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Thinking of Moving to Sarasota?

Discover what living in the Suncoast is like.

If you're thinking about moving to Sarasota and currently doing your research online, you're exactly where you need to be. This page has been created to help you better understand the greater Sarasota area and what life could be like as a year-round resident in the Florida Suncoast. This page overviews the quality of life, local amenities, top-rated healthcare and local employment scene. We also encourage you to reach out to Julie Larson, our Sarasota relocation expert, as she is glad to answer any specific questions you may have about Sarasota including the local real estate market, housing prices and the annual cost of living.

About Sarasota, FL

Sarasota is a booming small city on the west coast of Florida. Located exactly 60 miles south of Tampa, Sarasota is best known for its top-rated Siesta Key Beach, its rich arts and cultural performances as well as its long-time connection to the famous circus-performing Ringling family. Sarasota offers residents a high quality of life year-round with endless outdoor activities, an expanding job and employment market as well as expert healthcare services from top-rated area hospitals. The population of Sarasota is approximately 57,000 (total Sarasota county population is 462,000 as of 2022).

Sarasota, FL Awards & Accolades

Sarasota commonly receives accolades and awards for its beaches, its quality retirement lifestyle as well as top-rated healthcare services. See recent mentions below.

Top 10 Reasons to Relocate to Sarasota

  1. Sarasota is a Top-Rated City to Live In
    Sarasota was ranked as the #2 "Best Place to Live" in all of Florida for 2024 - 2025 by US News & World Report. This study focused upon several main factors including the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, employment opportunities, desirability index, and net migration rates. Sarasota commonly ranks as a top Florida city to live in each year for many of the reasons listed on this page. View Full Rankings List.

    # City, State Average Home Price Average Age
    1 Naples, FL $602,301 66.9
    2 Sarasota, FL $463,088 49.8
    3 Pensacola, FL $268,175 39.1
    4 Tampa, FL $386,957 35.5
    5 Fort Myers, FL $366,916 40.6
      Average Home Prices as of June 1, 2024
  2. Florida Has No State Income Tax
    One big benefit of living in Florida is the lack of a state income tax. This means that you get to keep more of your hard-earned dollars. In place of a state tax, the state of Florida earns its dollars from the millions of tourists that visit our state each year through a 7% sales tax (state level) and a 5% tourist tax (county level) on revenues from rental properties and hotel stays that are for a term of six month or less. Once you become a Florida resident, you will be thankful for the tourists as they pay your share of the state taxes.
  3. Sarasota is the Home of Top-Rated Siesta Key Beach
    The beaches of Sarasota County are among the most beautiful and most popular beaches in the entire state of Florida. Top-rated Siesta Key Beach, located on Siesta Key, is Florida’s top-ranked beach and was most recently named as the #1 "Best Beach in Florida" by TripAdvisor in 2024. The beach’s powder-like, sugar sand stays cool to the touch, even on the hottest of Florida's summer days. View Siesta Key Beach.
  4. Sarasota County is Home to Top-Selling Communities
    Sarasota County is one of Florida's most popular relocation destinations on the gulf coast as it is home to Lakewood Ranch and Wellen Park, the #2 and #5 best-selling master-planned communities in all of Florida in 2023 (based upon mid-year sales). Palmer Ranch and Skye Ranch, situated between these two top-selling communities, are also popular choices for many upon moving to Florida. Click below to discover these growing communities.

  5. Sarasota Real Estate is Very Strong
    The Sarasota real estate market has been very strong in recent years with all the people who want to call Sarasota their home. At the start of June 2024, the median Sarasota home price is $463,088 and the median Sarasota monthly rent is $2,790 per month. In many cases, Sarasota locals will tell you that owning a home in Sarasota is often cheaper than renting. This is because we are a beach-oriented town with a large supply of vacation rentals which often come at a premium price, especially in season. To find out exact housing costs and the best Sarasota neighborhoods to live in, contact Julie Larson, our Sarasota relocation expert listed on this page.
  6. Sarasota Has Top-Rated Healthcare & Hospitals
    Sarasota's area hospitals include Sarasota Memorial Health Care (SMH) and Doctor’s hospital. Sarasota Memorial is located just south of downtown and Doctors Hospital is located at Bee Ridge and I-75. Both are top-rated hospitals and have received numerous awards and accolades in recent years
  7. Sarasota Offers a Year-Round Playground
    With an average year-round temperature of 73 degrees and 251 sunny days each year, Sarasota is a great Florida city to consider for the outdoor enthusiast. If you enjoy being on or near the water, try kayaking through the Lido Key mangroves, paddleboard in Sarasota Bay or explore the Intracoastal waterway by boat. If you enjoy walking or jogging in the Florida sunshine, take a stroll across the Ringling bridge or take a lap around Benderson Park (near the new UTC mall). Experience the view from the Ringling Bridge.
  8. Sarasota Has a Strong Job & Employment Market
    With an unemployment rate at only 3.4% in the 1st quarter of 2024 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), Sarasota's job and employment market has been very strong post pandemic. Top sectors of the Sarasota economy in the area include hospitality, healthcare, education, retail, trades and professional services. The Sarasota county employers include the local School Board, Sarasota Memorial Health Care (SMHC), Publix Supermarkets, PGT Industries and Sarasota County Government.
  9. Sarasota is a Cultural Home for the Performing Arts
    Sarasota has been named Florida's "Cultural City" with its active performing arts and theatrical scene. Since the early 1920’s, the city has enjoyed a strong connection to the famous Ringling family as the Circus Magnate, John Ringling and his wife, Mable, built their famous Ca' d'Zan Estate Home and Ringling Museum of Art upon settling in the area. Their mansion and art museum are open daily as attractions to visit year round.
  10. Sarasota Has Great Dining Options
    The greater Sarasota area offers a full array of casual sidewalk cafes to elegant, five-star restaurants. There’s also lots of cool, hip craft breweries and beer gardens to check out such as Mandeville, J Dubs, Big Top and Calusa Brewing. Many of these places are pet-friendly, offer live entertainment and some even offer corn hole and ping pong while you enjoy a fresh-crafted local brew. Downtown Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, St Armands Circle on Lido Key and Siesta Key Village are some of the popular, trendy destinations you’ll definitely want to check out!

