April 21, 2016

Normalizing Real Estate Market in Sarasota and Manatee Counties | Sarasota Manatee REALTOR® Association March Market Statistics

Sarasota and Manatee county housing inventory is on the rise.  A"normal" inventory level is usually a six month's supply.  Sellers have been enjoying  recent price increases but Buyers are starting to gain leverage in negotiations. 

*** following is a reprint of the April press release from Sarasota Association of Realtors®

Inventory on the Rise

Inventory of available properties is on the rise in both counties. For single family homes in Sarasota County, inventory is up 5.6 percent from March last year, and up 5.0 percent in Manatee County. Condo inventory is likewise up in both counties, with Sarasota County up 22.1 percent, while Manatee County saw an increase of 21.5 percent year-over-year.

The months’ supply of inventory in the two-county area remains in the range from 4.7 to 5.4 months’ inventory this year, compared to 4.5 to 4.8 months last year. This statistic reflects the time it would take to sell all the active listings on the market at the current month’s rate of sales. Six months is the benchmark for a balanced market; anything higher is traditionally a buyer’s market and anything lower is a seller’s market. So while it is still a seller’s market, the return to balance is on the horizon. 

“The moderate inventory increase is encouraging as it translates to more options for potential buyers,” said Linda Formella, RASM President. “In the broad picture, we are seeing a return to normalization, however in price points under $400,000, inventory is tight, selling quickly, and resulting in multiple offers.”

The median sale price rose year-over-year across the board for both counties. Single family median sales prices are up 17.4 percent in Sarasota County to $244,000, while increasing only slightly in Manatee County, up 1.8 percent to $269,735. Sarasota County condo median price rose 8.4 percent to $196,000, while Manatee County experienced a 2.2 percent increase in condo sales price over last year, to $160,000.

2016 is proving to be a normalizing year in home sales. Figures have been fluctuating since the beginning of the year. Total single family home sales in Sarasota County were up 33.9 percent from last month, at 765 total sales, and down slightly, 2.9 percent, from this time last year. Manatee County single family homes sales also rose from last month to 522 total sales, up 26.8 percent, but down slightly, 5.4 percent, from March, 2015.

Condo sales for both counties fluctuated. Condo sales in Sarasota County for the month of March saw a 24.4 percent increase from last month, reaching 364 total sales, but down 11.7 percent from last year’s figures at this time. Manatee condo sales are also up, 28.2 percent, closing at 273 this month, and up 11 percent from last year.

The drop in the percentage of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) signals a sign of health in the market. Distressed sales for single family homes in the two-county area represented only 10.3 percent of all closed sales for the month, compared to 20 percent last year. Similarly, distressed condo sales came in at 4.4 percent of closed sales, compared to 8.66 percent last year. At their peak a few years ago, 48 percent of all sales were distressed.

Editor’s Note: For comprehensive statistics dating back to 2005, visit www.MyRASM.com/statistics

Posted in Our Blog
March 24, 2016

Home Prices Rise While Sales Flucuate in Sarasota and Manatee Counties | Sarasota Manatee REALTOR® Association February Market Statistics

Sarasota and Manatee county prices are still on the rise.  Sales during our "peak" tourist season continue to fluctuate.  However, Sellers will continue to enjoy price increases  for the near future as Buyers move to sunny Florida. 

*** following is a reprint of the March press release from Sarasota Association of Realtors®

Sales Fluctuate While Home Prices Continue to Rise

 The beginning of 2016 has seen some fluctuations in total sales and home prices as the housing market steadies itself after a record-breaking 2015. Even with a dip in sales, median home prices remain strong and the market appears solid.

For the month of February, total sales in Sarasota County were down 6.4 percent with a 13.2 percent dip in single family sales offset by a 9.6 percent increase in condo sales. Similarly, in Manatee County, total sales were down a mere 2.4 percent, with a 10.7 percent decrease in single family sales offset by an impressive 19.5 percent increase in condo sales. More buyers may be considering condos because there are not as many single family listings under $200,000 as there are condo listings.

Contracts for sales closed in February were likely written in December, a typically slower month because of holidays, and January, when we were experiencing stock market fluctuations and oil industry uncertainty. Mid-December, the Federal Reserve raised the target funds rate for the first time since June 2006. The area is also seeing fewer Canadian buyers this year, because of the exchange rate with the US Dollar.

“With record sales last year and extremely low inventory, it only makes sense that we would slow down a bit,” said Linda Formella, RASM President. “However, we are seeing an increase in inventory, as owners appear to be entering the market to take advantage of the price recovery we have experienced.”

