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Congress Looks at a Delay in Flood Insurance Rate Hikes

by Roger C. Pettingell

Congress Looks at a Delay in Rate Hikes

Anna Maria IslandThere may be some relief for rising flood insurance premiums. Florida elected leaders Governor Rick Scott and U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have been pressuring House and Senate leaders to ease up on expected higher premiums.

The premiums are necessary to fix a $25 billion debt incurred by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through disastrous flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in the south and tropical storm Sandy in the Northeast. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act was designed to mitigate the deficit in the NFIP, now bi-partisan support in the House and Senate may delay the implementation of the reform act.

A delay could mean welcome news for home sellers whose buyers contemplate the insurance rate hikes as a reason to hold off on buying a home on a flood plain. The homes in Sarasota County most affected are average priced homes estimated to be worth $169,700.

The legislative fix and delay is sought to study the affordability of these rate hikes by the average homeowner. The key components of new legislation will delay rate hikes for up to four years on the most vulnerable homes and a delay of up to two years for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete an affordability study. The FEMA affordability study was mandated in the original bill but was not carried out.

The bill to delay the efforts of the reform act is gaining strength on both sides of the aisle but the issue may not hit the floor for a vote because Congress is involved in new health care procedures and a national debate over the debt ceiling.

That may mean that 65 percent of the homes in this area are still in line for higher premiums if Congress fails to act.

Florida Looking Good For Segment Growth in the Housing Market

by Roger C. Pettingell

Florida Looking Good For Segment Growth

L'Ambiance property values for these luxury waterfront condominum receive a boost in 2014.​The real estate market is poised for a rebound and Florida may be the leader in higher home prices. This is good news for sellers. Buyers should be aware that the homes may creep up in price and interest rates may go up with economic indicators.

Buyers are still looking at that sweet spot to take advantage of homes that have good value in this market. A prediction by the Home Buying Institute suggests that Florida will be the new hot real estate location in 2014, surpassing other areas of the country including California and cities such as Las Vegas and Phoenix.

The local market is also seeing an uptick with brisk sales since the start of this year. Within three counties of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte, 18,487 single family homes were sold in that period, an 18 percent rise over the same period last year.

With higher demand and lower inventory, median prices for homes increased 18 percent over 2012. In a burgeoning economy interest rates may see increases up one or two points to help buyers think that now should be a better time to purchase.

The luxury condominium market is on the upswing in Sarasota as well. Condominium sales between $700,000 and $1 Million compared to September of 2012 were reported to be up 367%.

(Update on November 20, 2103) The figures continue to look good for a second straight month. According to a report issued by the Sarasota Association of Realtors, there was a dramatic increase in the median sale price of residential real estate. Single family homes in Sarasota were up 11.6% over the same period in October to $185,776. Condominium prices spiked to $175,000 this October, a 20.7 % increase over last October mean prices.

The sale of homes are up this month in three local counties. In Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties there was a 10% increase in home sales over October 2012. Among the tri-county 1,850 homes and condominiums sold in October of this year, luxury home sales increased in Manatee County to an average sale price of $1.77 million on 11 home sales. The most expensive of these homes was on Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key that went for $3.25 million. Seven luxury homes were sold in Manatee County in October 2012.

Contact us if you have a home ready to put on the market, this is a great time to get your home listed. Call the office at (941) 387-1840 to set up an appointment.

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About Roger Pettingell

Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.