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What's your home worth?

Don't buy or sell a Sarasota home until you read this story.

While home prices sank in other parts of the country during the recession, Sarasota real estate, cushioned by the county's affluence, held its own. For the past two years home prices in most Sarasota neighborhoods have remained stable. But get ready. Now that the economy is flexing some muscle, residential real estate in Sarasota could start flying high.

Prosperity will create more buyers, including buyers flush with cash from the long-delayed sales of their Northern homes. In the past, newcomers have often considered Sarasota real estate a bargain, especially waterfront properties. But they may soon find fewer bargains. Quite simply, Sarasota is filling up. Especially in the North County, land suitable for residential development has grown scarce. In areas such as The Meadows, unsold lots are expected to disappear in the next year. "The book is written, and the ink is about to dry," predicts Ron Moxom of Sarasota Real Estate Services.

Except for waterfront property created by the June floods, the ink dried long ago on waterfront lots. With a fixed supply and growing demand, waterfront prices have soared. A good example is Casey Key. In a recent newsletter, Michael Saunders & Co.'s Tom Stone reports, "Direct Gulf-front Casey Key land (on wide beach) has increased in value from around $3,000 per front foot to over $6,000 per front foot in less than five years." However, Stone points out, that's still one of the best buys on the Gulf coast. To the south, prices are about $10,000 per front foot on Sanibel and Captiva and more than $15,000 in Naples. Ed Neild of Michael Saunders & Co. sees a constant flow of new buyers moving from Miami/Fort Lauderdale across to Naples and up to Sarasota. "Florida east coast residents are fed up with congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.

congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity.
, traffic and crime," says Neild. "They are used to paying high prices, and they find Sarasota relatively inexpensive for better quality of life."

Buyers from California and Europe also like Sarasota waterfront prices; but as more of them settle here, prices should continue to rise until land values are equalized between Sarasota and Naples. Neild predicts Sarasota waterfront land values will at least double over the next five years, even if the national economy stays weak, since waterfront buyers usually have resources sufficient to shield them from recessions and unemployment.

However, both Neild and Stone emphasize that waterfront buyers (and others) will demand value for their money. "We're in a buyer's market A Buyer's Market is the second novel in Anthony Powell's twelve-novel series, A Dance to the Music of Time. Published in 1952, it continues the story of narrator Nick Jenkins with his introduction into society after boarding school and university. ; the days of speculation and pricing for inflation are over," insists Stone.

In the mid-'80s, inflation abated Abated, an ancient technical term applied in masonry and metal work to those portions which are sunk beneath the surface, as in inscriptions where the ground is sunk round the letters so as to leave the letters or ornament in relief.

From 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
, but inflationary in·fla·tion·ar·y  
Of, associated with, or tending to cause inflation: inflationary prices; inflationary policies.

Adj. 1.
 expectations kept the resale market strong until 1989. Finally, a combination of recession, war and the collapse of the S&L's brought the market back to reality. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 David Bouverat, a specialist in residential values with Sarasota's Key Appraisal Services, building cost indexes have not increased in Sarasota for the last three years. Indeed, in some areas building costs may have fallen, as a result of improved technology and competitive pressures on builder profit margins. But land costs are increasing, probably by about five percent annually for most Sarasota property. Lots on golf courses or in wooded areas are likely appreciating more, while some lots purchased in the mid-'80s during the speculative fever may have fallen in price.

Here's a look at how property values in some popular Sarasota neighborhoods are faring. (Information was compiled in late summer. In most cases, MLS See multilevel security.  |Multiple Listing Service~ sales figures sales figures nplcifras fpl de ventas  were used; be aware that some transactions, particularly for new homes, are not included in MLS.)


Since most new houses cost more than $150,000, most affordable housing is located in older neighborhoods. This year, lower interest rates allowed many first-time buyers first-time buyer npersona que compra su primera vivienda

first-time buyer npersonne achetant une maison ou un appartement pour la première fois

first-time buyer 
 to enter the market, and most of them looked for homes under $100,000. In Sarasota, the big beneficiaries were the affordable neighborhoods of the Gulf Gate and Southgate areas.

During the first six months of 1992, more than 80 homes were sold in Gulf Gate, at an average price of $97,000. Another 74 homes were sold in Southgate, at an average price of $91,200.

"These are safe, convenient neighborhoods with houses that are well-maintained and hold their value," says Gil Schultz of Coldwell Banker. "While resales were slow in 1991 because of recessionary fears, the market has rebounded this year. Properties are selling close to their listed prices, and they spend fewer days on the market."


Manatee manatee: see sirenian.

Any of three species (family Trichechidae) of slow-moving, shallow-water herbivorous mammals. Manatees have a tapered body ending in a rounded flipper, no hind flippers, and foreflippers near the head.
 County has a diversified economy, jobs for young professionals and supports residential growth on both sides of the interstate in·ter·state  
Involving, existing between, or connecting two or more states.

One of a system of highways extending between the major cities of the 48 contiguous United States.