Julie Larson


Your Sarasota Relocation Expert


Please mention Moving to Florida Guide when calling so I can track my marketing efforts. Thanks! White Sands Realty Group Logo
License # SL3294350

The Sarasota Market Real Estate Market

Market outlook, trends & relocation advice by Julie Larson

The Sarasota real estate market remains strong in the new year as many continue to relocate to the Suncoast from the Northeast, the Midwest and other parts of the county for our Florida climate and high-quality of life, especially for retirement. Sellers still have a slight advantage in this market as current inventory levels are at a 4.7 month supply, vs a balanced market of a 6 month supply. Many deals continue to remain all-cash or heavy-cash and I am still seeing a few multiple offers take place for properties which are priced correctly in choice neighborhoods and offer many resident amenities. For the heavily-financed buyer, they are now facing some challenges with the now higher rates where monthly payments can be as high as 40% or more for the same house than was nearly two years ago.

Sarasota's new construction market remains healthy as many top builders continue to announce new communities and offerings, mostly east of I-75 or in South Sarasota county as land is available to build. New construction releases tend to be in smaller quantities though and wait times are now much less than was during the market peak when supply chain issues were causing delays.

Sarasota Housing Market Outlook

My Outlook for the Sarasota housing market through year-end 2024 is a continuation of the same healthy buyer demand and slightly reduced inventory levels. Should the Fed begin to lower interest rates in late 2024 as they have hinted at, I would expect our housing market to see a increase in buyer activity at that time. I also expect home prices to remain mostly flat or slightly higher in the coming year, vs the high appreciation we saw in recent years.

Market Trends I'm Observing

Many of my buyers continue to seek out master-planned communities such as Palmer Ranch or Wellen Park as these communities offer many resident amenities and a variety of home styles from single family, townhome and condo at varying price points. I am also observing where listings are now sitting on the market slightly longer and is an overall healthy sign for our real estate market.

My Relocation Advice

The best relocation advice I can give is to choose an experienced Realtor who has a strong knowledge of the areas/neighborhoods you are seeking and to leverage this to your advantage. It’s also a good idea to start your search early to get a feel for the properties hitting the market and to see what they are selling for. Lastly, if you will be obtaining financing, reach out to a qualified lender to get pre-approved and to have your finances in order. I have several top lenders of which I am glad put you in touch with!

Sarasota Relocation Reviews:

Read what Julie's past clients are saying.

  • "Julie took the time to listen to our wants and needs, and also viewed countless properties with us until we found our perfect fit! We highly recommend Julie, she's the best!"
    April K.
    Home Buyer
  • "Julie was very professional yet she made us feel like family. She was very timely in returning calls and scheduling viewings. Julie made our home purchase peaceful and pleasant. She has a vast of knowledge and resources in the surrounding area of Sarasota."
    Deborah M.
    Home Buyer
  • "Julie Larson is the one person you want to work with when buying or selling a home. A native to the area, Julie brings insight in the nuances of the Gulfcoast area. Additionally, she is an extremely nice person, is delightful to work with and will give you her absolute best effort."
    Kim F.
    Home Buyer
  • View All Sarasota Relocation Reviews

Sarasota Area Map

Your Guide to Understanding the Greater Sarasota Area

The following map displays the popular regions of Sarasota that people are relocating to. Further down this page, the top residential neighborhoods within each of these regions are listed, as well as Sarasota's popular beaches and local airport. When you connect with Julie Larson, our Sarasota relocation expert listed on this page, she can show you the best Sarasota housing opportunities that meets your lifestyle preference, needs and overall budget.

