Murray Homes Recognized For Bringing Fresh Styling To Lakewood Ranch

Murray Homes was featured in the real estate section of the for bringing a fresh, innovative style to home designs in Lakewood Ranch. During the interview Harold Bubil of the Sarasota Herald Tribune and recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award, noted that while many homes in Lakewood Ranch are still the Tuscan-Mediterranean design, Murray Homes is “bucking the trend” by bringing Coastal Contemporary to east of 75.

The Resolute at The Lake Club Lakewood Ranch

Steve Murray stated the waterfront luxury home builder was approached by developers in Lakewood Ranch looking to offer a new experience for home buyers.

Staysail Court, a new enclave of custom homes inspired by the America’s Cup and featuring the innovative design blend of the clean lines of modern architecture with elegant British West Indies style as only Murray Homes can do, is the result.

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Those interested in see Staysail Court for themselves can drop by the model home located at 7926 Staysail Court Lakewood Ranch or visit

Murray Homes wins Gold in SRQ 10th Annual Home of the Year competition

Murray Homes beat tough competition to win gold for 2014 best overall home in the over $2 million category at the SRQ 10th Annual Home of the Year Competition. The award recognizes the best architects, builders, and interior designers who create residential spaces with striking character.

384 N Washington St Armands Sarasota

The judges were particularly impressed by the convergence of creativity and functionality to design this stunning coastal contemporary house. “This project is original in form, adding freshness to a traditional salt box concept. There is a quality of views without having an all-glass building.” Commented one of the judges.

The elegant four bedroom, six and a half bathroom presents the finest in island living. The owners wanted to create a home that would be comfortable and manageable for them for day to day living, but that would seamlessly transition into a space large enough to accommodate a growing family of grandchildren. There is over 1,500 square foot of outside living area from which to enjoy the peaceful views across Pansy Bayou and the wildlife preserve beyond.

More about the award-winning home

How to succeed in the new seller’s housing market.

Some of my clients from other parts of the country and from across the Atlantic, where the housing markets haven’t recovered yet from the recession, come to Florida expecting to go bargain hunting.

But they are in for a rude awakening. They find a house they like, want to put down an offer and find themselves fifth or sixth in line among multiple offers. As buyers, they discover out quickly that in Sarasota, they’re no longer in the power position. The reason? Not enough homes for the demand.

As Sarasota goes, so goes the nation!

Sarasota may have been the first market in the United States to tank when the housing bubble burst, leading the plunge into real estate chaos and economic recession. But it has also recovered earlier, along with other parts of the country, notably Alaska, Washington State, Arizona and other cities in Florida – Miami, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, which have become hot markets again.

In June, the number of homes listed for sale nationwide dropped 24% compared with the previous year. Inventory in Sarasota has been low here for months now. Good properties, priced right, get snapped up in days with multiple offers from five to fifteen buyers not at all unusual. Prices are inching up, too, and there are even occasional bidding wars. Add it all up, and it spells “seller’s market.”

The good news is that people continue to want to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of contracts signed in May was 13% higher than a year ago with every region in the country reporting increases in sales.

But with rising demand and lack of suitable inventory, buyers are no longer in the driver’s seat.

What does that mean for buyers in the Sarasota area?  

If you’re looking for a particular spot, it’s not as easy to find property, especially in the most popular neighborhoods. That’s definitely true for good houses priced under $250,000.

Until new construction catches up with demand, shopping for a home will be more like a hunt than the walk in the park it has been.

What should buyers do in the new seller’s market?

Pre-qualification vs. pre-approval. Don’t bother with the first, which is only an estimate on how much you can borrow. With sellers concerned about deals falling through, they want more certainty. Get pre-approved for a loan based on your credit, income and assets, and you’ll be in a better position to bargain.

Get with a veteran realtor who knows the market. In a competitive market, it’s crucial to have a pro on your side who’s experienced, knows the local scene inside and out, and is experienced in multiple-offer deals. That way you can be sure that a home is reasonably priced and advise you on what to offer.

Make a good, clean, straightforward offer. If you want to wait to sell your current home first, for example, you’re not likely to come out ahead in a bidding war.

Remember, if you get into the game, there are still very good buys to be had. With interest rates at historic lows, and prices considerably lower than during frenzy years, this is still a great time to get excellent value for your money. Just don’t expect bargain basement sales, and be prepared to move fast in the face of the competition.


Murray Homes Wins Telly Award For Video Production

Sarasota based Murray homes has just won a bronze award for its latest promotional video. The video was collaboratively produced by the Murray team, Be Creative Studios and Mars Vision Productions.

The three minute piece focused on Murray’s incredible new build and remodel portfolio, plus tie ins to its own in-house real estate team and broad client base in local, national and international markets.

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring the finest film and video productions, groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. The 33rd Annual Telly Awards received over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

Murray Homes is an industry leading builder of luxury waterfront custom homes in Sarasota, Florida.

Sarasota Continues to Rise

Sarasota real estate has come a long way from the dark days of 2006-2010. In November 2008, the inventory level* was 24 months. In June of this year the figure has plummeted to below 5 months, ushering in a seller’s market.  *Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory of homes and condos at the current sales rate.

Real estate agents are finding themselves busy keeping up with demand from buyers at a time of year that is typically much slower than the peak buying and selling months of January through April.

Highlights from the Sarasota Association of Realtors – Real Estate Market report for June 2012:

•        Real estate market achieved the highest level of quarterly sales in seven years.

