Southwest Florida’s luxury real estate market has awakened from its prolonged hibernation with a vengeance this summer — the season when activity for high-end home deals is usually at its slowest.
From locals seeking an upgrade to European investors and even athletes training at Bradenton’s IMG Academy, an influx of millionaires scouting homes in the region has helped the industry dodge its typical summer lull in a big way.
Some areas are leading the charge, but in all, brokers say luxury real estate is clearly mounting a comeback.
“There’s a slight frenzy going on right now,” said Michael Moulton, an agent with brokerage Michael Saunders & Co.’s Longboat Key office. “Things are selling good across the country right now, and with inventory dwindling, people are trying to take advantage of the market before prices rise like they did below the $1 million mark.”
Buyers in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties snapped up 56 homes priced above $1 million in July, a 51 percent increase from June and a 124 percent jump from the same time last year, property records show.
With another 45 luxury deals pending in Southwest Florida — and the average shelf-life for those listings shrinking — industry analysts believe the luxury home market is beginning to flirt with the same boom-like conditions that have amplified the more intermediate price ranges since late last year.