Inventory of available properties is on the rise in both counties. For single family homes in Sarasota County, inventory is up 3.7 percent from February last year, and up 7.1 percent in Manatee County.  Condo inventory is likewise up in both counties, with Sarasota County up 17.0 percent, while Manatee County saw an increase of 18.2 percent.

“Our inventory has been down over the past few months, so seeing this bump is great news for our market,” said Formella. “New construction has aided in this increase, and provided more opportunities overall.”

The median sale price across both counties has seen fluctuations as well. Single family median prices rose 28.7 percent in Sarasota County to $252,250, while decreasing only slightly in Manatee County, down -0.7 percent to $255,000 from last year. Sarasota County remained stable with no change in condo prices year over year, remaining at $190,000. Manatee County on the other hand, experienced a 9.3 percent increase in condo sales price over last year, to $165,000.

The months’ supply of inventory in the two-county area remains in the range from 4.6 to 5.4 months’ inventory this year, compared to 4.6 to 5.1 months last year. This statistic reflects the time it would take to sell all the active listings on the market at the current month’s rate of sales. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market, so it is still a seller’s market, though buyers seem to be taking more time and showing less urgency with the increased inventory.

The drop in the percentage of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) signals another sign of health in the market. Both the number of distressed sales and the share of the market have continued to decline, signaling our continued recovery. Distressed sales for single family homes in the two-county area represented only 11.49 percent of all closed sales for the month, compared to 23.94 percent last year.

Similarly, distressed condo sales came in at 6.12 percent of those closed sales, compared to 12.05 percent last year. At their peak a few years ago, 48 percent of all sales were distressed.

“The fluctuations we see in today’s market are normal, healthy even,” added Formella. “We are experiencing smart and sustainable growth. I am encouraged by the hard work of our Realtor® members and the positive attitudes I witness every day. There is no doubt: our future is bright.”

Click Here for the Full Report

Posted in Our Blog
March 1, 2016

Home Prices Continuing to Rise in Sarasota and Manatee Counties | Sarasota Manatee REALTOR® Association January Market Statistics

 Sarasota Real Estate Market Statistics

Sarasota and Manatee county prices are following up on a record setting year with rising prices.  Sales during our "peak" tourist season have slightly ticked down.  However, Sellers will continue to enjoy price increases  for the near future as Buyers move to sunny Florida. 

*** following is a reprint of the February press release from Sarasota Association of Realtors®

Home Prices Continue to Rise During Seasonal Sales Dip

The end of 2015 witnessed record-breaking sales for both Sarasota and Manatee counties. January sales reflected the expected seasonal dip as a result of reduced buying activity during the holidays, even as median prices continued to rise.

“Our slice of paradise is catching its breath a bit after our very busy fourth quarter,” said Linda Formella, RASM President, “and while sales are slowing down slightly, we are confident that our real estate community will continue to see steady, sustainable growth in the first quarter of 2016.”

For the month of January, Sarasota County experienced a slight 1.2 percent rise from last year in total sales for single family homes at 520 sales, while condos were down 5.2 percent with 217 closed sales. In Manatee County, single family homes were down 5.4 percent from last year to 385 total sales, but condo sales rose 2.6 percent with 156 closed sales.

A good indication of a robust market, the median sale prices remain healthy and increased in both counties over last year. Single family median prices rose 21.3 percent in Sarasota County to $230,500, and climbed 10 percent to $274,900 in Manatee County. Condo prices were also up 17.8 percent in Sarasota County, at $218,000, compared to $169,950 for Manatee County, an increase of 6.3 percent over last year.

Inventory of available properties continues to be an issue for buyers, but showed small improvement. For single family homes in Sarasota County, inventory is down 1.5 percent from January last year, and up 2.4 percent in Manatee County. Condo inventory is up in both counties, with Sarasota County up 6.1 percent, while Manatee County saw an increase of 9.6 percent.

“We are seeing signs of a stable, growing market,” said Formella. “New construction means new sales opportunities and mortgage interest rates continue to remain low. We also have more Florida winter visitors than ever before. It’s a fabulous time to sell.”

The two-county area saw the month’s supply of inventory remain low, with a 4.2 month’s supply of single family homes in Sarasota County compared to 4.4 in Manatee. The month’s supply of condos in Sarasota County is 4.8, and an even 5 months in Manatee, all well below the 6-month supply that is considered a balanced market for buyers and sellers.

