Sarasota Still Tops Retirement Destination List

Photo: A $!9.9 million estate on Casey Key.

The Sarasota market once again has topped the U.S. News & World Report list for best communities in the U.S. to retire.

“This metro area of just over 800,000 people has a renowned opera house, a number of rooftop bars and the popular beach of Siesta Key,” reported writer Elizabeth Djinis. “What makes the region special is its duality — downtown Sarasota boasts resorts and fine dining, but strolling Siesta Key Village or St. Armands Circle offers a more intimate, seaside ambience.”

The national outlet based its 2021-2022 rankings on public data, studying the top 150 metropolitan areas in the nation, and also used an online survey of Americans age 45 and older. From there, a variety of criteria were qualified.

The Sarasota market performed particularly well in net migration, looking at how many buyers were moving into the market compared to the number of people leaving, with the local market scoring a 9.7 on a scale of 10.

Florida cities ranked particularly well with News & World Report as far as retirement destinations. Eight of the top 10 markets were located in the Sunshine State. Sarasota narrowly beat out Naples (No. 2), Daytona Beach (No. 3) Melbourne (No. 4), Lancaster, Penn. (No. 5), Tampa (No. 6), Fort Myers (No. 7), Port St. Lucie (No. 8), Ann Arbor, Mich. (No. 9) and Pensacola (No. 10).

In addition to topping the list of retirement locales, the publication also called Sarasota the No. 2 place for any buyer to consider in Florida, behind Naples. The community also was listed as the second-fastest growing market in the nation, behind only Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

That’s consistent with the latest publicly available information on sales in the market from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

The latest report, on sales in February, showed North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan market with a 0.6-month inventory of single-family homes and only a 0.5-month inventory of townhomes and condominium units.


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