By Lisa Codianne Fowler & Jane Bartnett
A Siesta Key home with a boat slip, only steps away from your residence or lanai, is what realtors call a dream home. As the pandemic wears on, buyers’ interest in homes with private docks to house their sailboats and motor boats has grown. Siesta Key realtor Bob Ruiz of Key Solutions has seen sales of luxury properties with boat slips increase significantly in the past year. “Waterfront properties, both single-family homes and condos with boat docks, are in particularly high demand,” he said.
A mid-November 2020 search of Realtor.com, by the Siesta Sand found 24 properties with boat docks listed for sale. Of that group, eight were single family homes, 14 were condominium units, there was one townhouse, and one piece of open land. Prices for the condominium listings ranged from $365,000 for a 831 square foot unit with one bedroom and one bath, to $975,000 for a three bed, 2,166 foot unit with 2.5 baths. The lone townhouse was listed at $649,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,827 square foot unit. Of the eight single family homes with boat docks, prices ranged from a low of $995,000 for a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2, 798 square foot house, to a high of $6,200,000 for a 4 bedroom, 5.5 bath home, with 6,413 square feet. The open waterfront land, a .9 acre lot, was listed at $2,995,000.
According to data supplied to the Siesta Sand by the Westerberg Group for waterfront Siesta Key homes, in October 2019, there were 68 waterfront homes (not all with boat slips) available for sale. In October 2020, only 46 were on the market. Average days on the market also showed a steep decline from 160 in 2019 to 137 days in 2020. In October 2019, the average price for a Siesta Key waterfront home was $2,177,000. One year later, the average was $2,908, 000, reflecting a 33% price increase.
Canal-front single-family homes are another unique and desirable category in this market. “Homes on canals with boat slips have special appeal to buyers who want easy access to open waters,” notes Siesta Key realtor Joe Kesslak of the Gulf Coast Group. “I’ve had clients say, ‘Purchasing a home on a canal, close to the beach, gives us the best of both worlds.” Dan Miller of Re/Max reported that “canal-front properties are extremely hot. Having the ability to walk out your patio door and get on your boat, and not have to go through pulling it out of the water and trailering it somewhere is incredibly convenient,” he noted.
“All real estate has gotten stronger over the past six months, but properties that have boating water have gotten even stronger, and sellers are getting their prices,” according to Linn Dunn of Team Dunn/Michael Saunders. “They are selling quicker and closer to full asking price. In the past,” he stated, “we would have had more negotiating room.”
For boat owners in the market for a new home and a dock, properties with existing docks have an advantage. “Many of those docks are grandfathered in,” Dunn advised. “It’s very difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to get permitting for new ones,” he explained. “To maintain or refurbish one is a lot cheaper than adding a new one.”
Demand for single family homes with boat slips remains stronger than for condos with dock space, according to local realtors. Seth Westerberg of the Westerberg Group/Keller Williams on the Water noted, “”We see people with condos looking for houses, and that’s putting a further strain on the market.” Last year there were 15 waterfront homes for sale under a million. Now there are two,” he advised. The scarcity, Westerberg explained, has caused asking prices to hold at a historical high.
The growing number of younger, affluent buyers who want to live and work from their Siesta Key home with access to the water is also changing the market. “It’s the ultimate social distancing activity,” commented Sunny Westerberg of the Westerberg Group. “Going out on your boat, it gets you away from the rest of the world.”
6701 Peacock Rd.
Team Dunn Michael Saunders recently sold this luxury Siesta Key single family home at 6701 Peacock Lane with a private dock, for $7,825,000. Photo credit: Gianfranco Spagnolo Photography
Photo credit: The Westerberg Group
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