Pending sales are lower in January in both counties for both single family and condos, a sign that it will be difficult to sustain last year’s pace with our continuing low inventory levels.  The drop in the percentage of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) signals another sign of health in the market. Both the number of distressed sales and the share of the market have continued to decline, signaling our continued recovery. Distressed sales for single family homes in the two-county area represented only 11.8 percent of all closed sales for the month, compared to 25.8 percent last year.

Similarly distressed condo sales came in at 7.8 percent of those closed sales, compared to 12.3 percent last year. At their peak a few years ago, 48 percent of all sales were distressed.  “2016 is truly off to great start,” said Formella. “Our real estate market isn’t looking to break any records again any time soon, but we are looking forward to a healthy and sustainable future, and I know our Realtor® members are ready to take it on.”

Click Here for the full report.

Posted in Our Blog
Jan. 25, 2016

It's Official - A Record Real Estate Market in 2015 | Sarasota Manatee REALTOR® Association December Market Statistics

 Sarasota Real Estate Market Sets All-Time Record

Sarasota and Manatee county real estate market has set the all-time record.  Good news for Sellers is prices are still inching higher and with the high season here, the local real estate market looking to continue to grow.  Sellers are poised to take advantage of the news as they jump in to see if the market will support their more aggressive price point as Buyers move to sunny Florida. 

*** following is a reprint of the January press release from Sarasota Association of Realtors®

Sarasota/Manatee Real Estate Market Record Breaking Year

The year 2015 was one for the record books in real estate sales for both Sarasota and Manatee counties, closing out the year with an all-time record of 20,691 in combined closed transactions, 1,302 sales above last year’s numbers.

“These truly are exciting times for the real estate community, and reflects the hard work and dedication of our Realtor® members,” said Linda Formella, 2016 RASM President. “Our industry has been steadily and soundly rebuilding and I am so proud of our professional Realtors® and all the industries that support the real estate community.”

There were 1,671 combined sales in both counties in December 2015, 28 percent higher than November, but down slightly from December 2014. Median sale prices increased across the board. Single family prices rose 22 percent in Sarasota County to $239,900 and nearly 12 percent to $262,963 in Manatee County. Condo prices were also up 22 percent in Sarasota County, at $217,000, compared to $178,249 for Manatee County, an increase of 6 percent.

Inventory of available properties continued to decline in both counties. For single family homes in Sarasota County, inventory is down 2.8 percent from December last year, and down 3.2 percent in Manatee County. Condo inventory for Sarasota County is down a mere 1 percent, while Manatee County increased 4 percent.

New Pending sales, which reflect new contracts written in the two-county area, were down 11.3 percent for single family homes, and remained unchanged for condo sales year over year. This may be a reflection of the declining inventory of properties for sale, as buyers face the challenge of finding the right property and even then may face a multiple-offer situation, competing against other buyers for the same property.

The two-county area saw the month’s supply of inventory remain well below the 6-month level, that typically defines a market in equilibrium between buyers and sellers, with a 3.8 month’s supply, in Sarasota County compared to 3.9 in Manatee. The month’s supply of condos in Sarasota County is 4.1, and 4.3 months in Manatee.

The drop in the percentage of distressed sales signals another sign of health in the market. Both the number of distressed sales and the share of the market have continued to decline, signaling our continued recovery. Distressed sales for single family homes were down 49 percent from last year in Sarasota County and 46 percent in Manatee. Condo distressed sales were down 25 percent in Sarasota County and 47 percent in Manatee County. In December, there were only 195 distressed sales in the two counties reported in the MLS. That represented just under 12 percent of all sales, compared to the peak of 48 percent a few years ago.

“2015 has been such an exciting and historic year for our two-county area,” noted Formella. “We live and work in paradise and more and more people want to be a part of it. I am looking forward to a healthy year of steady growth in 2016.”

Click Here for the full report.

Posted in Our Blog
Dec. 22, 2015

Record Real Estate Market for 2015 | Sarasota Manatee REALTOR® Association November Market Statistics

 Will 2015 be a Record Year in Sarasota Real Estate?

Sarasota and Manatee county real estate numbers again look strong.  Prices are still inching higher and with the high season here, the local real estate market looking to gain more momentum.  Sellers are sure to help to increase inventory as they jump in to see if the market will support their anticipated price point and Buyers will again be migrating to sunny Florida.  These factors point to a strong real estate market for the near future.

