Sarasota still considered less affordable than many cities.
Apartment rents rose a scant 0.7% over the year in Sarasota, but as usual the city remains less affordable for renters than many other places.
Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Sarasota averaged $1,408 last month, $181 higher than the Florida average and $212 more than nationwide, according to online marketplace Apartment List.
The good news is that Sarasota’s annual increase lagged the state average of 1.5% and the U.S. average of 1.4%.
“Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to Sarasota,” Apartment List stated in its new report. “As rents have increased marginally in Sarasota, large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more quickly. Compared to most large cities across the country, Sarasota is less affordable for renters.”
Some analysts believe rent hikes could ease off during the coronavirus shutdown as millions of U.S. workers lose their jobs or have their paychecks cut by employers. That will reduce the pool of potential new renters, and some property owners may hold off on raising rents.
A two-bed unit in Bradenton averaged $1,222 last month, up 1.0% for the year, while the same apartment in North Port went for $1,172, 2.8% higher.
Affordable housing has long been an issue for the region’s work force. And in recent years, rising demand and escalating rental rates have drawn investors from across the country to buy multifamily properties in the Sarasota-Manatee market.
The $3.9 billion merger between IberiaBank Corp. and First Horizon National Corp. has cleared a key hurdle.
Shareholders in both bank companies have voted to approve the deal, which will create a top 25 U.S. bank by deposits.
IberiaBank, which operates the 13th largest bank by deposits in the Sarasota-Manatee region, plans to combine with First Horizon in the current quarter, pending final regulatory approvals.
First Horizon shareholders will own 56% and IberiaBank stockholders will own 44% of the combined company, which will be called First Horizon.
The marriage, the second biggest bank deal announced in 2019, marks the latest move by regional banks to bulk up in size to survive in an increasingly challenging industry.
IberiaBank operates six branches with $504.4 million in deposits in the Sarasota-Manatee region, a 2.30% market share, according to mid-year data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
First Horizon, formerly called First Tennessee Bank here, has three local offices with $170.1 million in deposits, a 0.77% share.
IberiaBank, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, came to Southwest Florida in 2009 when it acquired two failed lenders, Century Bank of Sarasota and Orion Bank of Naples. Two years ago it paid $1 billion for Sabadell United Bank of Miami, which operated a Sarasota branch.
First Horizon entered the region in 2017 as part of the $2.2 billion purchase of Capital Bank, which operated offices in Venice and Nokomis.
IberiaBank said 95.6% of the shares voted were cast in favor of the merger. First Horizon did not disclose its vote tally.
“As a combined company, we will have an expansive 11-state reach in high-growth, attractive markets across our combined footprint,” said Bryan Jordan, chairman/CEO of First Horizon. “When we complete the integration of our company in 2021, we will be better positioned to deliver the innovative products and technology our customers have come to expect from us.”
The company will be headquartered in Memphis, with the regional banking business based in New Orleans.