For such a beautiful location, Sarasota is surprisingly affordable. Compared to other major cities, Sarasota offers a lot of amenities at a reasonable price and, as an added bonus, there is no state income tax. The housing market in Siesta Key is below average in terms of transportation, as almost every errand requires a car. When deciding on a location, there are several factors to consider such as demographics, nearby schools, services, local community, and more.
We've put all this together for Siesta Key. Read our Siesta Key quality of life guide and see other Siesta Key homes for sale. So what are the differences between cities? The cost of living and housing prices are two metrics to consider. Both are a bit higher in Sarasota, 2.6% above Tampa, just an hour north.
Home prices have risen even higher, costing 21% more than in Tampa (remember all millionaires?). Residents of Petersburg and Clearwater have it even easier in comparison, with a cost of living 4% lower than Sarasota and housing costs 20% cheaper. Compared to Naples, the cost of living in Sarasota is only three percent higher than the national average, making it one of the few affordable waterfront cities in the entire United States. One of Sarasota's most fascinating neighborhoods is Towles Court Artist Colony, a downtown bungalow district on brick-lined streets founded in the 90s as a live-work haven for artists.
In addition to the glorious weather, one of the reasons why so many people head to Sarasota is its vibrant art scene. Serving more than 43,000 students, Sarasota County schools consistently score high, ranking a respectable seventh among state districts according to SchoolDigger. It offers refreshments and live music, and the opportunity to see the latest works by Sarasota's resident artists. Taxpayers in Sarasota enjoy a very pro-tax situation, as the entire state of Florida is known to have low taxes.
The cost of living calculated as a consumer basket for a moderate lifestyle in developed countries and, therefore, might seem too high for some least developed countries where maintaining that standard of living is expensive. Not surprisingly, the first golf course in Sarasota and the state of Florida was built by a property developer. To find the most expensive city in Sarasota County, we've taken into account average home prices as well as the price per square meter. Sarasota has a cost of living ratio of 102.7, meaning that living in Sarasota is about 3% more expensive than in the rest of the country. Beautiful beaches, warm weather and enviable recreational and cultural amenities make Sarasota an attractive place to live almost every year.
Sarasota County applies an additional county sales tax rate of 1.0% in addition to the base sales tax, bringing the total sales tax in Sarasota to 7.0%. Frankly, if house and grocery prices were slightly lower, Sarasota would be even cheaper. Sarasota ranks second behind Florida's Collier County (home of Naples) for luring wealthy people from other states to move and settle down in Sarasota.