Monday, May 05, 2014

Tampa Bay plus Bradenton

Tampa Bay

According to the ACCRA cost of living index (COLI), the overall cost of living in the Tampa Bay Region 99.7) is about the same as the national average (=100), and a little less on some specifics like groceries, utilities, healthcare, and miscelaneous goods and services. Most of the region is also about 5% less costly than other large Florida metro areas. (See and for comparative data. Tampa Bay’s COLI is a composite of Bradenton, Sarasota, metro St. Petersburg-Clearwater and metro Tampa).

Home prices in the greater Tampa Bay area are also relatively inexpensive: Even after the rapid Statewide growth of median home prices in 2003-2004 (21% in Tampa Bay alone), the Region’s median home price of $171,700 was still a bargain, nearly 6% below the statewide average and 7% lower than the national average.

And Bradenton is still better! The Bradenton area’s 2005 Cost of Living Index was 96.4%, well below the national and state averages, and less than Tampa’s (98.8), Sarasota’s (108.9), or Tampa Bay in general (99.7).
Bradenton’s median home prices in various housing categories are about 5% less than general Tampa Bay regional median home prices, and as much as 25-35% below Sarasota’s median prices. (Bradenton and Sarasota are often grouped statistically, which disguises how much of a bargain parts of Bradenton still represent for people relocating to this area. For example, as of Sept 2005, an MLS search shows 2/2 homes starting at $119,000.)

More Facts about the Area

Manatee County is comprised of six communities.
Bradenton and Palmetto are the largest and are situated on the mainland facing each other across the Manatee River.
Manatee County’s barrier islands are home to the other four communities, including Longboat Key, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. (Longboat Key's northern portion is in Manatee County and its southern portion is in Sarasota County
A collection of small Unincorporated communities make up the balance of Manatee County. Terra Ceia, near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge resembles Florida Communities of years past. Cortez is a fishing village on Sarasota Bay. Parrish and Ellenton are agricultural communities.
If one single thing about the Bradenton area really stands out, it is the watery environment and orientation. Manatee county has 27 miles of beaches and 150 miles of waterfront. With so much water access here, fishing and boating are very popular. There are 30 plus marinas and yacht basins; lots of charter boats; 15 boat ramps; 6 fishing piers; and a gazillion inland streams and rivers for canoeing and kayaking.
Water’s not your thing? No problem. There are also 66 Tennis courts and 20 golf courses.
Distances to other cities from Bradenton
· Ft. Myers 87 miles
· Jacksonville 235 miles
· Miami 221 miles
· Orlando 119 miles
· Tampa 51 miles
The Bradenton population is over 50,000 and Manatee County is about 300,000.
Average annual temperature is 74.5.
In January, it averages 66.8 degrees; in the summer it averages about 82 degrees.
Yearly rainfall amounts to 54 inches. Typically, in the summer, that means brief afternoon showers or thunderstorms.
Median age: 45. This is not primarily a retiree population, but rather a well-balanced mix of people of all ages.
Cost of Living (see above detailed discussion)
Employment by industry
· Tourist related/Services 32%
· Retail: 22%
· Manufacturing: 14%
· Local Government: 11%
· Agriculture: 7%
· Finance, Insurance, Real Estate 4%
· Construction: 3%
Schools: Extensive information about the schools in this area is online at the state's Department of Education (
For more information, you can also contact:

Bradenton City Hall 500 15th St. W. 813 748-0800
Manatee County Historical Commission 813 749-7165
Palmetto City Hall 516 8th Ave. W. 813 723-4570
Bradenton Beach City Hall 107 Gulf Drive N. 813 778-1005
Holmes Beach City Hall 5901 Marina Drive 813 778-2221
Anna Maria City Hall 10005 Gulf Drive 813 778-0781
Longboat Key Town Hall 501 Bay Isles Road 813 383-3721
For mores specifics on the area see also the general information links for Tampa or Sarasota.

In conclusion, Bradenton is a mix of old town, beach front property and new construction in Manatee County. If you are relocating here, there is a wide variety of property types to choose among. And as I’ve noted already, the real bonus in Bradenton is the unique blending of lifestyle: you can enjoy living in a slower paced, more rural community, yet have all the amenities that a nearby big city (Tampa etc.) has to offer.

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