Truck company places Sarasota among top moving destinations

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SARASOTA - Living in Sarasota, we know what a great place it is to call home. But now it's getting some national recognition, securing a spot as a "top ten moving destination."

And people we talked to Tuesday say they're not surprised by Sarasota's rank in Penske Truck Rental's annual moving destinations report.

Sarasota stands out against some much larger cities on the list, which is compiled by analyzing online truck rental reservations and inquiries to Penske Truck Rental call centers.

Penske branch rental manager Jamison Thomas says he is somewhat surprised by Sarasota's rank. “We see a lot of trucks come through here. I know the Southwest and Southeast are the biggest drop off areas right now, and a lot of them are big cities. So for Sarasota to make the list, it's a pretty big deal.”

But realtors in the area say given last year's sales, Sarasota earned the spot on that list. Marc Rasmussen owns Dwell Real Estate. He says there was a shift in the market last year. “It went from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market almost. We're seeing multiple offers on properties left and right. I wrote an offer two weeks ago and there were two other offers and we lost it. There's a lot of that going on out there.”

And he says he has many clients moving from the larger cities, like Chicago and New York, settling down in Sarasota. “They like to come down here because this is like a mini-New York City. We have so much to do downtown with all the arts and culture, and restaurants and festivals…it brings a lot of people from those areas.”

And with so much to offer, new Sarasota residents say they're not going anywhere anytime soon. “Now that I'm here, I'm loving the weather. It's not like New York, and they tell me after I've been here a year, I'm going to want to stay,” says Marlana Archer, who moved to Sarasota one year ago.

We did speak with the president of AAA Flat Rate Moving and Storage of Sarsaota, and he says he's also noticed an increase in people moving to Sarasota from northern states. He says there was a decline in 2005, but business has picked up tremendously just over the last year.

Penske’s Top 10 Moving Destinations are:

1) Atlanta

2) Dallas/Ft. Worth

3) Phoenix

4) Orlando

5) Chicago

6) Houston

7) Denver

8) Seattle

9) Charlotte, NC

10) Sarasota