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

Should You Invest in a Second Home?

An article recently published in The Wall Street Journal offers some insight into whether or not you should be thinking of buying a second home in the next five years.

There is a lot to think about – with near record low mortgages rates, bargain prices and dwindling home inventories the once hard to attain second home is now at your fingertips for historically low prices. These factors have conspired to create somewhat of a buying frenzy in our perenially popular Sarasota market.

Sales of vacation homes fell 56% between 2006 and 2010, but climbed 7% in 2011, according to the most recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. Showing continued confidence in our market place.

At Murray Realty we have seen Sarasota properties receive multiple offers as well as an increase in activity in the high end market place.  Waterfront properties are being snapped up at 50% of their boom value.  Snow birds are feeling more confident that the market has bottomed out, therefore investing their money in a second property might be once again a sound investment.

Read Wall Street Journal’s full article

Jane Ebury







Never a dull moment

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year racing upon us, 2011 is only round the corner.  Some of you will be glad to see the back of 2010, others will look forward to 2011 with a positive attitude and a sense of anticipation.
Over the last two to three years, real estate and banking news has filled the media for one reason or another.  Over the last few months things had quietened down……or so we thought!  Earlier this month J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and many other lenders stopped all foreclosures until further notice.  They have discovered that the lawyers they retained did not handle the files with due diligence, which lead to many homes being foreclosed upon by banks who may or may not hold the note.  With this said, the financial institutions are frantically trying to limit the damages.  I suspect we may see class action suits brought against the banks in the near future by homeowners who surrendered their homes to lenders who were not qualified to foreclose.
On a more positive note, the snow birds are starting to return to Sarasota.  This is the perfect time to list your home ready for the seasonal residents to buy up our real estate at historically low prices. 
Murray Realty has a Facebook page.  If you haven’t already viewed these, click on the links below.  Both pages have proved to be a huge success.  They are regularly updated with information on new listings and relevant market changes, as well as our opinions on real estate news.  Please feel free to comment on any articles on our sites.  This enables us to stay focused on what you need from your real estate agent.
Thank you for supporting us and have a safe Halloween

Amendment 4: What Every Voter Should Know

What are the facts?

On November 2nd, you will be asked to vote yes or no on a plan to alter Florida’s Constitution called Amendment 4. Special interest lawyers, adult entertainment interests and population control groups have designed, funded and proposed this amendment to our Constitution. Take a moment to learn more about who’s backing Amendment 4 and why.

What is the issue?

Amendment 4 will prolong the recession and put recovery out of reach for thousands of working Floridians. As a result, leading business, labor, and civic groups oppose Amendment 4

What will the measure do?

This proposed change to Florida’s Constitution would require a taxpayer-funded referendum for every single change to a local government comprehensive plan. Simply stated, Amendment 4 would force Floridians, not the representatives they elect, to decide hundreds of minor, technical comprehensive plan changes each year on issues like drainage, traffic circulation, and intergovernmental coordination.

What does that mean for you?

Here is what Amendment 4 means for you: (1) a Florida with drastically fewer jobs, (2) a significantly weaker economy, and (3) unbearably higher taxes to feed the Amendment 4 “litigation” bureaucracy.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce asked leading economists to study the impact of Amendment 4. The study indicates that Amendment 4 would likely put more than 267,000 Floridians out of work, shrink Florida’s economic output by more than $34 billion annually, and take nearly $12 billion out of the pockets of working families.

With Florida’s jobless rate reaching well into double digits, our state’s top business and labor groups have put politics aside to oppose Amendment 4. Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce wrote: “If you like the recession, you’ll love Amendment 4.” Frank Ortis, executive board member with Florida’s AFL-CIO noted that “Amendment 4 will devastate Florida’s economy by costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and driving the unemployment rate even higher.”

According to the Orlando Sentinel, “The cost to local governments of [Amendment 4] would soar into the millions.” Those costs would be shouldered by Florida’s taxpayers who could expect to see not only more government waste, but also nonstop lawsuits as special interests wage war in court over the technical wording of endless ballot summaries. Referencing a failed experiment in Amendment 4-style rule in the small Florida town of St. Pete Beach, the St. Petersburg Times wrote that Amendment 4 leads to “short-term thinking” and “invites lawsuits…”

What is the conclusion?