*** following is a reprint of the December press release from Sarasota Association of Realtors®

Sarasota / Manatee market poised to break all-time sales record in 2015 

The Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee is on pace to record the highest number of sales in its 100 year history. In 2014, a total of 19,389 properties were sold in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.  With 19,020 sales recorded in the first eleven months of 2015, only 370 property sales are needed in December to break the record. Sales have exceeded 1,000 every month this year, so it seems assured that 2015 will be a historic year for real estate sales.

Sales in November were 2.6 percent higher than last November, but were down from October in both counties, a very typical trend. Median sale prices have increased from November 2014 compared to November 2015. Sarasota county saw an 18.5 percent increase in single family home median sale prices; while Manatee County experienced a 14.9 percent increase. In addition, condo median sale prices are up in both counties, Sarasota coming in with a 13.17 percent increase, and Manatee County with 12.8 percent.

“We are enjoying a strong and healthy market, with sustainable gains, and the traditional buying season has just begun. We should anticipate a busy market in the coming months with staying power throughout the year,” said Stafford Starcher, 2015 President of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

November saw a much?needed growth in Inventory. Available properties rose 9 percent in Sarasota County and about 5 percent in Manatee County. Despite the increase this month, inventory is still about 2 percent lower than in November 2014, mostly reflecting in single family properties, as condo inventory remained relatively unchanged from last year.

The two?county area saw the month’s supply of inventory remain well below the 5.5?month level, which typically defines a market in equilibrium between buyers or sellers. Single family in Sarasota County has a 3.7 months’ supply, compared to 3.9 in Manatee County. The months’ supply of condos available is the same for both counties, at 4 months. Median days on market continues to decline, as homes sell more quickly, another sign of strength in the market.

Another sign of health in the market was the drop in the percentage of foreclosure and short sales.  Single family distressed sales of both counties combined were down 55 percent from last year; and the same is true for condos, which were down almost 38 percent. During the foreclosure and short sale market crisis in 2008, almost 50 percent of the sales were distressed. Today, distressed sales account for less than 12 percent of sales.

New Pending sales, which reflect new contracts written in the two?county area, followed the typical trend for this time of year, and were down about 8 percent compared to last November in both single family and condo. The decline should result in fewer closed sales over the next thirty to sixty days.

“Based on our sales to date, we are looking at record?breaking numbers to round out the year,” noted Starcher. “We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I am enthusiastic about the future of our thriving real estate market.”

Posted in Our Blog
Dec. 16, 2015

7 Steps to a Stress-Free Home Closing

7 Steps to a Stress-Free Home Closing

By: G. M. Filisko

This cheat sheet helps you do your homework, so you know what you’re signing when you close the sale of your home.

 

You’ve already cleared several hurdles by finding the right home, negotiating the best price, and getting approved for a mortgage. The last obstacle on your homebuying track is the closing, which can be both tedious and tense. By knowing what to expect and doing some legwork, you can smoothly put your closing behind you. These seven steps will guide you.

 

1.  Set a Closing Date

Ask your title company to set a closing date and time that meshes with the end of your lease or the sale of your existing home. Don’t want to skip work? Ask for an evening or weekend closing. Tight on cash? Schedule your closing for the end of the month. That’s when you’ll pay the least amount of interest at the closing table.

2.  Gather Your Funds

Buyers usually have to bring money to the closing. Ask the title company what forms of payment it accepts. Chances are you can’t use a personal check.

If you have to move money into your bank account to pay your closing costs, do so a week ahead to avoid last-minute problems. If the title company requires the funds in the form of a cashier’s check, stop by the bank a few days before closing to pick it up.

3.  Purchase Title Insurance

If you’re getting a mortgage, you have to buy a title insurance policy. Think it protects you against problems with the title of your home? Nope, it protects the lender in case the sellers really didn’t own the home or someone else had a claim on it.

To cover yourself, you can buy an owner’s title policy from the same insurance company that sells you the lender’s title policy. Or, shop online at Closing.com, EasyTitleQuote.com, or FreeTitleQuote.com. An owner’s title policy insures you against losses from fraudulent claims against your ownership and errors in earlier sales. In some areas, sellers traditionally pay for the buyer’s title policy. 

Whether or not you get the owner’s policy, if you buy a title policy from the same company that issued the prior owner’s title insurance, you can ask for a reissue discount or “bring-down” rate. There’s a discount because the title company only has to check the records filed since that prior owner bought the home, not since the dawn of time. 

