Today I am standing on the Tony Saprito Pier in Sarasota, which was named after the former mayor and fruit grower. Behind me is the John Ringling Bridge- a project that took nearly a decade to be completed after intense and divisive debate. This is an apt backdrop to talk about the phenomena of change.
Most people don’t want to go through change, and they certainly don’t like the inconvenience or upheaval, and yet most are happy with the outcome (results). Just like with this bridge, which has in effect become a recreational destination for our community, after a short while it is hard to recollect what it was like previously.
How a Changing Sarasota is Affecting Our Market
For the 3rd quarter of 2019 (from July through September):
- Sales increased from the 3rd quarter of 2018 by 12.4%.
- Sales in the luxury segment of the market (those properties selling for $1M or more) increased by 19% from the same period a year ago.
- The affordable segment of the market (those properties selling for $200k or less) decreased by 4.1%, It is about one quarter of the total market while 87% of our market is still less than $500k.
- The distressed component of the market increased by 28%. It is still less than 3% of our total market. I researched this by zip codes, and in the most desirable areas such as Longboat Key and downtown Sarasota there was just one distressed sale in each locale and on Siesta Key there were only 4.
- Finally, the median price for the 3rd quarter is up 2% from the same period a year ago. While some want price increases to be greater, I am an advocate of slow and steady appreciation.
There continues to be a lot written on the economy. Here in Florida, the director of economic forecasting for UCF predicts growth rates to average 3.6% from 2019-2022. Tourism numbers are up by 4% for the 1st half of 2019 to 68.9M.
I believe whole-heartedly in the changes that are occurring here. The upgrades to our community’s popular amenities, infrastructure and environment are not just important but absolutely critical to increase livability, accessibility, and real estate values. Just look behind me. We are much better off with this new bridge. There is always competition amongst cities to attract people and jobs, and Sarasota needs to continue to push to be the best version of herself.