Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tax Appreciation Rates on Downtown Sarasota Condominiums

I have looked at appreciation by building a couple of times since starting my blog. In the past, I have calculated the average sales price in each building over the course of a couple of years and compared one year to the previous to get the appreciation level. The trouble with this approach is the limited number of sales in each building. There are not enough sales during a single year in most buildings to add a shred of validity to numbers.

So, this year, I am taking a shortcut that should make things a lot more interesting and, I believe, more accurate. I will use the Just Value figures from the Property Appraiser. The Just Value is supposed to be the market value of the property before any exemptions or Save Our Homes reductions. There aren’t many details about the process the Property Appraiser uses to calculate Just Value (read about it here), but the results can be no less accurate than auto-valuation models used by Zillow or other websites.

The biggest negative about using the Property Appraiser’s figures is timing. We pay our property taxes in arrears. The last tax bill we paid, sometime between November 2016 and March 2017, was for the calendar year 2016. The valuation date for that year’s tax bill was as of January 1, 2016. The comparison I am making here is between this 2016 valuation and the 2015 valuation. The appreciation I refer to is what occurred during calendar year 2015. This timing issue is also the biggest reason people think the tax valuations are always wrong. If you expect them to represent the current value of your home, they are always wrong. The tax values are always somewhere between 10 and 22 months stale.

Finally, in the interest of word economy,  I will refer to the change in the Just Value as appreciation. It may not reflect the real change in market value of the properties being discussed and would probably best be described as what it really is – the change in Just Value as published by the property appraiser.

Appreciation by Building and Area of Downtown

The chart below shows the buildings that account for most of the sales downtown. I have grouped the buildings by area of town. The one thing you can say about the numbers is that the property appraiser did not paint everyone with the same brush- The rates of appreciation varied considerably.

The hottest place to be in 2015 was almost anywhere on Golden Gate Pointe.  While the area tied the group (of 2) that was adjacent to Ritz Carlton Drive, Golden Gate was home to the seven buildings with the most appreciation. Every building with an appreciation rate above 15% was on Golden Gate Pointe. All but 5 buildings on Golden Gate experienced double digit appreciation.

Interestingly, the central downtown and North Trail buildings brought up the rear, with each area showing a 3% appreciation rate. Except for the Renaissance, the 8 buildings in these 2 groups are made up exclusively of buildings from the previous wave of new construction.

Waterfront/view was apparently not the sole driving force in the appreciation. In terms of quality views and the percentage of residences in each building with high-quality water view, I don’t know that many places can beat Condo on the Bay. The buildings are so close to the bay that on a sunny day the inside of every residence looks blue because of the water reflecting in through the sliders. Yet the appreciation rates were a fraction of most other Bayfront buildings like ones on Gulfstream or Golden Gate.

Apprecaition Based on Beginning of the Year Just Value

This one is interesting and explains a lot about the schedule above. Here, I went residence by residence, regardless of building, and sorted each residence into 4 groups based on the 2015 tax values (as of 1/1/2015). The schedule below shows you appreciation ranges grouped by the beginning of year Just Value. Properties that started 2015 with over a $1M Just Value appreciated 50% more, on average, than properties valued at under $1M.

I have done several posts on this subject, and the results are always the same. The higher the value (on average), the better the property appreciates, the lighter the hit it takes in a downturn (the only 1 I have ever witnessed anyway), and the faster it bounces back after a setback. So, if you are considering the purchase of a luxury property, you can write this chart in the “reason to buy” column. The million-dollar condo you considered but missed out on last year will have a neighbor on the market asking about $100k more this year.

People that put off upgrading also didn’t do themselves any favors. Consider people thinking about an upgrade from their existing home. Maybe they are just seasonal visitors, but are considering the sale of their homestead and getting something larger, nicer, or with a better view to live here full time. The chart below shows how prices moved against this group during 2015.

Let’s take two people, both wanting to move up from existing properties but at different price points. One person owns a condominium downtown valued at $750k and is looking to sell that and buy a different condominium in the $1.5M range for a permanent home. The second person is doing the same thing but at higher price points – going from a $1.5M property to a $2.5M property.

