#1 US Retirement Destination Plummets to 11th Place
#1 US Retirement Destination Plummets to 11th Place

Sarasota Florida Bay Front

Sarasota Florida Bay Front Condos

Sarasota Florida Bay Front Condos

Siesta Key Beach Sarasota Florida

Siesta Key Beach Sarasota Florida

Post-Pandemic Aftermath Leaves its Mark On Once #1 Retirement Coastal City

If a cash buyer wanted the home bad enough and they had the money, they got it. A lot of people who qualified for a home loan before the pandemic quickly saw their dreams of homeownership disappear.”

— Bradley Dunleavy / Florida REALTOR®

SARASOTA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, February 28, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — Only a few short years ago Sarasota, Florida was not only known for being one of the best places to retire in Florida, but it was also held the title of being the #1 place to retire in the US. Retirees flocked from across the US to live and enjoy their golden years along the coast in this beautiful paradise city. But as the old adage goes, money talks and BS walks. There’s a very good reason why Sarasota is no longer the #1 place to retire in the US and why it has plummeted all the way to 11th place.

“It all started during COVID,” recounts Bradley Dunleavy, a Sarasota REALTOR® whose team has helped clients buy and sell Sarasota real estate in the area over the past 7 years. “When interest rates plummeted to historic lows, below 3% at the height of the pandemic, it triggered the beginning of the home buying frenzy across America, and the Sarasota housing market was hit hard.

There were several disruptions COVID created for the Sarasota housing market, that when stacked on top of one another led to the downturn of Sarasota’s reign of being the best place to retire in Southwest Florida.

Now to be clear, when I say Sarasota, I mean areas within Sarasota’s city limits and thirty to forty minutes beyond the city’s boundaries give or take. It was mainly the coastal area and areas not too far inland that took the hit. Everyone wants to be close to the beach to enjoy the Florida coastal lifestyle.”

On top of the historically low interest rates many Americans in the office job labor force suddenly found themselves in a position to work remotely as commercial office buildings closed their doors and told everyone to work from home. This gave office workers the opportunity to move out of colder northern states to warmer tropical states such as Florida.

To further exacerbate the migration influx, COVID lockdown policies played a major role in state-to-state migration where Democratic cities such as New York had very strict and long lockdowns as opposed to Republican states such as Florida where lockdowns where much more lenient, shorter, and invoked business as usual policies.

The final straw that broke the camel’s back were all the affluent out-of-state cash buyers that flooded the market which caused a major disruption in Sarasota’s home prices. Almost every home seller had multiple competing cash offers during the COVID lockdowns. As a result, cash offer home buyers competed with one another, which drove home prices up for the entire duration of the pandemic. It wasn’t uncommon to see cash buyers paying $20,000, $30,000, or even $100,000 over the asking price with no appraisal necessary.

What happened next was a gradual gentrification of these now more expensive areas along the Southwest Florida coast. As home prices increased so did taxes, home insurance, HOA fees, and rental prices, and many homeowners and renters began finding themselves unable to keep up with inflation compounded with the increasing expenses of maintaining a home or their skyrocketing rent prices—leaving homeowners and renters with no other choice but sell or end their lease and relocate to nearby and more affordable inland, further south, or further north rural areas such as North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Parrish. In some cases, people just left the county or the state all together.

As of 2024, North Port, which is now the second fastest growing city in America (according to QuickenLoan statistics), is one of the few remaining areas along the Southwest coast between Tampa and Naples that is still considered affordable for average income producing Americans. In February of 2020, one month prior to the pandemic, the average Sarasota County single-family home sales price was $420,802. In November of 2023, the average Sarasota County single-family home sales price was $660,541—a 56.97% increase. Compared to today’s 12-month North Port’s average home sales price of $349,181—according to Stellar MLS data.

However, despite the increase in home prices, Brad and his team still call Sarasota home and believe it is still one of the best places to live in Florida. It’s a beautiful clean city with a never-ending list of things to do. From rooftop to beachfront dining, countless stores and shops, endless outdoor activities, and a vibrant arts and culture scene, Sarasota has something to offer everyone.

In conclusion, Brad and his team believe over the next decade the Nort Port housing market, and those few remaining areas will experience the same housing appreciation boom seen throughout the Sarasota coastal area. As the last of the baby boomer generation reaches the retirement age of 65 by 2030, Brad and his team expect the gentrification trend to continue as out-of-state retirees seek more affordable Southwest Florida areas in hopes of still being able to enjoy the tropical coastal Florida lifestyle.

Bradley Dunleavy
RE/MAX Platinum Realty
+1 941-587-9458
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Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/691800083/1-us-retirement-destination-plummets-to-11th-place

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