Market snapshot: Punta Gorda Isles



They don’t make them like this anymore. Punta Gorda Isles, cut and dug from a mangrove swamp in the late 1950s, likely couldn’t be built today. Dredge-and-fill operations fell under strict state regulation in the early 1970s.

But the thousands of people who call Punta Gorda Isles home only care that they own some of the most affordable waterfront property in Florida.

“There might be a canal here or there with lower prices,” said Luke Andreae, Punta Gorda Isles’ top-selling Realtor. “But as for an entire subdivision, with deep, wide, regulated canals and sailboat water, I don’t know of any.”




In fact, prices are at least half of what they would be in Sarasota. Recently, a canal-front lot with 80 feet of seawall sold for $109,000. A house — probably a teardown — on a direct harbor-facing lot with dock and seawall, is on the market at $1 million. It could be $3 million in Sarasota.

But Punta Gorda is not Sarasota. In fact, it is unlike any other Gulf Coast city — on a river, like Bradenton and Fort Myers, but much smaller in population (16,000) and with the Gulf Coast’s second-biggest harbor.

It doesn’t have the beaches, the dining, the culture and the mansions of Sarasota, but it doesn’t have the prices, either. And that is OK with the locals.

“We don’t mind that,” said Andreae, who is with RE/MAX Harbor Realty. “We don’t get the traffic, we don’t get the tourists. We have a lot of buyers who comment that they came here for the small town without the beach.”

protected, secluded, yet immediately available to the outside world.”

His words are still true today.

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: October 11, 2013
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