At the beginning of 2015, the parties above must come up with $750 and $1M, respectively, in addition to the sales proceeds from their existing homes (closing costs excluded). By the end of 2015, they would need $850k and $1,125k, respectively, to buy the same properties they were considering at the beginning of the year. The spread increased by $100k and $125k under these two scenarios, due to difference in appreciation rates between the properties.  This is a 13% increase in the amount of money each would need to raise to buy the same condo a year apart.

Again, the figures here are nearly 2-year-old tax valuations. If you have questions about the current market value of your property, call a real estate professional.

Top 3 Ways the Internet Has Changed Real Estate Sales

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Many people expected the internet would dramatically change the real estate industry and significantly lower real estate commissions. So far, this has not happened, nor really shown any signs of doing so. Still, the real estate industry has experienced a revolution, just not what was predicted. Here’s what’s happened so far.

The Internet Empowered the Consumer

First, the internet took considerable power from the hands of the brokers/agents and gave it to consumers. In the old days (up to the early part the 21st Century), if you wanted to know what was for sale, you had to call a real estate agent. If you drove past a home with a “For Sale” sign in the yard, you had to call the real estate office just to find out the asking price. If you wanted to make an offer, the real estate agent provided you with recent sales. If you were a seller during this period, you faced the same wall. The real estate agent shared the active listings and recent sales with you.

In every case, you had to trust you had a capable and honest real estate agent. One hundred percent of the information you received about listing availability, pricing, recent sales, and valuations all came from the real estate professional, and virtually all of it was unverifiable. I am sure the vast majority of the time customers received fair and quality information but equally sure there were varying flavors of quality, like everything else in the world.

Those days are over. Most buyers and sellers are well-informed about the market before they even contact a real estate agent. Active listings and recent sales, with photos, video, and considerable home and neighborhood data, are available on multiple real estate websites. Today, real estate agents and their customers have access to the same information. This means both parties to a real estate transaction (buyers and sellers) are also looking at the same data. Each party (buyer, seller, and real estate agents) may evaluate the information differently, but all the data is available to everyone.

The Internet Sped Up the Sales Cycle

Prior to the internet, real estate agents depended on direct mail and print advertising to get the word out about their inventory. Print advertising often took 1-2 weeks just to get the property in the local newspaper and maybe a month or longer to get the home into a home magazine. From there, there was a lag as buyers poured over the all the ads and identified the ones that appealed to them. Further, the information available was so thin, about the only action a buyer could take was to call the real estate agent. Most print ads (then and now) just have one small photo and two lines of text.

Price changes went the same way.  It took months for the entire buyer pool to get notified about a new listing or a price change that might put an existing listing within their reach.

Now, consumers sign up for automated listing updates through their agent or on their own with third party sites. Listings matching the customer’s requirements are emailed to the customer within minutes of being posted on MLS.  The listing information includes dozens of high resolution photos, video, pages of statistics and ad copy about the property and more. The result is that, within a week of entering the listing, the entire buyer pool is notified and fully educated about the listing. To get one customer this far along in the buying process 10-15 years ago took months.

The median days on market for a home (time between listing date and contract date) was just 47 days in 2016 for Sarasota and Manatee counties combined.  46% of all homes that sold, only required 30 days or less of marketing time.

The Internet Made Obsolete All Other Forms of Mass Media Marketing

The 2016 National Association of Realtor’s 2016 report, “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers”, states 85% of home buyers said they first learned about the home they purchased either from the internet (51%) or from their real estate agent (34%). The yard sign accounted for another 8%, with friend, relative, neighbor, or homebuilder making up another 6%. That leaves 1% for newspapers, home magazines, open houses, TV, and direct mail. A few years ago, this “1%” constituted the entire marketing plan for the typical Realtor®.

The reason for print media’s disappearance is obvious. Relative to the internet, it has the following disadvantages:

  • Print media is not searchable. You can’t ask the newspaper only to show you homes under $500,000, for example.
  • It’s not complete. The Sunday ads only show a tiny percentage of all homes on the market.
  • The images are limited and poor (usually one in a print ad compared to 25 or more online, with video).
  • Print media is stale. Newspaper deadlines are close to a week and magazines may be over a month out.
  • Your only option to find out more about the listing is to call the agent. Online listings will contain most of the information the average person needs.

