an early day of it, though, because the free parking fills up fast!

Floating on Air

It’s one thing to sit on the beach and have the warm gulf winds brushing across your face, but did you know those same gulf winds can make you fly?! Parasailing is an incredible new watersport that’s both fun and very safe. The idea is simple: Parachute + Cable + Moving Boat = Flying Person. Safe for travelers of all ages, it is the absolute best way to see Sarasota County and one you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Balance your Life with some Culture

Sarasota isn’t just crisp, warm beaches and cool, refreshing waves, though! No! One of the best places to spend your time in Sarasota is at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, offering year-round shows, from the sights and sounds of Broadway and Classical concerts to the dazzle and flash of Rock Stars, Pop Concerts, and more!

For those who want to take a bit more time examining their art, John Ringling, of the Greatest Show on Earth, has set up the Ringling Museum of Art right in downtown Sarasota. So if you want to see masterpieces by Rubens, Gainsborough, Velazquez, Tintoretto, El Greco, Van Dyck and more, come on down to Sarasota and shake the sand off your feet for a while.

Sarasota: Sapphire Waters and Diamond Beaches

Whatever you want from your Florida getaway, Sarasota’s got you covered. We’ve got everything your heart desires, from a relaxing stay on the beach to the thrill of flying over the coastline, all the way to a cultural experience in the comfort of a climate-controlled Arts Center. Come on down and live the good life, live the life of leisure.