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SRQ DAILY Jul 29, 2017

"This is forcing sellers to reassess their pricing strategy, potentially creating an advantage for buyers seeking a home."

- Michael Moulton, Michael Saunders and Company

[The Detail]  Where The Boys Are
Cathy Antunes, cathycantunes@gmail.com

The Bayfront 20:20 Steering Committee membership was announced this week. The seven members of the group are all accomplished fellas, and those on the committee I know are very nice fellas. But they are all fellas, and yes, they are all white fellas, God bless them every one. When this announcement went out, and in the formation of this group, it seems it didn’t occur to anyone involved in the selection process that putting together a group which represents our community would mean including women and minority leaders. That blind spot is the definition of bias, for those with bias are unaware of their bias. It’s 2017 and I can’t believe this column is necessary, but here we are.

What is Bayfront 20:20? Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 is group engaged in gathering community input and communication with the public regarding redeveloping the City’s 42 public acres along the bay (including the Van Wezel performing arts hall). The organization has conducted over 145 meetings, six community forums, with over 2,700 participants and solicited over 200 pages of comments and 170 ideas about the future of Sarasota’s bayfront. Bayfront 20:20 has launched a website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

At first, I didn’t read through their whole steering committee announcement. Then comments from friends started coming in, which ranged from “Can you believe this?” “Is this 1956?” and “Notice anything missing?” to “The Chamber is a civic group?” People in Sarasota are noticing that the organization that has taken the lead role in articulating how the future of our City will look has chosen to be led by a steering committee that does not represent the community’s diversity. Take note: our five-member City Commission is comprised of three women and two men, two African-Americans and three Caucasians.

The Steering Committee was gathered with an eye toward representing cultural and educational organizations, neighborhood associations and civic groups, however a Chamber of Commerce official fills one “civic group” slot. The neighborhood associations category fails to include a representative from the Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations, the most established, active (and I’d say effective) neighborhood association group in the City. Is this the best we can do?

Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 has done an excellent job of gathering community input, and it appeared last fall that the next phase of planning would be taken over by the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization, or SBPO. The Herald-Tribune reported last October that this new 501c3 would operate under the state Sunshine Law and “succeed” Bayfront 20:20 in leading a “community-centered effort to create a master plan” for the city’s public bayfront acreage.

The SBPO’s nine-member board is, thankfully, a diverse group. But why is Bayfront 20:20 announcing a steering committee if SBPO is succeeding them?

It can be a challenge for any group to take a step back and pass the baton. Much great work has been done here, but public confidence and support for bayfront redevelopment requires inclusion, transparency, diversity and clarity. How about it fellas?

Cathy Antunes serves on the board of Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government and hosts a radio show on WSRQ. Listen to Antunes Fridays at 2pm on The Detail, WSRQ Radio, 106.9-FM, 98.3-FM or 1220-AM.


[Real Estate]  Spring Sales Swell
Michael Moulton

Looking back at the Spring Selling Season in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, total sales in the months March-May grew more than 7 percent over 2016, with condominium transactions seeing the largest growth over prior year. At the same time, inventory has also grown generally keeping up with demand, and has been pretty evenly split between new listings of single-family and condominiums.

The result of this steady sales and inventory growth has been a shift, bringing the market closer to neither favoring sellers nor buyers. However, in the less than $250,000 tier there continues to be a scarcity of product, especially in the most desirable locations where our workforce and young families are looking to buy.

In the greater than $1 million tier, inventory has grown quite substantially in the single-family home segment, taking available properties to a nearly 15-month supply. This is forcing sellers to reassess their pricing strategy, potentially creating an advantage for buyers seeking a home in this category. In the luxury market of condominiums, inventory is closer to a 6-month supply, which is considered a position of market equilibrium.

In May, pending sales once again improved over prior year, indicating that June sales may again show growth in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. Recent surveys of consumer confidence have shown that it continues to rise, further fueling the all-important economic engine of real estate. Analyses of the homebuilder market also reflects their confidence in the market’s demand and ability to absorb new homes and multi-family development.