Implications for Sellers

If you are trying or about to try to sell your home soon, here is how these changes will affect you:

  • The amount and level of information available online is ideal for people that like to research a major purchase (that’s just about everyone). Most buyers are students of the market and often better informed than sellers. Today’s buyer is unlikely to pay you more than your home is worth. Pricing your home at more than it is worth will fool no one.
  • Plan on going to contract in 30 days or less. This is the new normal for the typical home because by 30 days, everyone in the market for your home will have a chance to see it. Many listings will literally receive thousands of online views during this period. After the initial 30 days, however, everything slows down exponentially. Now, you are only receiving views from new people entering the market, which is usually a fraction of the existing pool of buyers (everything comes in 1’s and 2’s). If your home hasn’t received at least 1 offer in 30 days, you need to take action, most likely, a price reduction.
  • Pricing your home has always been important, but now, it’s critical. And you don’t have to price your home high to get a good price. During 2016, 32% of all residential real estate that sold through MLS in Sarasota and Manatee counties did so at a price equal to or above the listing price. This also means pricing your home above market will make you look overpriced (or a poor value) compared to one third of your competition. Pricing your home at or just a few dollars above the market makes many people believe they are potentially “leaving something on the table”, a feeling amplified when they go to contract quickly. However, selling quickly no longer means you gave away your home. It means you sold into the largest audience you would ever have. It has to mean that you received the best price. If this initial pool of buyers didn’t like the value you were offering, what are the chances the next buyer entering the market will see it?
  • Internet marketing is much more passive than print advertising. Sellers often complain their agent is “doing nothing” because they don’t see the home in a print ad every Sunday or the agent is not holding an open house twice per month. Just know that, if all it took was two print ads or an open house to move a home, there wouldn’t be enough paper to print all the ads. Real estate professionals don’t favor these methods anymore because they don’t work (not for selling homes- building real estate brands, maybe). Same for open houses.

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “Expired Listings- Don’t Become a Statistic“]


About Scott

For 45 years, Scott Norris has lived in the Sarasota/Manatee area and has watched it flourish into one of Florida’s most highly sought-after residential real estate markets. Through his myriad of business experiences, including being a licensed CPA, working for a Big 4 accounting firm and a large national retailer, and selling real estate in the area for over 16 years, Scott has accrued a unique cache of knowledge and experience that enables him to serve as a dependable, invaluable resource for his clients. His understanding of business and finance, his knowledge of the local marketplace, with his professionalism and relationship building skills provide Scott with the foresight to address issues proactively before they become a problem and provide him with the ability to take a multidisciplinary approach to navigating today’s complex real estate environment.


Scott Norris
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
201 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Ste. 1
Longboat Key, FL 34228

Downtown Sarasota Pending Sales Up 40% Last 13 Weeks

Downtown Sarasota pending condominium sales are up 40% over last year for the past 13 week period. Existing home sales accounted for most of the increase, up some 36% over last year. New constructions sales for the past 13 week period were less than 10% of total sales

Longboat Key pending condo sales were up 13% over the past 4 weeks and 26% over the past 13 weels. Pending sales were down most of the season and worked their way back to even with last year by the end of April. Most of the increase came during June.

In the Lakewood Ranch area (not all homes in the 2 zip code area are in Lakewood Ranch) pending home sales were up 14% over last year for the past 13 week period. New home sales were flat  during this period so the entire increase came from resales. New construction pending sales are a much larger component of total sales than in Downtown Sarasota. For both 2017 and 2016, the last 13 weeks had 62 pending new construction sales or about a quarter of all home sales in the area.


Existing Home Sales Push Downtown Sarasota Condo Sales to 10 year New High

All data is from the My Florida Regional MLS for property type 
Condominium, ZIP code 34239 and for the time period indicated

First Quarter Downtown Sarasota Condo Sales

First quarter 2017 condo sales in downtown Sarasota of 110 where the highest since 2007 when 252 closed. The closing in 2007 included sales of 105 new construction residences that were completed during that month (and contracted for over the previous 12-24 months). Even without the new construction sales, however, 2007 was a barn burner with resales totaling 147. If only we knew that this would be the end for a while. The next 4 years sales in total would barely equal the 252 total in 2007. It would take about 2 and a half years just match the 147 resales.

