Archives July, 2011

The Neighborhood Report – Little Gasparilla Island

Discover a relaxed way of life on Little Gasparilla Island. Photo courtesy of James Royce Photography.

Enjoy a perfect vacation destination with balmy breezes and dazzling sunsets. A barrier island located just north of Boca Grande, Little Gasparilla Island is where you will find peace and tranquility while engaging in your favorite water-based pastimes. This bridgeless tropical respite is a world away from the rush and hurried pace of the mainland, as there are no roads and no traffic. (more…)

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Linda McKenzie to the St. Armands office.

With a degree in Accounting/Business Administration from Charleston Southern University, combined with eight years of experience in a local law firm, Linda began her real estate career in Charleston, SC, with the opening of Linda McKenzie Realty in 1982.  She became the exclusive broker for two on-site, multi-family waterfront developments, working with a developer from Atlanta, GA.

 Linda was involved in advertising, model-set up and design, on-site sales office, floor plan design, site selection and demographics. She also opened a home accessories store for her clients and models.

 Linda also worked as a commercial broker, representing a franchise restaurant chain in the southeast and had a brief association with the Hilton Corporation.

 With expertise in waterfront properties, Linda began her real estate career in Sarasota, FL, in 1992. She later opened Luxury Homes Links in Sarasota, and in 2001 started a subsidiary mortgage business, Secure Home Links.

 Linda has recently maintained her office of Distinctive Homes of the Carolinas in Charleston, SC, and North Carolina and is now back in Sarasota with a full time commitment to helping restore values in our community.



Standout Statistics on International Buyers

The 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity is hot off the presses. Compiled by the National Association of REALTORS®, this year’s survey contains some standout statistics that should make home sellers in Southwest Florida very happy.  Chief among them is the percentage of total sales accounted for by international buyers.

According to the survey, most states report some degree of international buying activity.  Yet Florida, along with just three other states—California, Texas and Arizona—account for 58% of all sales to international buyers.   Moreover, Florida’s share—presently at 31.0%—is higher than the combined shares of California (12.0%), Texas (9.0%) and Arizona (6.0%).  This represents a threefold increase in international property transactions in just four years.  In 2007, Florida enjoyed only 10% of international sales.


Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties: June ’11 – Year Over Year Sales Comparison

Across the tri-county region, the number of properties for sale continued to decline dramatically as a result of accelerated buying activity. Closed sales dropped in June across Sarasota and Manatee Counties due both to the expected summer lull; and in comparison with last year, when the government’s tax credit was in its final days of eligibility. Pendings however, were up sharply in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties—indicative of stronger sales in the immediate months ahead.






Golden Gate Point, FL – Neighborhood Video

Situated on its own peninsula in the center of Sarasota Bay, Golden Gate Point offers an array of luxury residential buildings with what may well be the best views in town. The barrier islands, the Gulf, the downtown skyline, the pleasure boats arriving at the marina—all provide a memorable panorama of everything that makes Sarasota so beautiful.

Golden Gate Point is part of the city’s new urban excitement, with wonderful restaurants, boutiques, cafes, art galleries and cultural activities all concentrated on the beautiful bay front. Here, everything is just a short stroll away. But there is no commercial activity on the Point. It remains its own special enclave, tucked away on a 22 acre promontory bordered by sparkling water.


Saunders Luxury Sales report for July 23, 2011

Michaels Saunders & Company is proud to announce several closings made possible through the professional representation of our agents who work each day to fulfill the unique needs of homebuyers and sellers.  For the week ending July 23, 2011, the properties below sold for over $1 million:

Carol Cohen of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer of an amazing condominium at The Sanctuary on Longboat Key.  The unit sold for $1,075,000 on July 6, 2011.  Coldwell Banker represented the seller.

Annette Ayers and Sania Allen of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller and June Howell, also of Michael Saunders & Company, represented the buyer of a beautiful Siesta Key beach house.  It sold for $1,800,000 on July 7, 2011.

Hannerle Moore of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller and Richard Perlman of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer of a corner unit at L’Ambiance on Longboat Key.  The condominium sold for $1,400,000 on July 14, 2011.

Linda Dickinson of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller of a luxurious beachfront estate in Nokomis.  The residence sold for $7,575,000 on July 15, 2001.  Southbay Realty represented the buyer.