In addition, economists have released their projections after the first quarter of 2017 indicating that, barring any major geopolitical disruption, the U.S. economy is on track to grow GDP at a rate of 2.5-3 percent over the next few years, after a flat 2-percent rate for the last eight years. This is expected to translate into more jobs and wage growth, increased household wealth, and will most likely trigger more investment in real estate.

Looking at the whole of The Sarasota Real Estate Market and comparing to national and state data, the following are some of the key points that I assimilated from the many resources I review on a monthly basis:

  • Total sales in The Sarasota Real Estate Market in May improved by 10 percent over prior year and increased slightly from April, with total dollar volume rising by $6 million over April and approximately $8 million over May 2016.
  • Single-family home sales in May of 822 were 61 more than a year ago or 8.7 percent higher, and increased slightly compared to April. Florida single-family sales grew 7.6 percent compared to last year, recording the most ever homes sold in a month. U.S. sales were up 2.7 percent from prior year.
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 425 in Sarasota in May was nearly 13 percent higher than a year ago, and increased by 44 sold properties from the prior month. Florida condo sales were 8 percent higher than May 2016, also setting an all-time record. Condo sales nationally grew 3.2 percent over May 2016.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single-family sales was 653, and for this year the monthly average is 678. For condos the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301, and this year it is 349.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 36 percent of single-family and 62 percent of condos sales were closed without a mortgage. By comparison, all cash transactions in all of the U.S. were 22 percent of sales.
  • Pending sales of 753 homes that went under contract during May, increased by 12 sales over the same month last year, a 1.6-percent increase. Condominium pending sales of 425 increased by 48 sales from a year ago, a 4.2-percent increase. This statistic is helpful in projecting sales growth in the 30-60 days ahead. U.S. pending sales fell 1.7 percent compared to prior year. Florida's pending sales saw approximately 7.5 percent increase in homes going under contract in May.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 795 for houses and 401 for condos.

Despite being in what many consider to be our quieter summer selling season, I have seen only a slight dip in demand from new and repeat clients looking to purchase. I am convinced that the Sarasota Real Estate Market is a year-round pursuit for eager buyers and sellers. 

Michael Moulton is a certified residential specialist broker-associate with Michael Saunders and Company. 

Sarasota's Finest Properties

[[SCOOP]]  Yamuna Costa Rican Rainforest Rolling Retreat

This retreat is exactly what you are looking for! A week dedicated to feeling better in your body, healthy eating, good laughs and wholehearted adventure in the Costa Rica Rainforest. The venue Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, is the perfect place to truly unwind and reconnect with nature. Unplug from your busy life as you truly unwind for 7 Days and & 6 nights with a daily detailed Yamuna® Body Rolling program, afternoon restorative yoga sessions and soaks in the hot springs.  Yamuna® is a program where your body weight sinks into an exercise ball and as your body elongates traction is created that allows a deep release, giving you the benefits of a full body fitness workout, yoga, massage and healing.  Treat yourself to a week that’s a sanctuary for the soul. Come restore and renew in Costa Rica, because you deserve it. 

Body Rolling Dianne Glass

[[SCOOP]]  Classic Movies At The Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Opera has expanded their HD at the Movie House series entitled Classic Moves at the Opera House. Originally designed as a movie house and vaudeville theater, Sarasota Opera is embracing the history of the building by bringing many of the classic films that once played at the theater when they originally premiered. This inaugural series will consist of five movies ranging in years from 1935-1972 beginning Friday, August 18t and run through September 22. Sarasota Opera will join forces with The Circus Arts Conservatory on August 18 for the opening showing of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth re-creating some of the circus magic that was seen around the theater at the original Sarasota premiere of the film on January 31, 1952. 