Downtown Sarasota 1st Quarter Condo Sales Condo 2007-2017

Downtown Sarasota 1st Quarter Condo Sales Condo 2007-2017

Back to 2017, the 110 sales did include 8 new construction sales. However even 102 existing home sales would be the most total sales since 2007. When you consider all of the competition from new construction, this becomes even more amazing. Remember, when someone goes to contract on a new construction condo, the sale isn’t recorded until the unit closes. Closing doesn’t occur until the building is completed.

Downtown Sarasota Condo Sales by Price Range

The chart below shows the progression of sales by price over the past 10 years. 2008 was the first year of the crash and sales were the lowest of any year during the period by almost 50%. This probably distorted the figures some. However, over the past 5 years, about 9% of the total sales has been pushed out of the lowest bottom, “$0-$500k” range and into the top two price ranges.

Downtown Sarasota Condominium Invnetory

The next chart show that all categories have less inventory relative to sales than last year (Lower months of supply) with the exception of the $500k-$1M range, which increased slightly. We generally refer to markets with more than 6 months of supply as being buyers markets. In this case, the overall market is a just over 9 months of supply. Again, this is somewhat distorted because new construction is syphoning off sales – sales that wont show up until the buidling is completed months from now. Or anther way of saying this is that demand is greater than sales indicate.

Downtown Sarasota 1st Quarter 2017 Condo Sales

Downtown Sarasota 1st Quarter 2017 Condo Sales by price range

The final chart shows inventory and sales plotted on the same chart. There is a healthy relationship here with sales and inventory levels both moving up meaning that the market selling the higher levels of inventory. Furthermore there are huge chunks of pending sales waiting on the completion of buildings. If those sales had closed within say 60 days as most resales do, then the sales figures for the past 3 years would have been considerably higher. As it stands, a big chunk of those sales will likely close near the end of this year making 2017 one of the biggest years ever for condo closings in Sarasota.

Downtown Sarasota First Quarter Sales and Average Inventory 2008-2017

Downtown Sarasota First Quarter Sales and Average Inventory 2008-2017

First Quarter Longboat Key Condo Sales Slide for 3rd Season in a Row

The information in this post pertains to Longboat Key Condominium market ZIP code 34228 for the periods indicated. All data is from the My Florida Regional MLS.

Longboat Key Condo Sales

Condominium sales are slumping on Longboat Key. Sales were down 3.4% in 2016 compared to 2015. Existing condominiums sales (sales excluding the 26 new construction sales) were down 10.2%. 2016 also marked the 3rd consecutive year where sales were less than the prior year. This year looks to be worse than any of the past three, with sales through March down 21% compared to the same period in 2016. From an historical standpoint, the 66 sales recorded this season were the lowest since 2010.

The odd part is that condominium sales in other parts of the area are moving in the opposite direction. Downtown Sarasota and Siesta Key condo sales were up 29% and 32%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2016.  Across the entire county of Sarasota, first quarter condo sales were up 8.6% over 2016. Even single family home sales on Longboat Key are up 33% in the first quarter compared to 2016.

Longboat Key First Quarter Condo Sales 2007-2017

Longboat Key First Quarter Condo Sales 2007-2017

With a near fixed supply of condominiums (only about 130 units constructed since the year 2000), you wouldn’t expect big swings in sales. A small, single digit increase or decrease each year would seem normal. But now, we are heading into 4 years of declining sales, and this year is looking like a double digit drop.

Longboat Key Condominium Inventory is on the rise

Average inventory levels have increased over the past 2 seasons. Given the low levels of inventory in prior years, the increase was not all that unwelcome. The 2017 average seasonal inventory was about 295 listings. The 2015 and 2016 average seasonal levels were low, at just 214 and 223, respectively. However, as shown in the chart below, sales have not only continued to decline as inventory climbed, but the rate of sales decline has accelerated. Average inventory during the winter season in 2016 was slightly higher than 2015, yet existing condominium sales dropped over 10%. This year, inventory climbed by nearly a third from an average of 230 in 2016 to 302 in 2017. Yet, sales were still down 21% for the season.

