Sarasota's Luxury Real Estate: A Jewel Box Market

Monaco, Martha's Vineyard, Lugano. These names are synonymous with wealthy enclaves and now Sarasota has been added to the list. Christie's has termed these places jewel box markets—locations with a population under 150,000, where there is a large percentage of high-net-worth residents and quality lifestyle offerings. Their 2014 Luxury Defined report on the top end of the real estate market identifies 10 such markets worldwide, including Sarasota.


Celebrities And The Wealthy Flock To Sarasota

The list is a mix of U.S. and international destinations. The locations are primarily waterfront, with Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Bedford, New York being the exceptions. The other U.S. locations were La Jolla and Montecito, California and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Internationally, Christie's includes Sylt, Germany and Punta del Este, Uruguay along with Monaco and Lugano. All in all, Sarasota is in some pretty impressive company.

The luxury home market in Sarasota is just growing and growing, and a number of recent home purchases by celebrities has brought more attention to the area. But despite this influx of the rich and famous, the city manages to maintain its laid back atmosphere. It's a discreet place and celebrities can safely spread their towel out on Siesta Key Beach without fear of seeing the flash of the paparazzi. At least not yet, anyway.

No Taxes, Great Beaches, Vibrant Cultural Life

That's the reason why so many famous faces choose to make their home here. Local residents include author Stephen King and talk show host Jerry Springer. And Sarasota's laid back atmosphere is the reason another daytime fixture has chosen to make her home here, as well. Rosie O’Donnell bought a gorgeous $5 million house in Casey Key last year, moving to the area after 18 years on Miami's Star Island. For her, that famous address had become "too crazed".

Sarasota attracts high net worth buyers for a number of reasons. For a small community, it has much more to offer than your typical Florida beachfront town. It certainly has the basics. Florida is an attractive place to live because there is no tax on income, estates, capital gains, dividends or interest, and there is also the homestead tax break on primary residences. Add to that stellar beaches—Siesta Beach was voted best in the country—but you still haven't really set Sarasota apart from the rest of the state. What does set it apart is what there is to do away from the beach. Sarasota's cultural scene is booming, the city is a foodie's paradise and there are festivals and events throughout the year that attract international attention. Culturally, Sarasota resembles a much larger city and this provides serious appeal.

Sarasota's Luxury Real Estate Market Is Flourishing

In Sarasota, luxury homes account for 8% of the overall market, which is small when compared to Jackson Hole, where the number is 75% or Monaco, where they account for 100%. But the market continues to grow. July was a record setting month for luxury sales in the city. Forty-eight homes valued more than a million dollars were sold, that's two more than in June and 8 more than July of last year. The top price paid for a house in July was a Siesta Key residence on Sanderling Road, which sold for $8.85.

But that brings us on to a interesting point about Christie's definition of luxury. It varies from place to place. In Sarasota a luxury homes is any that sells for over a million dollars. Which means that Siesta Key home was well over the threshold. In Monaco on the other hand, the luxury threshold is $35 million!

Coffey and Co. are Sarasota luxury market specialists. Put their knowledge to work for you. Call (877) 308-6311 or get in touch online.

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