Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Concession Shakes off Recession

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Concession Shakes off Recession

Article excerpt

Sales and model homes are going up at upscale home development that suffered during economic downturn

ONE OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA'S most prestigious golf course communities has seen a strong rebound in home sales this year, a sign more buyers are feeling confident in the region's luxury real estate market.

In the wake of the prolonged slump that froze sales, The Concession in East Manatee has experienced more activity this year than at any time since the mid-2000s, when area housing prices climbed to record highs.

The turnaround is consistent with luxury markets in Lakewood Ranch and throughout the region's barrier islands, which also are attracting affluent buyers at an accelerated pace.

"People are moving to Sarasota, and they are looking for communities with space, privacy and security," said Mark Bruce, director of sales at The Concession Real Estate Co. "For us, it's more about the spaciousness we offer."

The Concession, a gated community known for its links designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, debuted during the real estate boom of the mid-2000s before falling victim to the market crash in 2007, when luxury homebuying dried up.

But a comeback is evident.

Buyers acquired five new home sites in The Concession in August, bringing the year-to-date total to 41 sales. Last year's final count was 32.

Ninety 90 home sites remaini available in the 236-lot community. One-acre sites are priced starting from $229,000, with home and lot packages from $1 million.

During the summer, The Concession also had six homes sell on the resale market, at prices ranging from $1.5 million to $2.8 million. By comparison, only two existing homes changes hands in the community throughout all of 2013, Bruce said.

Tourism promotion help

He attributes the recent uptick in part to the region's tourism marketing, which has helped potential homebuyers from outside the area become more familiar with Southwest Florida and its real estate opportunities.

About half of the recent Concession buyers are from out of town; the remainder relocated from within five miles of the community's gates. …

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