The Sarasota market has been strong for many years now, and property values have steadily increased. There has been a healthy influx of new arrivals to our area and waterfront property has been very attractive to those who can afford it. Recently, an extended outbreak of Karenia Brevis algae (Red Tide) has challenged the notion that waterfront property is always a good investment.
There is uncertainty even among experts as to what truly causes large outbreaks such as this. We do know the algae outbreaks are a naturally occurring event but the real question is; What triggers the massive growth we have seen lately? The answer is likely a multitude of factors which have lately worked together to form a perfect storm for its growth along our coast. Some are natural, such as iron-rich winds from Africa, and others are man-made such as run off from residential and agricultural sources. Even inland phosphate mines contribute. More research is needed to fully understand how to mitigate this problem moving forward.
Getting back to property values along the waterfront, what is my prediction? My answer: As of today, September 20, 2018, it is still too early to tell. It will depend on how long this red tide issue persists. If it dissipates within the next 30 days, I see little to no concern. If it lasts another 60 days, probably going to get over it. Beyond 90 – 120 days is where I see cause for concern. Our market has sustained many negative news events and natural challenges including hurricanes, the deep water horizon spill, and the market crash of 2008 but we have always recovered. The same will likely happen here as long as our shorelines are free of this issue by early 2019. I will update this blog periodically and in the meantime, we are all hoping for a return to beautiful crystal-clear water along our shorelines!