But why would investors want to focus on Sarasota County? Upon closer inspection, youll see that this region of Florida offers plenty of great land opportunities.
Sarasota County, FL Demographics, Climate and Population
Population and Demographics
In 2000, there were 325,957 people living in the county, with 149,937 households. At the time, the population density was 570 people per square mile. Between 2000 and 2010, the county saw a 16.4% increase in population, reaching 379,448 in 2010.
In 2013, the population was estimated to be 390,429 with a population density of 683 people per square mile.
Clearly, people are moving into the area, and the cities in the county continue to grow.
The median income also paints a picture of the local economy. In Sarasota, the median household income was $41,957, and the median income for families was $50,111. Only 7% of the countys population were living below the poverty line as of the 2000 census.
Not only are people moving to the area, but most are likely in a position to purchase a new home.
Just as you might have expected, the Sarasota area has a favorable climate. While the area does receive more rain than average (52 inches per year), temperatures never really climb too high or drop too low. The area gets about 251 funny days each year. July is the warmest month, with a high of 91°. January is the coldest month, with a low 51°.
The area does get considerably humid in the summer, but thats to be expected in Florida.
Favorable weather and a growing population make Sarasota County a smart place to invest in land.
Sarasota County is home to many local parks, but you'll also find several preserves in the area, which include:
* Curry Creek Preserve
* Circus Hammock
* Jelks Preserve
* Manasota Scrub Preserve
* Bayonne Parcel
* Dear Prairie Creek
* Sleeping Turtles South
* South Lemon Bay Preserve
These natural preserves attract tourists and residents alike who are hoping to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife.
The natural beauty of the Sarasota area is a big part of the draw for both tourists and residents.
Popular Cities in the Area
The three largest cities in Sarasota County include:
Sarasota boasts a population of 53,326, and the popular Sarasota Bay. With the bay centrally located in the city, the Sarasota area is comprised of 42.58% water. The city is home to unique architecture, and a thriving local economy.
As of the 2010 census, North Ports population was 57,357 slightly higher than Sarasota. Originally developed as part of General Development Corporations Port Charlotte development, the city is rapidly growing with large-scale residential subdivisions. The great thing about North Port is that just 1% of the city is water, which means theres more land available for investors and developers.
Venice is the smallest of the three largest cities in Sarasota, with a population of 20,748. The city is particularly popular for snowbirds. And there are nearly as many households with people 65 years of age or older as there are households with married couples. Because of its beauty and location, the city was named after Venice Italy.
Other towns and unincorporated communities in Sarasota County include:
* Longboat Key
* Sarasota Springs
* Dennis Gardens
* North Sarasota
* Lake Sarasota
* Kensington Park
* Siesta Key
* The Meadows
* Four Mineral Springs
Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive. Many residents live in other unincorporated areas outside the countys main municipalities.
The Local Real Estate Market
We know that the population of Sarasota County is booming, and that the area is attracting middle-class families. But whats the real estate market like?
Currently, the median home value in the county is $225,500, and home values have increased 9.9% over the past year. The median sale price is $213,800, which equates to approximately $140 per square foot.
However, Sarasota County does have an issue with foreclosures. The percentage of delinquent mortgages in the county is currently 7.4%, which is much higher than the national average of 4.8%. Real estate experts estimate that 10.2% of homeowners in the county are underwater on their mortgage.
This could be good and bad news for you as an investor. On one hand, this may mean that there will be more families looking for rental properties. On the other hand, you may have difficulty finding buyers if you choose to build a home and sell it.
Lets take a look at some of the most popular cities in the county and their median home values to get an idea of what the local real estate market is like.
* Osprey: $362,800
* Nokomis: $230,400
* Venice: $164,900
* Lake Sarasota: $156,500
* Sarasota: $148,100
* Vamo: $148,700
* Bee Ridge:: $169,800
As far as rental prices go, Sarasota County has higher than average rental prices.
* Sarasota County: $1,814
* U.S.: $1,382
Finding Cheap Land for Sale in Sarasota County, FL
You know the real estate market is relatively healthy, but what about land? Land is still relatively cheap in the area. Currently we have the following listings in Sarasota County:
* 0.27 acres for $4,760 in North Port
* 0.23 acres for $4,999 in North Port
* 0.31 acres for $ 4,700 in North Port
* 0.23 acres for $4,600 in North Port
All of these lots are in prime locations and close to Sarasota Beaches. These are ideal plots for building a residential property to either sell or rent out. With many tourists visiting the area each year, vacation rentals are another viable option.
Located along Floridas western coast, Sarasota County is a great place to invest in land. Youll find numerous opportunities available at incredibly low prices. Whether you want to build your dream home or extend your real estate portfolio, Sarasota County, FL should be at the top of your list.