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Business Observer Friday, May 6, 2016 2 years ago

Forget the east coast

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The chamber of commerce couldn't have written it any better: An April 28 Wall Street Journal story, titled “Get More for Your Vacation Home Dollar,” trumpeted Sarasota over Palm Beach.

The chamber of commerce couldn't have written it any better: An April 28 Wall Street Journal story, titled “Get More for Your Vacation Home Dollar,” trumpeted Sarasota over Palm Beach.

The article examined several other alternative second-home markets, including Bellport, N.Y., over the Hamptons and Sun Valley, Idaho, over Aspen. The piece stated Naples has grown nearly as expensive as places on Florida's east coast, such as Miami and Palm Beach, which puts Sarasota and the surrounding area in a prime spot. One person in the story says he and his wife explored the state's coastline and ultimately paid $4 million for a home on Siesta Key with 200 feet of waterfront. He passed on a half-acre lot in Naples with about 100 feet of waterfront listed at $15 million, the story adds.

The story profiled two other area residents. One was a couple, baby boomers, who paid $1.5 million for a 5,700-square-foot house in 2007 in Lakewood Ranch, a master-planned community in east Manatee County. The couple, snowbirds with another home in New Hampshire, offered this tantalizing nugget for officials who seek to boost the tax base: The couple's children and grandchildren have since moved to town, too.

Another person in the story rents a three-bedroom home on Siesta Key, where she bikes to the beach and does yoga on a deck overlooking a canal.

A big downside to all the buzz is price appreciation in Sarasota is lacking compared with other luxury markets. The median sales price for a luxury home in Sarasota, for example, fell 3% from 2005 to 2015, the article states, citing Realtor.com data. The median sales price for a luxury home in Palm Beach, in contrast, rose 19% from 2005 to 2015.

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