Home values climb as housing dwindles

Posted at 12:18 PM, May 16, 2016
Home values in Manatee and Sarasota counties are skyrocketing, but this comes as many people are struggling to afford housing.
Homes are in demand in Bradenton especially.
Cindy Thompson purchased her home near the water two years ago, and now, she says realtors are approaching her.
"They're saying "Hey, do you want to sell your home? And I'm like No! I just bought it!" she said.
Realtor Jody Shinn with Michael Saunders & Company specializes in Bradenton waterfront properties and said homes in the area are seeing a five percent appreciation value. In some cases, the appreciation value can be even more, she said.
"Inventories are still low, so if you have a nice home, and you're looking to move up, now would be the time to put it on the market," Shinn said.
This has been a great market for sellers who are able to sell their homes at higher values, Shinn said. 
But this comes as many people are struggling to find affordable places to live in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
"We've now got a lot of workers and a lot of people who are trying to get established, who would like to live here, but just are having a hard time finding places they can afford." said Raymmar Tirado of Sarasota Underground, a community group advocating in part for affordable housing.
Manatee County Neighborhood Services has started working on advocating for more affordable housing in the area. 
Recently, local young people formed the first Millennial Con, a conference at which twenty-and-thirty somethings spoke directly with city and county officials about the need for more affordable housing.
Right now, both Manatee Countyand thecity of Sarasota have down payment assistance programs to help first-time home buyers.
However some say the divide between those able to afford to buy and those who can't is still too great.
"It's a constant struggle," Tirado said.

Resources for potential home-buyers:

Home Partners of America offers a lease with the right to purchase program. Families get to pick a realtor and go shopping for any home listed for sale in the price range they qualify for.