Cost of Living in Sarasota, FL

March 28th, 2023

Cost of Living in Sarasota, FL

The Real Cost of Living in Sarasota

Are you wondering what it costs to live in Sarasota? Let's discuss the essential factors that go into this city's actual cost of living.

Sarasota has been the city people move to and retire in for many years. Considered to be one of the best places to live in Florida, this city is located on the Gulf of Mexico coast and is known for its beautiful beaches with pearl white sand. Fifteen new residents move to the area daily, bringing Sarasota to its current population of nearly 55,000. 

Sarasota is roughly 24 square miles and is full of the most breathtaking scenery. This town is the only place in the world where you walk through the treetops of a subtropical forest. Sarasota is home to the Myakka Canopy Walkway, which is an 85-foot-long boardwalk that is 25 feet above the ground. Whether you are planning on moving to the area or just visiting, this walkway is truly something everyone should experience.

Not only do people consider moving to Sarasota for its breathtaking views but also because of the luxurious style of living. In this guide, we will discuss the crucial factors, like housing prices, utilities, transportation, etc., that go into the cost of living in this city. 

Sarasota Downtown Birds Eye View

Here are the factors that go into the cost of living in Sarasota.

General Cost of Living

The cost of living in Sarasota is 6 percent higher than the national average. That may seem like a lot to some, but it is pretty affordable if you compare Sarasota to other large cities. Sarasota's cost of living is 40.7 percent lower than the cost of living in San Francisco. It is also 13.3 percent lower than the cost of living in Fort Lauderdale.

The cost of living in this city is higher than the national average because of how desirable this place is. Sarasota is one of the most beautiful towns in Florida and has so much to offer its residents and visitors. 

The overall cost of living is a combination of all the other factors we will discuss throughout this guide. Some things are lower than the national average, and some are higher. It's the price you pay when you are living in paradise.


Sarasota's housing market is unlike the average housing market in America. This city's housing cost is 22 percent higher than the national average. In this city, you will find a median home price of $573,900.

Sarasota's housing market is super competitive. It is a smaller town that has turned into a highly desired area with tons of people wanting to move to Sarasota. The supply of homes in the city is not able to keep up with the number of residents trying to relocate here, making it harder to purchase a home and allowing for home prices to go up. 

The value of homes in Sarasota is high partially because most of these homes are luxury homes. There are around 17,000 millionaires, including Stephen King and Jerry Springer, who live in the Sarasota area. These homes are in beautiful communities; you may even be living down the road from someone famous.

Check out the current homes for sale in Sarasota.


Whether you own a home or rent, paying for utilities is inevitable. A regular person spends around $194 a month on electricity. This adds up to approximately $2,328 annually. The national average electric bill is $2,312. The utilities in Sarasota are 1 percent higher than the national average. You can lower your electric bill by installing solar panels and being cautious with how much electricity you use around your home. 

On the other hand, the average water bill in Sarasota is a little over $100 a month for water and sewer. You can lower this amount if you are using water sparingly. Water bills in Florida tend to be higher than in other states because of its long warm seasons. Residents in Sarasota use tons of water to do activities like owning pools and water gardens, using sprinkler systems frequently, etc.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sarasota's median household income was around $69,490 in 2021. However, it is essential to note that depending on which job you have or what industry you are working in, your pay may differ from the median.

A lot of people residing in Sarasota are millionaires. It is important to remember that they consider that when calculating the median household income. 

On the plus side, the job market in Sarasota has seen an increase of 2.6 percent over the last year. Because Sarasota is growing, more jobs and companies are moving to the city, which will provide more career opportunities to the residents.

Some of the best industries to work in Sarasota are Infotech, Financial and Professional Services, Life Science, CleanTech, Corporate Headquarters, and more. 


Transportation plays a significant role in our daily lives as we commute constantly. The average gas price for Regular fuel is $3.37. This is below the national average of $3.54 per gallon.

Gas prices fluctuate every single day, depending on the economy. One day the fuel cost can be one thing, and the next day it can skyrocket. But currently, gas is cheaper in Sarasota than the national average.

Sarasota Downtown Cars Lights Nighttime

For those who don't have vehicles to get around the area, Sarasota has an excellent public transportation system. The Sarasota Couty Area Transit provides 150,000 to 200,000 rides per month. SCAT is split among four different buses. These transits are listed below, along with their prices.