Your Guide to Sarasota Real Estate, Beaches, Local Attractions & Employment

Sarasota Real Estate

Below are the most popular and top communities in Sarasota and the surrounding keys.

Lakewood Ranch
The Top Master-Planned Community in Sarasota

Lakewood Ranch, located east of I-75 at University Parkway, is a top-selling community in the state of Florida. Learn about Lakewood Ranch

Large Mediterranean-style home with lush landscape and brick pavers Lakewood Ranch Community View

Top Communities in Downtown Sarasota

  • Bird Key
  • Golden Gate Point
  • Rosemary District
  • Harbor Acres

Top Communities in North Sarasota

  • The Meadows
  • University Park

Top Communities in South Sarasota

  • Southgate
  • The Landings
  • Gulf Gate Estates

Top Communities in Palmer Ranch

  • Village Walk
  • Isles of Sarasota
  • Silver Oak
  • Sandhill Preserve
  • TPC Prestancia
  • Turtle Rock
Expand Top Communities List

Top Communities East of I-75

  • Heritage Oaks Golf & CC
  • Laurel Oak Country Club
  • Bent Tree Country Club
  • TPC Prestancia
  • Misty Creek Country Club
  • Tuscana

Top Communities on Siesta Key

  • Siesta Cove
  • Siesta Isles
  • Sara Sands
  • Tortoise Estates

Top Communities on Longboat Key

  • Country Club Shores
  • Longboat Key Club
  • Harbour Oaks
  • Bay Isles

Top Communities on Lido Key

  • Lido Shores
  • St. Armands Key

Top Beaches in Sarasota

Sarasota is home to the #1 rated top-rated beach in the country, as well as other great local beaches.

  • Siesta Key Beach (#1 Beach in the USA)
  • Lido Key Beaches
  • Longboat Key Beaches

Popular Sarasota Area Attractions

  • John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
  • The Ringling Estate (Ca' d'Zan)
  • Sarasota Jungle Gardens
  • Asolo Repertory Theatre
  • Sarasota Classic Car Museum
  • St. Armands Circle
  • Save Our Seabirds (Learning Center)
  • Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
  • Ed Smith Baseball Stadium
  • Circus Sarasota
  • Big Cat Habitat Sanctuary
  • Oscar Scherer State Park
  • Historic Spanish Point
  • Venice Jetty
  • Venice Community Theatre
  • Venice Fishing Pier

Sarasota Area Shopping Centers

The Sarasota has three main shopping centers including the following.

  • University Town Center Mall (UTC)
  • Westfield Sarasota Square
  • Westfield Siesta Key

Sarasota Employers

Sarasota is home to many of the top and best employers in Sarasota County, and many are headquartered here locally. I've also listed the largest employers in Sarasota and nearby Manatee County.

Top Medical Companies in Sarasota

  • Doctors Hospital
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH)
  • Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Top Technology Companies in Sarasota

  • Clickbooth
  • Voalte

Top Financial Services Companies in Sarasota

  • Northwestern Mutual
  • FCCI Insurance Group

Top Business Solution Companies in Sarasota

  • S-One Holdings Corporation
  • TriNet
  • Shared Services Center

Top Manufacturing Companies in Sarasota

  • Tervis
  • PGT Industries
  • Tropicana
  • Sun Hydraulics

Largest Employers in Sarasota County

  • Sarasota Memorial Health Care
  • School Board of Sarasota County
  • Sarasota County Government
  • Publix Supermakets, Inc.
  • PGT Industries
  • Venice Regional Bayfront Health
  • Goodwill Industries Manasota
  • City of Sarasota
  • Sun Hydraulics Corporation
  • Tervis
  • Doctors Hospital of Sarasota
  • Tidewell Hospice
  • City of North Port
  • The Ritz-Carlton of Sarasota
  • Ringling College
  • ASO, LLC
  • Shared Services Center
  • FCCI Insurance Group
  • Englewood Community Hospital
  • Expert Global Solutions

Largest Employers in Manatee County

  • Manatee County Government
  • Manatee County School District
  • Beall's Inc.
  • Tropicana Products, Inc.
  • Manatee Memorial Hospital
  • Manatee County Sheriff's Dept
  • Blake Medical Center
  • Feld Entertainment
  • IMG Academies
  • City of Bradenton
  • SCF Manatee - Sarasota
  • Publix Supermarkets
  • TriNet
  • SYSCO West Coast Florida, Inc.

How Does Sarasota Compare?

Click below to see how Sarasota compares and contrasts to the nearby cities of Venice and Tampa.
Sarasota vs Venice skyline images
Sarasota vs. Venice    
Tampa vs Sarasota skyline images
  Tampa vs. Sarasota
Lakewood Ranch vs Palmer Ranch community images
Lakewood Ranch vs. Palmer Ranch