Noun 1.
. Families who work in Manatee and want to be close to Sarasota's amenities -- or those with Sarasota jobs but Manatee budgets -- have made the neighborhoods near the county line and along the University Parkway Corridor (University Park, Longwood Run, Palm Aire, Cedar Creek Cedar Creek, small tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, N of Strasburg, N Va. It was the scene of a Civil War battle (Oct. 19, 1864) in which Union general P. H. Sheridan defeated J. A. Early. , Country Oaks, University Pines) a hot spot. Residents have three new shopping centers shopping center, a concentration of retail, service, and entertainment enterprises designed to serve the surrounding region. The modern shopping center differs from its antecedents—bazaars and marketplaces—in that the shops are usually amalgamated into , a newly widened parkway from the airport to I-75 and easy access to downtown.

Gloria Waters of Neal & Neal says in Palm Aire, which is typical of these neighborhoods, more buyers are looking. "Buyers with properties priced at market values can expect a contract within 30 to 60 days," she asserts. And prices seem to be rising. For the last year, detached single-family homes sold between $71,000 and $236,000, with an average price of $131,000. Pending sales, however, range from $117,000 to $280,000, with an average sale price of $189,000. The average list price of homes currently on the market is also $189,000. (The average condo resale price here this year was $80,000.)

Two nearby developments should accelerate the growth of property values in the University Parkway Corridor. The extension of Honore Avenue from The Meadows to the Parkway will integrate The Meadows with the other corridor neighborhoods. And the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch project is going to create a huge new urban-residential complex at the end of University Parkway, extending east of I-75 into Manatee County.

PALMER RANCH Palmer Ranch is a massive real estate development in Sarasota County, Florida between the cities of Sarasota and Osprey. Located very roughly by Clark Road, Tamiami Trail and Interstate 75, it was part of the original 80,000 acres (320 km²) of Florida land purchased by Bertha  AND THE OAKS: THE PRICE OF AFFLUENCE

In Sarasota County, urban-zoned residential development is limited to the land area west of Interstate 75. APOXSEE, the county's comprehensive plan, envisions residential growth flowing south toward Venice, Englewood and North Port. Right now, new residential development to the south stops at Palmer Ranch, a wedge of urban-zoned property that fits between I-75 on the east and Oscar Scherer State Park Oscar Scherer State Park is a Florida State Park located between Sarasota and Venice, near Osprey, amidst the heavily-developed southwest Florida coast. The address is 1843 South Tamiami Trail. There are more than 130,000 visitors a year.  on the west. While most of the action at Palmer Ranch is in new homes (Stoney ston·ey  
Variant of stony.
 Brook and Huntington Point), Deer Creek Deer Creek may refer to:
  • Deer Creek, Illinois
  • Deer Creek (Ohio), a stream and reservoir in Ohio
  • Deer Creek (Maryland), a stream in Maryland.
  • Deer Creek (California), a stream in California.
 and Prestancia, two of the first sections to be developed, now have active resale markets. Tad (Telephone Answering Device) An answering machine.  Murray of Palmer Realty realty n. a short form of "real estate." (See: real estate)

REALTY. An abstract of real, as distinguished from personalty. Realty relates to lands and tenements, rents or other hereditaments. Vide Real Property.
 reports that in the last year, Prestancia saw 59 sales with prices ranging from $250,000 to about $500,000. Deer Creek had 35 sales, ranging from $185,000 to $365,000. In both neighborhoods, new homes accounted for 30 percent of the total sales. "Resale values are limited by the prices of comparable new homes in the same neighborhood," explains Terri Derr of Michael Saunders & Co. "Prices will remain stable until Deer Creek and Prestancia are completely developed. Then, look out."

Murray sees a "fairly active market with resales up 10-15 percent from January through May." He notes that 25 percent of houses resell re·sell  
tr.v. re·sold , re·sell·ing, re·sells
1. To sell again.

2. To sell (a product or service) to the public or to an end user, especially as an authorized dealer.
 in 30 days; 50 percent in 60 days. "Homes that sit on the market do so because of unrealistic, inflated prices."

Ed Neild of Michael Saunders & Co. specializes in property in The Oaks, another still-developing upscale community just a few miles away. Prices started out high here, and a small speculative boom pushed them higher; those who bought a few years ago at the end of the boom have probably seen their property values remain stable at best. But things are settling down here, says Neild, and prospects are good for stable appreciation. "For the last few years, there has been appreciation in the prices of desirable lots. While prices vary from lot to lot, land on the bayfront and on the golf course has been rising by about 10 percent a year." With lot prices ranging from $85,000 to $225,000, land appreciation account for most increases in property values (resales averaged $611,000 last year). Neild says there are still some good values left on homes between $410,000 and $2.6 million.


Historically strongholds of Sarasota real estate values, the keys had a mixed year. While nearly everybody agrees the lure of living on a tropical island will keep prices rising over the long term, each of the county's barrier islands has a different personality, and some are selling more strongly than others.

Terri Derr says that Longboat Key's cosmopolitan cos·mo·pol·i·tan
Growing or occurring in many parts of the world; widely distributed.

