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Price Spotlight: Florida’s Luxury Market to Continue to Grow

By Phil Butler | January 17, 2019

The luxury real estate horizon looks bright for a few counties in Florida despite a slowing sales forecast for the state overall. Interest from prospective home buyers from America’s Northeast is aimed at both Collier and Sarasota, two of the nation’s fastest-growing luxury housing price markets. These areas, along with interest in Jacksonville and a new projects across the state, are bright spots in a sagging Florida luxury market.

BLVD
Rooftop pool conceptual BLVD Sarasota

According to the May 2018 Luxury Home Index from realtor.com®, interest from buyers in New York, Boston, and Chicago boosted Sarasota (North Port) and Collier (East Naples) price growth of 19 and 14 percent respectively. In that report, even Fort Lauderdale, which ranked 19th on the national list, showed a 9% uptick in sales prices. Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com® offered this comment in a press release:

"Luxury prices in the Sunshine State are rising quickly as buyers from places like New York, Boston, and Chicago get wind that there is a better bang for their buck available down South. Meanwhile, we are seeing signs of a luxury market glut in many established markets, which is in some cases leading to spillover demand for their less pricey neighbors."

Luxury properties in the news in Sarasota have helped peak interest in the area. An instance that comes to mind was the recent announcement that the one of America’s most talked about restaurants, the Beach Bistro opening at the luxurious BLVD Sarasota (feature image) beginning of 2020 put an exclamation point on one of the city’s most exciting new developments. Remaining  BLVD residences range from 3,550 to 5,500 square feet and are listed starting at $1.9 million.

Naples Beach
Aerial view of Naples Beach Florida

The boost to Collier County sales prices was helped by big home sales in Naples where one sale came in at a record $48.8 million. Naples’ 34102 ZIP code ranked is the 15th richest in America according to a recent report by Bloomberg. The recent sale of a Port Royal beachfront mansion of 9,394 square feet that originally listed for $60.9 million dollars, obviously did nothing to lower the areas ranking.

Waterfall
The Waterfall Condominiums Courtesy Jacksonville Luxury Portfolio

Amazing new luxury developments dot the state and draw attention from high net worth investors, even as the market trends toward oversupply. One that comes to mind is the Waterfall Condominiums going up at Jax Beach. This eight-floor complex of 42 residences will have two fantastic penthouses on the top level, and range in size from 2,721 to 3,077 square feet. Expansive terraces will offer unmatched beach views listed by the Hanley Home Team at about $1.3 million on average.

An interesting aspect for these luxury residences is the fact new height restrictions have now limited beachside properties to no more than three stories tall. But, the beach property on which the condos will be built, at 14th Avenue South and 1st Street South, was grandfathered in, allowing for a high-rise residential structure. This brings up another important variable for all Florida luxury properties. Once the growth in new development sinks (and this is inevitable), the exclusivity of these properties will rise accordingly. Short story, prices will probably skyrocket.

Victory
Courtesy Donna Miller Coldwell Banker

Finally, “one of” luxury properties all across the Sunshine State help prop up high-end property prices. An example here is the so-called “Victory House” (above) that sits on 200 fabulous bayfront acres overlooking St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa Bay. This amazing property has its own private beach and has hurricane-proof doors and windows throughout. The six-bedroom, six-bath house is on a 13-acre parcel that includes about seven acres of uplands and the canals, a place where the owner will never have neighbors. Listed at $18 million, the mansion named for Nasr "Vic" Abuoleim is but one example of hundreds of similarly “exclusive” properties in the state.

A wonderful friend of my father’s who was a land developer, he had this saying that has never failed me. “Always buy land, they don’t make any more of it,” he’d say.  In the case of Florida property, the more expansive the market gets, the more “land” becomes a luxury. My bet is on prices rising in the mid-term to long.

Phil Butler is a former engineer, contractor, and telecommunications professional who is editor of several influential online media outlets including part owner of Pamil Visions with wife Mihaela. Phil began his digital ramblings via several of the world’s most noted tech blogs, at the advent of blogging as a form of journalistic license. Phil is currently top interviewer, and journalist at Realty Biz News.
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