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Home Costs Rising in Shifting Real Estate Market

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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB)--On the Suncoast, the prices of homes are up 7.4% and the prices of condos and townhouses are up 13.9% over this same time last year according to FloridaRealtors.org.

The increasing prices are good for those selling, but leaving those who want to buy in an uncertain position as prices shift.

Tori Sturz is searching for a perfect home.

"I fell like we've got it narrowed down to about three different places right now," Sturz said.

With the housing market so hot, her search is constant.

"The prices are going up and the interest rates, it looks like, are going up. So I'm kind of looking for sooner than later," Sturz said.

The online real estate site Trulia ranks Sarasota in the top ten hottest real estate markets of 2017.

Real estate agent Michael Grant says builder confidence and a boom in new construction is also driving competition in the resale market.

"When you see builders investing in our area, that's a pretty good telltale sign that they believe it's healthy as well," Grant said.

It's all part of the quick recovery from the 2008 recession.

"The market pretty much collapsed and we were really hard hit here in Florida because we have a lot of secondary homes, not just primary homes," Grant said.

Ironically, communities that were the hardest hit by the crisis are now experiencing the greatest success. The Tampa area is case and point, losing thousand of homes to foreclosure in the past decade. Now, Tenx, a real estate analytics company, ranks it as the nation's healthiest housing market.

USF Sarasota-Manatee economics instructor Dr. Michael Snipes says Florida's quick bounce back is due to the constant influx of new home buyers.

"Florida's got a pretty big history of boom and bust in real estate," Snipes said. "As long as we can keep all of those people coming in, there's always going to be a need for housing."

The key he says is to maintain that flow of new residents.

"There's some concern that we might be building too quickly. That supply might be outpacing demand and so a lot of that is trying to predict that a lot of that immigration is going to still be coming from other states," Snipes said.

For now, realtors like Grant feels confident in the market.

"I don't think there's any bubble out there, not in the immediate future that I can see," Grant said. "I think the next few years are going to be pretty nice."

And Sturz says it's all part of the risk a home buyer takes.

"You never can predict the market, I get it," Sturz said. "It's kind of like relationships. You just have to pick something and not worry that there's something better or this is going to turn because you can't guarantee anything in life."