This odd, inverse relationship between sales and inventory is the way things have worked over the past 15 years. During the build-up in inventory prior to the crash, sales started to slide. Sales hit the floor about the same time inventory peaked. Then as the recovery started, sales started to grow and inventory dropped.







Longboat Key Condominium Prices

The hidden piece to this puzzle is price. Prices have been rising since late 2011. This phenomenon of both prices and inventory rising is a sure sign prices have risen too fast. When prices increase too fast, sales start to slow. Also, as prices rise, more owners are encouraged to sell, so more homes come on the market. The combination of fewer sales and more listings causes inventory to rise. While painfully low levels of inventory can crimp sales, large quantities of inventory do not drive more sales, especially if the inventory is priced above the price the market will pay.

Consider the charts below. The charts compares sales and inventory by price point for the first quarter of 2012 and 2017. Note the differences across years at the 0-500k level. This bottom tier of pricing accounted for 56 of the 92 sales in the first quarter of 2012 (61% of all sales). The average inventory available for sale during those 3 months was 222 listings. For 2017, sales had dropped to just 31 and average inventory to just 117. Total inventory dropped from 375 to 304 or about 19%, but in the most popular price point on the Key, inventory was reduced almost 50% from 222 to 117. The 105 listing decrease is greater than the overall decrease in inventory.







This is more than just a shortage of lower priced units the market. Rather, it is huge chunks of inventory being priced out of the lowest range (i.e., the 2012 $475,000 condos moving to $525,000 range in 2017).  You can see from the chart below this has been a gradual process since 2011.








The trouble, for now, anyway, is the budget for the pool of buyers has not increased as fast as this appreciation or much of the inventory that moved up in price was not worthy of the increase. This big shift in pricing has created a big bulge in inventory at the $500-1 million price range.

Also note these price point ranges are just arbitrary. Asking price has moved up inside and at the boundaries of these ranges. Just because a home might be priced under $500k doesn’t mean it will sell at $450,000 if the fair price is $400,000. Overall asking prices seem too high and will likely have to come down, at least in the under $1 million price points.

Finally, please read my article on the first quarter single family home update for Longboat Key. In particular take a look at the first chart which shows first quarter sales and inventory chart for the SFR market and note how it differs from the condo chart. The general movement of both sales and inventory is up. Additionally sales in the SFR market set a 10 year high this year for the first quarter.


First Quarter 2017 Home Sales On Longboat Key Set 10 Year Record

The information in this post pertains to Longboat Key ZIP code 34228 single family home sales for the periods indicated. All data is from the My Florida Regional MLS for the time periods mentioned.


First quarter single family homes sales on Longboat Key in 2017 were a 10 year high of 32 homes. First quater sales have averaged about 23% of the total year.

Longboat Key Single Family Home Sales

Longboat Key First Quarter Sales and Average Inventory 2007-2017








If that holds up this year, then 2017 then we would push the 140 home sales mark on the year which would be a 10 year record (if not longer).  With only about 1830 single family homes on the key, that would mean that over 7.5% of all homes turned over this year.

Longboat Key Single Family Home Sales

Longboat Key Single Family Homes Sales by Year 2007-2016

Nearly half of all sales traded between $500k and $1M with the median price being $920. The median price for the first quarter last year was 962k.  While people certainly spent more per home last year than this year, I does not necessarily hold true that prices are falling. To determine that you have to look at what each group received for the money. For example, in 2016 when the median transaction price was higher, 83% of the sales were on water (canal, gulf, or bay). In 2017, when the median price was lower, only 71% of the sales were on water. Just looking at this one statistic, buyers received more home for the $ in 2016 than 2017.

Family Home Sales by Price Range 2017 and 2016

Longboat Key Single Family Home Sales by Price Range 2017 and 2016










Other facts from this seasons sales:

  • Almost a third of the sales were in Bay Isles (10 of the 32 sales) while Country Club Shores accounted for another quarter (8 of the 32 total)
  • Half of the homes sold this season were built before 1980, which mirrors the overall composition of homes on the Key.
  • The highest priced sale was a 6,500 sf home in the Harbor section of Bay Isles that closed for $4,625,000.
  • The lowest priced sale was an 884 sf home in the Village that closed for $300,000.
  • Canal front sales ranged from 661,000 to 2,250,000. The only gulf front property to sell was a 6 cottage motel on less than an acre of property. The sale price was $3,800,000.

