We count it as a blessing that our real estate market appears to have entered 2020 toward a new decade on a firm footing. Total sales figures for Sarasota and Manatee counties as of end-2019 were not only exceptionally strong. The robust market interest on local residential properties could also be expected to be sustained. This track seems evident as Sarasota and her islands again reaped high marks from lifestyle watchers recently.
It is notable that our town, Longboat Key, stood out prominently in one of these ratings on the top places to live in Florida. Compiled by the real estate research website HomeSnacks, this particular ranking for 2020 elevated Longboat to 10th place in the listing from its 13th ranking previously.
This research website in the last six years has been conducting “bite-sized” studies to help homebuyers compare what it’s like to live in different U.S. communities. Its studies factor in statistics and information from government agencies like the U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI.
The Island’s Strengths
Low unemployment rate and high incomes were among the factors cited in Longboat’s 2020 rating improvement. Longboat households’ median income was estimated at $104,825 which ranked 7th in Florida. On jobs, Longboat got the same 7th place ranking with its 2.6 percent unemployment rate. Weighed in too was the town’s median residential value of $720,700 which was at 6th in the top 10 cities in Florida to live in.
In other “bite-sized” studies of HomeSnacks, Longboat likewise figured prominently. The town was rated for 2020 as the 2nd wealthiest city in Florida, next only to Palm Beach. HomeSnacks also rated our town as the state’s 4th safest city to live in.
Speaking of safety, Longboat’s first-responder agencies—the police and fire departments—were awarded financial grants of more than $130,000 from the West Coast Inland Navigation District. The grants have been allocated for boat acquisition and the upgrade of related equipment for the marine-related services. Besides emergency response and removal of wrecked or abandoned watercraft, these tasks also include marine patrol and enforcement of boating regulations.
Town authorities have set even larger budget spending this year in projects promising to sustain Longboat’s status as one of the most desirable places to live in. One of these undertakings, slated to start early this year, is part of the town’s multimillion-dollar Comprehensive Beach Plan.
Bridges and Water Assets
It calls for the dredging of Canal 1A on Longboat’s northern end. Filling up with sand for years, the canal has become inaccessible to watercraft. Permitting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is being worked out for the canal’s deepening estimated to cost as much as $1 million.
Just north of this canal, the Longboat Pass Bridge to Anna Maria Island is also notably undergoing rehabilitation at a cost of more than $2 million. A similar project south is being hatched this year for the rehab of the New Pass Bridge to St. Armands.
Besides these initiatives, Longboat’s local government has more plans to preserve and maintain the assets that make the town an ideal place to settle in. Our Judy Kepecz-Hays team certainly shall keep ourselves abreast of these developments, valuable information that we can share and discuss with you in a sale or purchase of real estate in Longboat Key.