Linda Dickinson of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller of a charming three-story home located on Siesta Key.  It sold for $1,975,000 on July 15, 2011.  Coldwell Banker represented the buyer.

Jennifer Schwell of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer of a breathtaking home in Villa Di Luna on Longboat Key.  The residence sold for $1,312,500 on July 19, 2011.  Coldwell Banker represented the seller.

Audrey & Jill Singer of Michael Saunders & Company represented both the seller and buyer of a bay view home on Bird Key.  The residence sold for $1,250,000 on July 22, 2011.

A Six-Year Snapshot

A picture is worth a thousand words.  But it takes a graph to provide a snapshot of Sarasota County’s housing market over the past six years.

 The inventory of properties as of the latest quarter—which ended June 30th—bears a passing resemblance to late 2005, as shown by Trendgraphix* in its latest monthly report based on actual MLS sales.  Back then the “boom’ was at its peak, with buyers reducing the number of properties for sale to just a 3.8 month supply.  With demand far exceeding supply, sellers had a grip on the market; and prices soared.

We all know what happened next.  Buyers eventually said “no” to overinflated prices, inventories of unsold properties began to pile up, and prices began their long steady correction.  Today’s average “sold” price is now less than half of what it was during the height of the boom; and buyers—motivated by a restored sense of value—have reduced inventories by nearly 60% from their boom-time highs.

At present, there is a 6.2-month inventory of properties for sale, just shy of the 6-month supply indicative of a balanced market; and down considerably from the 30-month range of unsold inventory that existed throughout much of 2007.   There still exists a substantial inventory of properties priced above $1 million, but priced-right properties are selling at a faster pace with each passing month.

Our market’s recovering balance is reflected by the fact that it is both a good time to buy, with prices bumping along the bottom; AND a good time to sell, with competitive inventories running at a 5-1/2 year low.  Plus, the number of new listings has dropped by 20% since May; and the number of foreclosures—though expected to gradually increase—is at its lowest level since late 2009.

 *  Trendgraphix is an independent, unbiased source for the latest trends in monthly home sales and other data, based on information reported monthly by the MLS.

Residential Property Sale Establishes New Benchmark for Casey Key

Listed By Linda Roe Dickinson, Of Michael Saunders & Company, Sale Is The Largest Transaction On Casey Key Since 2009.

A Gulf-front estate listed by Linda Roe Dickinson—of Michael Saunders & Company—became Casey Key’s highest selling property of 2011 when it closed on July 15.  The sale was also the year’s second highest involving residential properties in Sarasota County; yet another indicator that the market for high value properties in Southwest Florida has improved considerably.  The last time a Casey Key property sold for a higher amount was in November 2009.

The 1.65-acre estate, whose mansion includes more than 10,000 square feet under air, is situated on 200 feet of Casey Key shoreline with magnificent views of the Gulf of Mexico.  There are two master suites, one up and one down; and three guest suites.  The outdoor spaces include a living area that wraps the Gulf side of the house, a summer kitchen, disappearing edge swimming pool and spa.  Gated and walled, the home is accessed via a handsome porte-cochere with circular drive and motor court.  There is an 8-car garage and separate caretaker’s building.

Linda Roe Dickinson has lived in Sarasota since 1975 and been the top-producing agent for Michael Saunders & Company for the past seven consecutive years.

Humane Society and MS&C Lakewood Ranch Office Team Up

The Michael Saunders’ Lakewood Ranch office will be competing with other local businesses to see who can make the best hot dog at this weekend’s Humane Society Event. It takes place this Sunday, from 11-3pm at Adventure Park in Lakewood Ranch. Come and experience great food, games and fun – and check out the HS animals too! Dogs on leashes are welcome. We hope to see you there. (Adults $3, Teens $2, Kids under 12 free)

For more information visit:

Sandy Hook, FL – Neighborhood Video

Siesta Key’s Sandy Hook is a unique, private neighborhood of just 42 homes. First developed during the heyday of the famous Sarasota School of Architecture, many of the residences here have distinguished pedigrees. They were designed by masters of modernism and their elegant lines are as beautiful today as they were when Siesta Key was a hide-away for affluent painters and writers.

Sandy Hook has a distinctive look. Its homes discreetly blend in with the tropical vegetation, and the winding roads, some still the original shell, meander through the island atmosphere. The community boasts a private white sand beach, with cabanas for the residents to enjoy, and the views out to the Gulf and nearby Lido Key are spectacular.

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