For an update on the Longboat condominium market, click here.

Longboat Key Condo Inventory September 2016

New Construction Condo Sales Accounts for All Condo Sales Growth on Longboat Key

Longboat Key Condominium Sales Volume

Longboat Key condo sales were up 4% in the current period, compared to the previous year. New construction sales accounted for 26 sales, about an 8% increase over the previous year. The price points for new construction sales ranged from $2.9 M to $5.1M. Given that only 5 resales closed for more $2.9 M or more, with the highest being $4.2M, it is unlikely these sales took much away from the resale market. That means resales on the Key dropped about 4% during the year.

Click to Download Recent Longboat Key Condominium Sales Addresses/Prices

Looking at sales by price point confirms this. The decrease in sales came from the under $1 M price point (down 10%). If anything, new construction brought more lookers to the Key in the higher price points, as the resales priced over $2 M increased by 50% (from 12 last year to 18 this year).


Longboat Key Condominium New Listings

New Longboat Key condominium listings increased to 491 during the current period, compared to 404 during the previous year, for a 21% increase. While the under $1 M price point showed the smallest increase in listings, there were still 19% more listed this period than last, implying a shortage of inventory was not to blame for the fall in sale.

Median Sales Price- Longboat Key Condominium Sales

The median sales price increased to $575,000 for the current period, compared to $510,000 for the previous period or about 12.7%. The high values of the 26 new construction sales (ranging from $2.9M to $5.1M) accounted for more than $50,000 of the increase. Without new construction sales, the median price would have come in at $525,000 or just a 2.9% increase.

Longboat Key Condo Median Sale Price

Longboat Key Condo Median Sale Price

Unsold Longboat Key Condominium Inventory at September 30th

Unsold inventory at the end of September stood at 180 listings, up 50% over the 121 available for sale at the end of September 2015. The increase is largely the result of an increase in new listing offset by a few more sales and expired/withdrawn listings.

Longboat Key Condo Inventory September 2016

While the increase looks huge, it’s only because of the unusually low inventory on-hand during the second half of 2015. The 121 listings available for sale last September was a 10-year record low for any month. If you compare 2016 to the number of unsold listing on-hand at the end of September 2013 and 2014 (190 and 172, respectively), things look more normal.

The median asking price of ending inventory dropped 11.7% to $849k at the end of September 2016 from $961 at the end of 2015.





Click box to see current Longboat Key Condominiums listed for sale by price point

Under $500k    $500k-$1,000k    $1,000k-$2,000k    over $2,000k

Other Miscellaneous Longboat Key Condominium Stats

  • During the current period, 34% of all listings that sold were on the market for 30 days or less. In the previous period, only 24% of listings were on the market for 30 days or less.
  • Median days on the market for a sold listing was 69 this year, compared to 89 last year.
  • The average listing sold for 96% of the listing price this year, compared to 95% last year.
  • There were 5 distressed sales (foreclosure or short sale) this year, compared to 12 last year.
  • Expired and withdrawn listings totaled 119 this year or about 24% of all new listings, compared to 104 last year or 25% of all new listings.

Downtown Sarasota Condos – What You Get for Under $1 Million

All of the data used in this post were obtained from the My Florida Regional MLS for condominium SALES in the downtown Sarasota Area. I used all condo sales in ZIP Code 34236 on the east side of the Ringling Bridge for calendar year 2016 through the end of August.


The Smaller Side of Downtown Sarasota Condominiums

If you are just looking for a nice place to enjoy Sarasota and get away for the winter, maybe a 1 BR condo is all that you need. As shown below, there have been 23 sales in the category over the past 8 months with prices ranging from $120,000 to $437,000. The limit we are discussing here is up to $1,000,000 but no 1/1 sold for any higher than the 437,500 in any event.

For a 1/1, the under $200,000 price point puts you in either an older (1957 built) building or something on the very edge of downtown, like Central Park in this case.