•        June sales were the second highest total since September 2005, yet another indication of a market that is achieving sales totals not seen since the 2003-2005 real estate surge.

•        Sales prices 18.7% higher than in June 2011

•        The normal seasonal influx of buyers tends to drop shortly after the Easter holiday, but this year the higher sales appear to be continuing into the summer.

•        The median sales price for single family homes dropped slightly to $178,500 from last month’s figure of $185,000, but it remains higher than the 12-month running median of $167,000. The median sales price for condos was $195,000 – up from last month’s figure of $180,750, and still much higher than the 12-month running median prices of $165,000.

•        Single family home prices remained over 30% higher than the low of 15 months ago ($137,500), while condo prices are over 50% higher than the low point ($127,000).

Jane Ebury


Florida, the Promising Land

Whether you’re a foreign buyer looking for a vacation home, investment property or semi-permanent residence to bask in the Florida sunshine for more than six months of the year, there isn’t a better time than now.

Since the housing bubble burst, prices have dropped by more than 50% in many parts of the state. A typical Florida home that sold in 2006 for about $260,000 now sells for less than $140,000. As they say here, “You can get a lot more home for your buck!”

By comparison, houses in Europe, Canada, and Latin and South America are much more expensive.

Those in the know are taking advantage of the favorable real estate climate. At 26%, Florida accounts for more than a quarter of all international sales in the United States, more than the next three largest sunshine states – California (11%), Texas (7%) and Arizona (7%) – combined!

In 2011, international buyers accounted for $82.5 billion in U.S. property sales, up 24% from $66.4 billion the previous year.

Why not join them for your place in the sun?

Bev Murray & Jane Ebury


Sarasota is hot, hot, hot!

Sarasota sunshine is heating up and so is the local real estate market. Property sales have topped 800 for the third consecutive month, demonstrating a market that has recovered to levels not seen since the 2003-2005.

Interest rates hit record lows in May, and house prices still remain relatively low.  This has brought high sales rate and low inventory – a rare combination, which is why Sarasota is attracting buyers from across the nation, and the world.

The median sale price for both single family homes and condos remained near the highest levels of the year in May. The median sales price for single family homes was $185,000 – a 34% increase from the lows of 14 months ago. Last month’s figure was $175,000. The median sales price for condos was $180,750, a drop from April’s figure of $191,750 but a 40% increase from the low point.

The total number of distressed properties, foreclosure and short sales on the market remains around 31%, the lowest level in 3 years.  This is likely a contributing factor to the housing demand and increase in prices.

The May figures are 4.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 5.2 months’ inventory for condos. Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current rate of sales. Six months of inventory is classed as the market equilibrium, therefore we are now considered a seller’s market.

“I’ve been in our Association for over 15 years and inventories at this level are rare,” said SAR President Laura Benson. “The market is tightening, and when available properties are at such low levels, the result is normally greater competition for available properties. This scenario tends to escalate prices, so if you’re in the market for a home, now is the time to act.”

Jane Ebury


Prices keep climbing – Florida is heating up

Word is getting out that Florida’s bust is switching to boom, with the charge being led by the $1 million single family house market.

Across the state in Miami-Dade, a $52million house is reportedly under contract and a penthouse condo just sold for a record $25million.

On this side of Florida, our price point is not as impressive but we have continued signs of rising sales.  In February and March of this year, sales of $1million-plus houses in Sarasota county were 48% higher than last year.

For more information on luxury homes in Sarasota call Bev Murray or Jane Ebury 941-365-1837 at Murray Realty


Spring Has Definitely Sprung – strong sales for April 2012

The latest report published by the Sarasota Association of Realtors shows that real estate sales in Sarasota county are continuing their upward ascent.

Here are the highlights for April 2012:

  • 886 total sales transactions,  the highest figure since August 2005
  • Inventory is at a 10 year low: 4.7 months for single family homes and 5.1 months for condos
  • Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) are at a 3 year low of 31%
  • Average single family home prices are 21.4% higher than they were a year ago
  • Average condo home prices are almost 30% higher than last year
  • 1,068 pending sales which is a strong indication of future activity

So what does this mean for you as a home buyer, seller or investor?

Selling a home:

With inventory at its lowest level in years and less distressed sales to negatively impact your market value, now is a phenomenal time to put your house or condo on the market.  If it is priced right and marketed well, it is unlikely to hang around for long.

Buying a home:

Mortgage rates are at their lowest since the 1950s .  You’ll need to have all your ducks in a row when you find the house that you want, as homes are being snapped up quickly at the moment and prices are creeping up. Make sure you ask Murray Realty to help you work smart and negotiate effectively.


Buying to rent is a very attractive option in the current market. There is strong demand for long term rental properties as many tenants are still struggling with credit issues and are unable to get a mortgage.

Bev Murray

We’ve Been Busy Shooting A Movie – And Building Houses!

The Murray Homes team and a host of clients spent quite a few very busy days recently filming a new Murray Homes promotional video.

Over a three day period on Casey Key and Bird Key and downtown Sarasota we crammed in location shoots, work sites, the Murray office and featured 12 adults, 7 kids and a dog on one day!

Production went off without a hitch thanks to a very finely tuned crew and incredibly accommodating hosts.

The goal of the shoot was to develop a dynamic piece, that really highlights why Murray Homes is the leading luxury home-builder and re-model specialist in Sarasota.

We’re looking forward to seeing the finished cut and thanks to all involved, you really were stars!