The Bottom Line for Luxury Properties

4300higelave_aThis past summer, the Federal Reserve reported that the nation’s post-recession net worth has risen to $74.8 trillion—compared with $67.8 trillion in 2007. That means the value of our homes, stocks and other investments—minus debts and other liabilities—has reached its highest level since records have been kept, not adjusting for inflation. Thus with their post-recession assets better than completely restored—and with their confidence in real estate as a solid long-term investment fully re-booted—buyers for luxury properties in Southwest Florida have come calling again in sizeable numbers. During the first three quarters of 2013, sales of luxury properties priced above $1 million in Sarasota and Manatee Counties rose 26% over the same period in 2012; and were up 53% over the first three quarters of 2011. (Source: Trendgraphix, October 2013) Florida’s Population Growth That property sales are up across all price ranges is underscored by the resumption of Florida’s explosive population growth. Both Politifact Florida and Moody’s estimate that Florida’s population will grow by 360,000 in 2013—which translates to nearly 1,000 newcomers each day. These are remarkable numbers, especially as they represent net migration—people moving in minus people moving out—and are known to include a significant number of high net-worth individuals. Many of these affluent newcomers are here to enjoy more than a lifestyle filled with sunshine, culture and recreation. They are also intent on preserving their freshly-recovered assets by relocating to a low tax state. How Money Walks, a new study by Travis H. Brown, shows that no state has benefitted more from wealth migration than Florida. During the 18 years tracked in his study, Brown estimates that $95.6 billion in net wealth flooded into the state’s economy, more than tripling Arizona’s second-place finish of $28 billion. Remarkably, over half of this incoming wealth was captured from just five states—New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Interestingly, these states exactly overlap the states from which the most online visits to originate. Whether this overlap is the direct result of the company reaching out to as many high net worth buyers as possible through a targeted combination of traditional and online media; as well as through affiliations with the world’s most powerful purveyors of luxury real estate—including Christie’s International Real Estate and Luxury Portfolio International—is difficult to assess. Connecting Buyers and Sellers This, however, can be said with complete certainty: Over the past 12 months—as in years past—the real estate agents from Michael Saunders & Company brought buyers to more sales involving properties priced above $1 million than the next two leading brokerages combined. (Source: Trendgraphix, whose monthly reports are based on actual sales data supplied by the Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service) The bottom line? If you have a luxury home or condominium to sell, it makes sense to list it with the brokerage that buyers flock to most often for the finest properties in Southwest Florida.

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