Downtown Sarasota Condominiums - Statistical Porifle of Sales Under $1 million

Downtown Sarasota Condominiums – Statistical Porifle of Sales Under $1 million

If your price point is in the 200’s to very low 300’s, you could end up with a large 1BR/1BA (800-1000 square feet) residence with 1-2 garage parking spots on a low floor in the Renaissance (750 TamiamiTrl). Also for a mid-200’s price, you might be able to find a 675 sf unit in one of Sarasota’s most nostalgic buildings, the Frances-Carlton. Walk through the building and you will think you are a character in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. And for a good reason, the building opened about the time the book was published.

To see all 2BR/2BA and larger condominiums currently listed for sale under $500,000 in Downtown Sarasota, click here.

The mid 300’s to mid-400’s represents the highest selling prices for anything smaller than a 2/2. For this price, you can get a nice-sized residence in the heart of downtown (like in1350 Main where the highest priced sales was located) or direct bay view in either Alinari or Renaissance (on the Trail).

To download the complete list of sales for all 1BR/1BA condominiums that sold in downtown Sarasota for the 8 months ended August 31, 2016, click here.

The Most Popular and Abundant Downtown Sarasota Condonimium- 2 Bedroom/2 Bath Models

The 2/2 floor plan is by far the most popular downtown, accounting for almost 72% of all condominium sales during the 8 month period. You could say that the majority of them sell since they comprise the bulk of the total supply downtown. This is true, but the 2/2’s suck up more than their share of sales as only about 60% of all downtown Sarasota condominium residences are 2/2’s.

To see all 2BR/2BA and larger condominiums currently listed for sale between $500,000 adn $1,000,000 in Downtown Sarasota, click here.

Your best bet under $300,000 is going to be Central Park, located on the southern edge of the ZIP code in the 800 block of South Trail. Dolphin Tower could also have a listing in this price range. In the $300,000 – $400,000 range, try looking in Broadway Promenade, CityscapeGulfstream Towers, or the Renaissance. Note that the under $400,000 listing price comprised only a third of the 2/2 sales, so don’t expect a huge selection in any one building. These listing are going to be peppered around downtown.

To download the complete list of sales for all 2BR/2BA condominiums that sold in downtown Sarasota for the 8 months ended August 31, 2016, click here.

Things open up considerably in the $400,000-$600,000 price point. You could find a nice residence in Alinari , Sunset Tower100 CentralPalm Place, or Regency House.  The over $600,000 price might be found and Alinari1350 MainBay Plaza, Lawrence Point (i , ii, and iii), One Watergate,  Condo on the Bay (888 and 988), or Essex House.

The 3 Bedroom Models – a Rare Find under $1 Million

There were only 15 sales of 3 bedroom models during the period. Six of them were in Rivo, and they were sold for between $500,000 and $550,000. At the upper end of the price range, watch Bay Plaza as it was the second largest source of 3BR sales with 3 selling at prices between 650,000 and 950,000. Other sales were scattered throughout downtown.

To download the complete list of sales for all 3BR condominiums that sold in downtown Sarasota for the 8 months ended August 31, 2016, click here.


Longboat Key Real Estate – What you get for $500k


Depending on where you come from and how much attention you pay  to prices of homes, you will either be pleasantly surprised or disappointed by what you are going to read here. If you are looking for a single family home, the best news I can give you is that you may get one  depending on the specific homes on the market at the time, and/or how long you are willing to wait. If a condominium will work, then you may likely have a better selection, but largely limited to older buildings.

The data  below is from the My Florida Regional MLS for All single family home sales under $500,000 in ZIP code 34228 for 6 months ended July 31, 2016. I used sales (as opposed to active listings) because the current lack of inventory and fast rate of sale would make the analysis relevant for a very short period of time and skewed towards the current inventory. For example (just as you will see below), only 7 single family homes have been sold for less than $500,000 in the past 6 months. If individually they  took 30 days to go to contract, then there would be on average about 0 to 3 such homes on the market at any point in time. As of the time of writing this, there are  3 such homes on the market, but none of them is canal-front. This might lead you to believe that you can’t buy a canal-front home for under $500,000, but in the past 6 months, 3 canal front homes have been sold. Even though prices are steadily moving up (and older canal-front homes are being torn down and replaced with bigger, newer, more costly homes), it is likely that a canal-front home will still come on the market priced under $500,000 in the coming month or so.