Sarasota Opera

[[SCOOP]]  FST Welcomes New Director Of Artistic Operations And Marketing Director

Florida Studio Theatre is pleased to announce their new Director of Artistic Operations, Greg London and Marketing Director, Becca Jennings. In his role, London will serve as a Chief of Staff for the Producing Artistic Director. This newly created position comes as a result of the tremendous growth seen in the last few years at Florida Studio Theatre. London will work as liaison with the Production Department, Casting and Creative Staff hiring, as well as the Literary Department and New Play Development. London comes to FST with over 20 years of professional theatre experience. Joining FST all the way from Philadelphia, PA, Jennings previously served as Marketing and Communications Manager for First Person Arts.  An artist herself, Becca holds a BFA in 2D Fine Art and a Minor in Art History from Moore College of Art & Design. In her role as the Marketing Director, Jennings will oversee the entire Marketing Department. Jennings will manage all aspects of Public Relations, Communications, Advertising, and Digital/Social Media. 

Florida Studio Theatre

[[SCOOP]]  Embracing Our Differences Receives Grant From State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs

The State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs awarded Embracing Our Differences a $20,016 General Program Support Grant to help fund its 2017-2018 cultural and artistic programming, which includes its annual international art exhibition in Sarasota’s Island Park. The 2018 exhibition is scheduled for March 31-May 31. For 14 years, Embracing Our Differences has drawn on the passion and perception of artists, writers, students and others from around the state, nation and the world to create powerful statements of diversity and acceptance in an outdoor exhibit featuring 45 billboard-size images and quotes reflecting the theme, "enriching lives through diversity.” The grant will also be directed to empower EOD’s annual educational outreach programs and initiatives. The Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida’s legislatively designated state arts agency. The Division promotes the arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians. To achieve its mission, the Division funds and supports cultural programs that provide artistic excellence, diversity, education, access and economic vitality for Florida’s communities. 

Embracing Our Differences

[[SCOOP]]  Unicorn Sighting at Sift Bakehouse

Sift Bakehouse, nestled between McAnsh Square and South Pineapple Ave, have created a mystical cupcake batter bringing vanilla and chocolate Unicorns to Sarasota! Atop the cake are delicate fondant ears and a horn with frosting covered in glittering stars that light up the confection. Infused with magic, sprinkled with fairy dust and smothered in buttercream these treats will transport your tastebuds to a land of fantasy. However, much like the Unicorns in fables, they are rare creatures and will often disappear within an hour of being in Sift’s display case. Call the keepers in advance at 941-552-8079 to ensure there has been a unicorn sighting before venturing to the Bakehouse. 

Sift Bakehouse

[[KUDOS]]  Goodwill Manasota is Certified as a Healthy Business Leader

Goodwill Manasota has been recognized as a Health Links Certified ‘Healthy Business Leader’ in Manatee County due to its holistic approach to creating a culture of health and safety in the workplace.  Health Links is a signature program of the Center for Health, Work and Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health that recognizes businesses for their excellence in workplace health and safety. As a Certified Healthy Business Leader, the top tier of recognition possible, Goodwill has been recognized for holding managers and supervisors accountable for supporting health and safety, integrating health and safety efforts, actively preventing workplace injuries, and extending health and safety services to employee spouses, domestic partners, dependents, and the greater community. 

Experience Goodwill

[[SCOOP]]  CareerSource Suncoast Delivers Value To 33 Career Academy Graduates

CareerSource Suncoast held a graduation for 33 students from its 5-week Career Academy. This summer program provided juniors, seniors and recent graduates an opportunity to learn important leadership skills, financial literacy, personal branding, community engagement and career exploration.  In addition to time in the classroom, students visited 22 local businesses in healthcare, construction, manufacturing and IT. These businesses provided the students with hands-on experiences in a variety of industries so they could be exposed to careers that may spark their interest. “During this year’s Career Academy, students demonstrated the understanding of key transferable skills to be successful in the workplace,” says Chris Laney, Director of Education & Community Investment for CareerSource Suncoast. “It is not enough to teach students the importance of interviewing and building a good resume, but to get to the underlying needs employers are asking for in this region. Students need to be prepared to work with others and understand the importance of grit. We feel these students are better prepared today for whatever career they’re interested in pursuing.” 

CareerSource Suncoast

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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