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Downtown Sarasota has become the focal point in local arguments about the merits of growth.
Sarasota Friday, Mar. 3, 2017 3 years ago

Report: Sarasota best place in Florida to call home

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U.S. News & World Report has named Sarasota No. 21 on its ranking of best places to live in the U.S.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Despite lingering concerns about growth and traffic, Sarasota continues to rank high on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the 100 best places to live in the U.S.

The media company ranked the local metropolitan area No. 21 on its 2017 list, citing year-round warm temperatures, beaches and cultural offerings, along with a “booming restaurant scene,” according to the report. 

But the region actually slipped seven places on the ranking compared with last year’s report, and the 2017 entry cites traffic congestion and increasing home prices as local difficulties.

“Sarasota is relatively affordable compared to larger Florida regions like Miami, though young families are finding it increasingly harder to buy a home at a reasonable cost,” the report states. “The continuing influx of wealthy residents has affected the cost of housing, as there has been more of a focus on upscale living.”

Indeed, the biggest factor affecting the ranking is net migration, which ranks 10 on a one-to-10 scale of the criteria U.S. News & World Report uses to judge each metro area. Here is how the area scored in each variable:

  • Desirability: 8.2
  • Value: 5.1
  • Job market: 6.1
  • Quality of life: 7.4
  • Net migration: 10

Sarasota remains the only Florida city in the top 25, outpacing Tampa by 14 places. Houston, Texas scored one place ahead of Sarasota, while San Diego Calif. came in at No. 22.

Recently, TripAdvisor again ranked Siesta Beach the No. 1 beach in the U.S.

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