Gulf Coast: Real Estate Market Report – December 2017
St. Pete, Sarasota, Clearwater, Naples, Ft. Myers
Florida’s Gulf Coast. When you pause, close your eyes, and imagine it, surely you can almost breathe in the salty, sea air. Some of the cities that line the Gulf Coast of Florida, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Naples, Ft. Myers, are some of the most beautiful beach towns not just in the state, but in then entire country.
Overall, interest in settling down in these Florida towns is on the rise, with a steady trend of increased rents, rising home prices, and a decrease of available real estate due to heavy demand. Interested in learning more about specific Gulf Coast cities?
Check out our breakdown below of St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Clearwater, Naples and Ft. Myers! We’ll explain what’s happening in the market for each city and try to detangle confusing forecasts for these cities!
St. Petersburg: Real Estate – Then, Now, and On the Horizon
The trendy, on-the-rise city of St. Petersburg has achieved the revitalization dream that, so many towns have failed before them. Once referred to as “God’s Waiting Room,” the city of St. Pete faced a massive renaissance over the past decade, morphing it into a younger, hipper, culturally-rich town. Because of this, the real estate numbers have responded and been driven dramatically.
Comparatively from 2016, the 2017 real estate numbers have changed notably. The market trends for the city indicate that there was a 12 percent increase – about $21,000 – in the value of median home sales for St. Petersburg over the last year. In that same time, the average price per square foot for real estate in the area rose from $150 to about $173. Further, the number of available rentals in the area, though increasing throughout 2016, dropped in 2017. However, the media rent per month increased from about $1,300 at the beginning of 2016 to about $1,400 per property in 2017.
Looking forward, St. Petersburg real estate is forecast to continue to rise – if only slightly. The expected numbers? Realtors expect homes in St. Petersburg to increase in sales by 1.3 percent and the prices of those homes to climb 6 percent. High-rise condominiums are the newest craze, with sky-high buildings popping up all over the downtown area. Keep a look out for special projects like ONE, a 41-storey luxury condominium complex, and The Bezu, a 24-unit complex towering over the famous Beach Drive.
Sarasota: Real Estate – Then, Now, and On the Horizon
Lovingly referred to as the Cultural Coast for its theatres, galleries, and museums, Sarasota is a mid-sized city located right on the Gulf with plenty of beachside enjoyment to offer residents and visitors. As with St. Petersburg, it’s a developing city that continues to grow and attract want-to-be residents to it.
In the past year in Sarasota, a 3 percent rise in the media sales prices of real estate occurred, kicking it up to about $260,000. The median rent per month, rose from $1,700 in 2016, plateaued around $1,900, then fell and remained stagnant at $1,800 in 2017. Additionally, the price per square foot for property in Sarasota rose from about $170 in early 2016 to about $185 in 2017. The Sarasota forecast for 2018 resembles that of St. Pete, if only on a lesser scale. Residents can expect more fodder for what’s been referred to as a “condo-crazy” city with big projects like The Boulevard Sarasota, an $89 million, 18-story luxury condominium complex.
Clearwater: Real Estate – Then, Now, and On the Horizon
If there was ever a city that’d seen a revitalization specific to tourism, it’s Clearwater. Decades prior, Clearwater was simply a small, quaint, beach town. However, the city has grown. Now the county-seat of Pinellas County, Clearwater is commonly known as the home of Winter and Hope, the famous dolphins that were featured in the movie Dolphin Tale.
Even over the course of a year, the real estate market in Clearwater has continued to pick up. Market trends show a 12 percent year-over-year rise in media sales prices for homes in Clearwater, with an increase of about 14 percent in price per square foot for property (about $135). However, there was a 2 percent drop in media rent per month from 2016 to 2017, data shows, dipping from about $1,450 to about $1,400.
The future of Clearwater continues to shine bright. Though it was listed on the low-end of the ranking by Coastal Living as one of the hottest real estate markets to watch in 2017, it’s expected that it will rise to the top in 2018. With ever-additional condominiums, luxury resorts, and beachside homes being added to Clearwater, the demand for more housing and increased pricing will certainly rise.
Naples & Ft. Myers: Real Estate – Then, Now, and On the Horizon
The two back-to-back beach cities of Naples and Ft. Myers have been notable southwest Florida hot-spots for Canadian Snowbirds for years. The demand for space in both cities is ever-increasing, suggesting that it’s not just the older generation heading southwest for the winter, rather, families and individuals from all demographics seeking homes and condos by the balmy, gulf coast beaches.
In 2017, data indicates that Naples market trends proved an increase of about 4 percent in media home sales since 2016, with an additional increase in the price per square foot from $208 to about $213. Ft. Myers, however, had slightly different numbers. In fact, from 2016-2017, the media sales prices for homes dropped in Ft. Myers from about $210,000 to $200,000. Additionally, the media rent per month decreased by about 1 percent.
Though the numbers for these cities are different, the forecast for development could be big. Collier County, where Naples is seated, could see the opening of a new project called the Rural Lands Community, formerly where the town of Big Cypress was. The community is expected to have up 10,000 homes on about 4,000 acres, with offices, retail, entertainment, dining, and of course, a golf course. Ft. Myers will see some development as well with the opening of a $10 million project called the Collaboratory. This 15,000-square foot addition to the city will be in downtown Ft. Myers historic neighbourhoods as part of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot renovation.