Parade of Homes gains momentum



The 2014 Parade of Homes, which began Saturday at new-home communities throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties, is not bigger than ever, but it’s the biggest since the boom. A good indication of the health of the home-construction market is the number of models entered — at $2,400 a pop for the first entry and less for multiple entries.



This year, 80 model houses are entered. During the boom, the Parade peaked at 140 model homes. But three years ago, with just 55 entries, the event almost was not held. With the market in recovery mode, the number has been climbing steadily. Two years ago, there were 60 model entries, last year 65 and now the jump to 80.

“Builders are extremely busy and excited,” said Drew Smith, president of the Manatee Sarasota Building Industry Association, which puts on the Parade of Homes as its major marketing effort of the year.

“We could tell by the amount of entries in the Parade. We are up 15 percent from last year. Everyone is gearing up for a major year. We see (building) permit pulls on the uptick. It is a constant growth, and statewide, too.”

Models, which were judged on Saturday for the design awards competition, are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free.

“The whole premise of the Parade of Homes is to drive traffic through the models,” said Alan Anderson, executive director of the BIA. “It is a way for builders to pool their marketing dollars by having entries, and then we have our big media buy, getting the magazine printed and having it in the newspapers and in the models.”

The Parade of Homes magazine was published inside the Real Estate section on Saturday, Feb. 22.

More information is online at

The event concludes on March 9, but the models are open all year.


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: February 27, 2014
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.