Longboat Key Single Family Homes Under $500,000

Only 7 single family homes have been sold for less than $500,000 in the past 6 months. That represents about 12.5% of all homes selling during that time. In the graphic below, I have tried to outline a statistical picture of what the sub-$500k sales looked like:

Longboat Key Home Sales

Profile of single family homes that have sold on Longboat Key during 8 months ended 8/31/2015

The $299,000 sale was a collection of 3 separate living units built in 1953 on a 6,000 sf lot. It was an unusual property at an unusually good price. The last time a single family home was sold on Longboat for under $300,000 was in December, 2013. With prices going up, don’t to see this again.

Click here to see all currently listed homes on Longboat Key with asking prices under $500,000

Four homes were sold for under $400,000 in the past 6 months. In 2015, 6 homes were sold (12 months). Therefore, the 4 homes is not a fluke and just like the under 300k homes, should start to evaporate.

Best Bets for Longboat Key Single Family Homes Under $500,000

Your best bet on getting a single family home under $500,000 on Longboat Key is going to be in the Village. Longbeach Village is located on the very north end of key and features a diverse collection of small homes, cottages, and bungalows. While there are a handful of larger and newer homes (all well over the $500k mark), most of the homes are older and on the small side. The Village was one of the first communities on the Key and accordingly, has some of the oldest homes  dating back into the 1940’s and earlier.

 Click here to download details on each of the single family home sales

Longboat Key Condominiums Under $500,000

There are considerably more options in the Longboat Key condominium market in the under $500,000 price point. In the 6 months ended 7/31/2016, 94 condominiums were sold for less than $500k. This represents about 40% of all Longboat Key condo sales during the period.

The graphic below gives you a statistical profile of the sales.

Statistical Profile of Longboat Key Condominium Sales Under $500k

Statistical Profile of Longboat Key Condominium Sales Under $500k

While the stats on the left are for all condos that sold for less than $500,000 during the period, 2 bedroom and 2 bath models are by far the most popular.

South of Publix, the lowest priced 2 BR/2+ BA to sell was a 1,068 sf residence in Seaplace and was sold for $345,000 (1978 build). The listing was for a 4th floor garden view in a building that backed to Gulf of Mexico Drive. North of Publix, the lowest priced 2 BR/2+ BA to sell was a 1,080 sf residence in Longboat Arms (1971 build), and was  sold for $215,000.

Inside Longboat Key Club, the lowest priced 2 BR/2+ BA to sell was a 1,941 sf residence in Sands Point (1966 build) that closed for $434,500.In Bay Isles, the lowest priced 2 BR/2+ BA condo to sell was a 1,598 sf town home in Fairway Bay that closed for $380,000.

Click here to see all Longboat Key condominiums for sale with asking prices under $500k

Best Bets for Longboat Key Condos under $500,000

The Longboat Key condo options under $500,000 are much better than the single family home options. Yet, the condominium will likely be on the older side, probably from 30 years old and above. You should have no problem finding a 2BR/2+BA around 1,100 sf condo on the Gulf side of Gulf of Mexico Dr. If you want south of Publix, focus on  Seaplace and BeachPlace. In Longboat Key Club, watch Privateer and Sands Point.  If you want Gulf side on the north end under $500 and at least 1,000 sf, look in  Sea Pines, Longbeach, and Whitney Beach.

Click here to download details on each of the condominium sales







Mid Year 2016 Condominium Market Updates for Downtown Sarasota, Longboat Key, and West Bradenton

As with last month, sale are still down or not very robust in all areas with new construction. The sales shortfall is mainly because of the way new construction condominium sales work. The normal course for a resale listing (ie not new construction) is that the property is listed, goes to contract, and 30-60 days later closes. It is at closing that the listing is considered “sold”. For new construction, the listing goes from active to under contract during construction or even pre-construction. It stays at that status until the building is completed and ready for occupancy at which time all of the contracts close (and are reported as sold) in a matter of a few weeks.  So new construction isn’t so much as causing sales to be down but just delaying the timing of when the sale gets reported. The effect it to cram 18-24 months of “what would have been sales if the they were resales” into a single month.  If everything closes as it is supposed to in Downtown Sarasota, this will be a record year for condo sales downtown.