Florida’s jobless rate is high—but it could get much, much worse with the passage of Amendment 4. At a time when many families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, that’s the last thing we need. Please take the time to learn more about Amendment 4 by visiting

Real Estate Investment

If you are thinking about purchasing a home, don’t let negative or sensationalized headlines be your sole persuader.  Even journalists who write many of the stories behind the headlines are rebelling against the idea that real estate is on its way out as the foundation of many Americans’ wealth.  We’ve certainly had our ups and downs over the years, but that’s expected in every investment’s cycle.  We are getting much closer to a sustained up cycle.  Read as much as you can from the sources you trust.  That way you’re most likely to make the right decision for you, and with confidence.   Above all, don’t let trash talk rob you of one of the most opportune moments in real estate history.

August property sales up; prices remain stable

The Sarasota real estate market rebounded in August 2010 after an expected slower July, following the expiration of the federal $8,000 homebuyer incentive. Sales were up 8 percent over July 2010, and up 14.3 percent over August 2009.
Property sales in August 2010 stood at 567 total sales. This compared to 525 sales in July 2010 and 496 sales in August 2009.
There were 408 single family home sales in August, with the median price at $154,500, almost identical to last month’s figure of $155,000. The median price was also $155,000 in August 2009, and has been steady throughout the last 12 months ($161,000), fluctuating between a high of $170,000 and a low of $150,000.
Condos saw 159 sales in August, with the median price rising by 22 percent to $155,000 from last month’s figure of $127,000.  For the last 12 months combined, the median sale price for condos was $169,900. Distressed condo sales have dragged the overall median price down substantially, with normal arm’s length sales garnering three-times as much as bank-owned properties, and twice as much as short sales on average.
Pending sales also rose in August to 816, from last month’s figure of 653, for a 25 percent increase. The rise bodes well for the closings in the early fall months.
“It was very encouraging to see that the market recovered nicely after a drop in sales from June to July,” said 2010 SAR President Erick Shumway. “After experiencing a five-year high in sales for the second quarter, everyone knew the loss of the homebuyer tax credit would have a negative impact. But we saw a big jump in sales for August, and prices held steady, so this market still has legs and the recovery appears to be a healthy one.”
The level of sales of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) dropped in August 2010 to 47 percent from last month’s figure of 48.7 percent of the overall market. Distressed market sales were at a high in late 2009, and have hovered in the range between 44 and 48 percent since that time.
The property inventory level remained fairly consistent, remaining just over the 6,000 level in August 2010, which remains one of the lowest monthly levels since late summer of 2005.
The months of inventory for single family homes in August 2010 dropped to 9.5 months from 10.4 months in July. The figure was 10.3 months in August 2009. This figure represents the number of months it would take to sell all available homes at the current pace. For condos, the figure dropped to 13.5 months from 14.4 months in July 2010. It was substantially lower than the August 2009 figure of 20.5 months. Once the market reaches the 6 month level it is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market.
Sarasota Association of REALTORS®

Murray Realty Presents – 14618 Sundial Place, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota FL34202

Front View - Sundial Place

Murray Realty Presents –

This home is beautiful and is a must see!! 4 Bedrooms plus front office, addition games/playroom at the back, private lake and preserve lot.It has many upgrades throughout including crown modeling, tile in main areas, vaulted ceilings, granite countertops and much more. Gorgeous kitchen with wood cabinetry and black onyx granite. Disappearing sliding glass doors in family room open up to lanai with a fabulous pool/spa. There is 1 bedroom and bath off of the upstairs bonus room that also has a relaxing balcony facing the preserve.  You will love the peaceful lake view with the preserve and woodlands in the distance with abundant wildlife. Three Car Garage. Within walking distance to elementary school, middle school and playgrounds. Call Jane Ebury for more details 941 726 9360

Jane Ebury