4.  Line Up Homeowners Insurance

Get quotes and compare policies to be sure coverage will start by your closing date. An annual policy should run $500 to $1,000, depending on your home’s size, age, and amenities. To get a lower premium, opt for a high deductible or buy your homeowners insurance from the same company that insures your car.

If you live in an area where natural disasters occur, like earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes, you’ll need separate insurance to protect your home from those hazards.

5. Review Your Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 Settlement Sheet

Your lender already gave you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that showed your estimated closing fees. Some of the fees on your GFE can’t change and others can rise by 10%. Before you go to the closing, compare the numbers on your GFE with the numbers on your HUD-1 settlement statement. Question your loan officer about any fees that increased.

6.  Do a Walk-Through

Schedule an appointment to walk through the home one last time just before your closing.

  • Make sure repairs you requested have been made.
  • Look for major changes since you last viewed the property.
  • See if the sellers left everything they promised to leave.
  • Check to see that the sellers took all their personal belongings.
  • Test electronics and appliances to ensure they’re still working.
  • Turn on the HVAC and hot water. Are they functioning right?
  • Walk the yard to be sure no plants or shrubs have been removed.

 

7.  Resolve Issues Identified in Your Walk-Through

If your walk-through uncovers problems:

1.  Delay the closing until the seller corrects them (if your state allows it). But that’s often not feasible because your lease is probably over and you’ve already scheduled movers. 

2.  Negotiate a discount to your sales price to cover the cost of the work needed. If the air conditioning is on the fritz and a contractor says the repair will cost $500, ask that the sales price be reduced by that amount. If you make that request at closing, however, be ready for a delay while the title company redoes the paperwork.

3.  Have the title company hold a portion of the seller’s proceeds in escrow until the dispute is resolved. Once that happens, the funds will be released to you or the seller, depending on the outcome.

Related:

  • Do You Have the Right Amount of Homeowners Insurance?
  • Do You Need an Umbrella Policy?


G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has endured several property closings, but the easiest was done through the mail. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/7-steps-stress-free-home-closing/preview/#ixzz3tNGLJ3g9 
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Posted in Our Blog
Dec. 9, 2015

Selling Your Home? Budget Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Prepare Your Home to Sell Before You List It!

Take a few minutes to read the following article from HouseLogic.com on some tips to save money when remodeling your kitchen prior to hitting the market. Preparation prior to listing your home for sale is a crucial step.  Staging and remodeling can pay big dividends to you as a homeowner with regard to the ultimate sale price.  When you're ready to sell give Generous Property a call.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2015 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Posted in Our Blog
Nov. 23, 2015

Median Sale Prices Up | Sarasota Manatee REALTOR® Association October Market Statistics

 Sarasota County Real Estate Market Statistics

Once again the numbers for Sarasota and Manatee county look strong.  Median prices are still inching higher and with the high season quickly approaching, the local real estate market looking to gain more momentum.  Sellers are sure to help to increase inventory as they jump in to see if the market will support their anticipated price point and Buyers will be flocking to sunny Florida to escape the already cold and snowy winter.  These factors point to a strong real estate market for the near future.

*** following is a reprint of the November press release from Sarasota Association of Realtors®

October Market Still Strong; Median Sale Prices Up

The October real estate market in Sarasota and Manatee counties remained strong, with overall sales slightly lower than September and last October, but median sale prices up substantially over last year at this time.

Property sales in October totaled 880 in Sarasota County and 708 in Manatee County, for a combined 1,588, down about 1 percent from the September total of 1,608. The median sales prices saw both increases and declines. Single family homes in Sarasota County saw an increase of almost 3 percent from September to October. In Manatee County, there was a drop of 2.6 percent in the single family category. Condos in Sarasota County saw a drop of 5 percent from September to October, while in Manatee County condo median sale prices rose about 8 percent from September to October.

Comparing prices this October to last year at this time, all categories rose. The biggest increase by category came in condo sales in Manatee County, which saw prices rise by 29.7 percent year over year. By contrast, Sarasota County saw a modest condo median sale price increase of 5.7 percent. For single family homes, Sarasota County recorded a 17.9 percent rise and Manatee County saw a 12.1 percent rise.

“This market has been on an historic roll in 2015, and we typically experience some degree of leveling off in overall sales as we enter the traditionally slower early fall months,” said Stafford Starcher, president of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee. “However, the higher median sales prices, particularly compared to last October, indicate that our market remains popular and buyers have not been deterred by the price level rise we’ve witnessed.”

