Slump brings retirees bucket list bargains

A bargain for shore
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A bargain for shore

Splashy retirement communities in Florida were unaffordable during the boom years, but prices now are at low tide.

Condo prices in the Sarasota area are down 50 percent since 2006, according to Florida Realtors, and the story is the same across most of the state.

Even luxury waterfront properties are down 30 percent, says Roger C. Pettingell, a broker with Coldwell Banker Real Estate in nearby Longboat Key. But sales are beginning to revive, particularly to retirees. "You still have an aging population that wants to be warm," he says. Today, you can get a large, amenity-laden beachfront condo with knockout views in the $500,000 range.

Prices are down by 60 percent or so in the Fort Myers area, one of the areas hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

Why dive into such a weak market? "There is only so much water to go around," says Paula Kiker of Lahaina Realty in Fort Myers Beach.




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