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The buzz.

People are still talking about their tax bills, with many Sarasota properties showing a 20 percent increase in values last year. Is this a bubble or a long-term trend?

Prof. Fred Strobel, Selby Chair of Economics, New College of Florida: Retiring baby boomers are looking for Florida property, and Sarasota is constantly--Money magazine and all that--touted as the most desirable part. Then there's the movement of money out of the stock market into upscale property, and the good interest rates, even on jumbo mortgages. Sure, you could see a backoff or a slow down in prices, but we have some strong demographics working here. As an economist, if I see a nice piece of desirable property in Sarasota, I'd buy it.

Gib Mitchell, City of Sarasota Finance Director: I truly believe it's a bubble--a bubble that's several years in length--but it really can't continue at this unprecedented growth rate. I expect the bubble to burst in the near future.

Jim Todora, Sarasota County Property Appraiser: It wouldn't be a bubble like the stock market, where when it bursts, everything loses all its value. I don't think prices are going to decline, but it's got to start to level off somewhere. As long-term mortage rates rise, we'll start to see a slowdown in property values.

Kevin Daves, architect/developer: This is no bubble. People who live in Sarasota simply don't hear the hoofbeats of the folks hauling ass to get here.
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Title Annotation:Street talk: news, views and faces from the city beat.
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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