  • Regular SCAT Bus: Base fare is $1.50. You can get a discounted fare of $0.75 if you are an elder, medicare cardholder, or ADA-qualified. You can get a 30-day unlimited ride pass for $50 and $25 for the discounted pass. You may ride for free if you are under five years old, above 80 years old, staff or students of the nearby colleges, or local government employees.
  • SCAT Plus: $3.00 a trip.
  • OnDemand: The base fare is $2.00, and the discounted fare is $1.50. Children under the age of 5 years old can ride for free.
  • Siesta Key Trolley: Everyone can ride for free.

Food and Groceries

The cost of food and groceries in Sarasota is just around 1 percent higher than the national average. This means there isn't a huge difference in the price of food in Sarasota in most other cities and states.

Finding a city with affordable food prices is crucial to those who budget, especially when it comes to something that every human has to spend money on daily to survive and live a healthy life. The average single adult in Sarasota spends around $3,600 on food annually. If you are a family of four, you will spend nearly $10,500 a year on food expenses. 

How much you spend on your groceries and food is up to you personally. Some people may eat at fancy restaurants, and some may grocery shop strategically; every person is different. Here are some of the commonly purchased items at a grocery store and how much they cost on average in Sarasota.

Loaf of Bread $3.92
Gallon of Milk $2.45
Carton of Eggs $2.27
Bunch of Bananas $3.39

Source: Payscale


Another more expensive factor in Sarasota is the cost of healthcare. Overall, the healthcare in this city is 5 percent higher than the national average. A regular doctor's visit typically costs $131.16, a dentist's visit costs $113.16, and an optometrist visit is $123.54. 

Even though the cost of these things is higher than the national average, Sarasota has a good healthcare system to show that the price is worth it when it comes down to it. Sarasota Memorial Hospital was ranked among the World's Best Hospitals in 2022

If you are looking for great healthcare, Sarasota has a good healthcare system that has been ranked the best. Make sure you are doing your best to stay healthy by eating well and exercising. 


As most people know, Florida is a super popular place to move to because of them not having any income state tax. However, this revenue is made up for in other areas. This is why food prices in Florida are higher than the national average.

Sarasota, Florida, has one of the highest median property taxes in the United States. On average, Sarasota County collects 0.89 percent of a property's assessed fair market value as property tax. It is so high because the price and value of the homes in Sarasota are high.

However, the sales tax rate in Sarasota is below the national average. They have a sales tax rate of 7 percent. 6 percent of that is Florida state tax, and 1 percent in Sarasota County tax. You will see this tax percentage on any goods or services you purchase within Sarasota County limits.

Sarasota Beach Sunrise

Pros and Cons of Living in Sarasota


  • Great weather
  • Beautiful city and beaches
  • Homes that are unique and stunning
  • Great, safe communities
  • Amazing healthcare system
  • Affordable public transportation and gas prices
  • Growing job market
  • Great place to live for families and retirees
  • No state income tax
  • Below average sales tax


  • The cost of living is more expensive than the national average
  • The housing market is competitive, and inventory is limited
  • Groceries are more expensive than the national average
  • Sarasota used to be a secret paradise but is now growing, and more residents are moving in
  • High property taxes


What are the top reasons to live in Sarasota, Florida?

With Sarasota being one of the most beautiful places to live, it has much to offer. It is an excellent place for families and retirees to reside. You have crystal blue waters, warm weather, fantastic architecture, many recreational activities, a friendly community, and much more.

Is Sarasota an expensive place to live?

Yes, for the average American, it is considered an expensive city. The overall cost of living in Sarasota is more than the national average but less than in other major cities. Depending on your income and what you personally can afford, Sarasota can either be too expensive for you or just right.

Why is Sarasota so popular?

This town used to be a hidden gem. It was a secretive city that not many people knew about until recently. It used to be a place for the rich to buy winter homes but has now grown into a beautiful booming city. It is primarily famous for its amazing beaches.

Why is rent so high in Sarasota, Florida?

Because of the housing market and how expensive it has become with inflation and the economy, more and more people have turned to renting instead of purchasing a home. The influx of renters has allowed Sarasota to raise its prices to accommodate the increase in residents.

Is Sarasota the best place to live?

Sarasota has been ranked as one of the top ten best places to live in the United States for 2022 and 2023. According to the U.S. News and World Report, this city has also moved up to the number one best place to live in Florida.

Sarasota Skyline Dusk

Cost of Living in Sarasota - Our Last Words

Even though the overall cost of living in Sarasota is higher than the national average, living in this paradise of a city is worth it if you can afford it. There is no other place like Sarasota. Before moving to this city, be sure to lay out your budget to see if this is a city you can live in comfortably financially. 

If you are considering moving to Sarasota, contact us today to get connected with a local real estate professional.

Check out our guide on moving to Sarasota and other similar cities like Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and St. Petersburg

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.