A cosmopolitan organism.
 buyers aren't flinching at the prices there. During the last year, 82 homes were sold on Longboat, with prices going from $125,000 to about $1.1 million. Of 12 houses now under contract, four are priced above $900,000. Derr notes that "the Longboat Key market never really suffered, but for upper-end houses, 1992 should be exceptional."

"Siesta Key is also having an exceptional year," says Kim Gilliland of Cascade Realty. "In 1988, there were 83 single-family homes on the market and 343 condos. Today there are 176 homes but only 164 condos. During the last year, over 350 condos have been resold, at an average price of $200,000. The condo inventory is at an all-time low."

In all, 131 homes were sold, for prices of $130,000 to over a million. Bruce Winter of Elizabeth Lambie Real Estate notes, "The million-dollar properties on the water are not selling well. For example, Sanderling has about 21 percent of its homes for sale, with few buyers." Winter suspects that "a big deterrent to waterfront lots is the additional $75,000 in legal and permit fees needed to build or remodel re·mod·el  
tr.v. re·mod·eled also re·mod·elled, re·mod·el·ing also re·mod·el·ling, re·mod·els also re·mod·els
To make over in structure or style; reconstruct.
 extensively. And with Gulf property valued at $4,200 per front foot, they may not want to take the chance of having the permits denied."

The big news of Casey Key, reports Lloyd Johnson of Shaw Johnson Realty, was road restoration and installation of a stairstep stair·step  
1. A step in a staircase.

2. stairsteps A staircase.

3. One of a series of objects or items grouped progressively according to height.

tr. & intr.v.
 cement seawall seawall: see coast protection.  system for beach stabilization. "It's removed a stigma stigma: see pistil.
mark of Cain

God’s mark on Cain, a sign of his shame for fratricide. [O. T.: Genesis 4:15]

scarlet letter
 |since flooding and erosion in the No-Name storm of 1982~ that's been holding down property values," he says. Still, when the cheapest lots run around $250,000 to $325,000, values haven't been held down too much. Figures compiled by Tom Stone show that in the first six months of 1992, 13 homes sold for an average price of better than $625,000. This compares with 11 homes at an average of $605,000 in 1991.

On Bird Key, "the time to buy is now," says Candy Swick of Candy Swick Realty. "Prices on Bird Key have fallen about 25 percent over the last two years, with average sale times between nine months and a year." Swick is cautiously optimistic op·ti·mist  
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.

2. A believer in philosophical optimism.

 that the worst is over. "After the slowest spring in a long time, the market is finally moving again." MLS statistics show that there were 32 sales on Bird Key during the last year, while 50 homes remain on the market. Three sales were above a million; the lowest price was $160,000.

St. Armands and Lido also had some declines in resale values, according to Swick. In the two areas, there were combined sales of 24 homes, with prices between $95,000 and $1.5 million. Another 50 homes remain on the market. "The average list price is actually rising," says Swick. "But this is misleading. All the really great bargains were sold, and only higher-priced homes remain to be sold."


Older neighborhoods west of the Trail include the museum area (Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores), Harbor Acres and Oyster Bay Oyster Bay, uninc. area (1990 pop. 6,687) of the Town of Oyster Bay, Nassau co., SE N.Y., on N Long Island, on Long Island Sound; settled 1653. It is chiefly residential. .

Because these neighborhoods have waterfront areas, prices are often highly skewed skewed

curve of a usually unimodal distribution with one tail drawn out more than the other and the median will lie above or below the mean.

skewed Epidemiology adjective Referring to an asymmetrical distribution of a population or of data
, with million-dollar properties on the bay and more modest prices inland. Deborah Pitell of Michael Saunders & Co., says prices in the museum area range from $45,000 to $1.75 million. More than 60 homes were sold last year, with an average price of $151,000. Buyers include "professionals, academics and retirees," says Pitell.

Harbor Acres, Oyster Bay and the surrounding areas attract professionals, too, especially medical staff and physicians. The market is thin, with 13 homes selling last year and only 19 currently on the market. Sales prices varied between $131,000 and $1.39 million; the average price was $512,000.

With low interest rates, an improving economy and land prices in North Sarasota ready to take off, smart buyers are already out there looking. October is traditionally a slow month, especially before a Presidential election -- which makes it a profitable time to buy. And even if you're not in the market, it's nice to know that in a year wracked by recessions, wars around the globe and election-year hype at home, you can still believe in Sarasota real estate.

Dr. Dana Stevens is director of Austin Economics, a Sarasota-based consulting firm Noun 1. consulting firm - a firm of experts providing professional advice to an organization for a fee
consulting company

business firm, firm, house - the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments; "he worked for a
, a mortgage broker with Avid Mortgage Services and an adjunct adjunct (aj´ungkt),
n a drug or other substance that serves a supplemental purpose in therapy.

 economics professor at Manatee Community College Manatee Community College (MCC), with the main campus based in Bradenton, Florida, is a two-year community college accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate in Arts, Associate in Applied Science and Associate in .
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Sarasota real estate
Author:Stevens, Dana
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Oct 1, 1992
Previous Article:Sources and resources for house and garden.
Next Article:Coldwell Banker real estate report.

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