The inventory of properties on the market rose by about 6 percent from September in Sarasota County to 3,533. Manatee County rose by about 4 percent to 2,682. The overall inventory is still far below last October’s totals of 3,791 in Sarasota County and 2,832 in Manatee County. In 2013, there were roughly 5,500 properties for sale in Sarasota County and 5,000 for sale in Manatee County. Those figures have trended lower for over the last two and a half years, and the current level represents a major drop from those totals.

Normally, the market continues to grow through the early months of the year as property owners test the waters during the height of season. Last year and the previous year, the inventory peaked in February. If that trend continues, local agents should expect a very busy season once again.

The two-county area saw the month's supply of inventory remain well below the 6 month level that defines a market in equilibrium between buyers or sellers. The figures once again were between 3.5 and 3.9 months – slightly higher than the recent norms in both counties for both single family and condos. Median days on market were between 36 and 55 in October, nearly the same as in September, and lower than the 47 to 55 range from last October. This indicates homes continue to sell more quickly than last year. Those numbers have remained fairly steady in the past few months.

New pending sales, which reflect new contracts written in the two-county area, were down slightly from September and also from last October, so November and December could see a cooling off period for the hot market.

The first 10 months of 2015 remained on a record pace, and we will likely see the highest number of sales in the region’s history by year-end. So far, Sarasota County sales are 630 ahead of last year’s record pace, and November and December sales would only need to average about 560 sales per month to break the all-time high of 11,550. Manatee County is 660 sales ahead of last year’s pace, and would need to average 360 sales in the next two months to break the all-time record of 8,004 sales set in 2013.

“We are certainly living in historic times, based on the overall sales to this point in the year,” noted Starcher. “The future is always unpredictable, but based upon the enthusiasm, professionalism and competence of our real estate agents, I see only bigger and better things ahead for our market.”

Click HERE for this month’s statistical press release and summary charts for both counties.

Click Here Now for a FREE Online Home Value Report!

 

Posted in Our Blog
Nov. 11, 2015

Just Listed | Bay Plaza Residence with Stunning View of Sarasota Bay

Bay Plaza Unit 903 for Sale in downtown Sarasota Florida

Bay Plaza Unit 903, 1255 N. Gulfstream Avenue, Sarasota, FL

Picture yourself waking up each morning to stunning panoramic views of beautiful Sarasota Bay from the balcony of our latest listing at Bay Plaza.  Located in the heart of Downtown Sarasota and a short drive to Siesta Key, Lido Key and St. Armand's Circle.

For more information CLICK HERE  or to schedule your private viewing, please contact Joyce Sacco at (941) 445-3937.  Your new downtown lifestyle is just a click or call away! 

Posted in Just Listed, Our Blog
Oct. 22, 2015

Market Continues to Show Strength | Sarasota Manatee REALTOR® Association September Market Statistics

 Sarasota Real Estate Market Report

 As local residents of Sarasota and Manatee counties know, August and September are usually the slowest months in the local economy.  It is no different for the real estate market. This year however, there is a strong indication that the upcoming season should be exceptionally strong.  Inventories are at and equilibrium and continue to indicate a seller's market with prices continuing to strengthen.  The median sale price for a single family home in Sarasota County increased 18.3% from $189,000 to $223,500 from September 2014 to September 2015.  If you're looking to sell your home, now is the time!

*** following is a reprint of the October press release from Sarasota Association of Realtors®

Sales Strong in Traditionally Slower September

Property sales in Sarasota and Manatee counties were somewhat slower in September 2015, but the drop off from August was expected after an unprecedented six month run of record-setting closings. In addition, the start of fall 2015 looks a lot like the same time last year, but with one major exception. Single family home median sale prices in both Sarasota and Manatee counties have risen sharply over last year at this time, once again reflecting the law of supply and demand as single family home stocks dwindle.

According to the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee, overall property sales in September 2015 stood at 1,608 for the two counties – 927 closings in Sarasota and 681 closings in Manatee. Sarasota County fell short of the 1,000 level for the first time since February, ending the record of six consecutive months over 1,000 – something that has never happened before in Sarasota County.

The overall regional sales compared to 1,709 sales in August 2015, or a 5.9 percent drop, but were slightly higher (1.8 percent) than last September’s sales of 1,578. The August to September sales drop was almost identical last year, with a small decline from late summer to early fall. However, if the recent trend continues, October 2015 could see another sales surge, as the last four years has seen marked improvement in the number of closings as winter residents and visitors returned to the market.

“While the real estate market has taken a slight breather in September, which is traditionally a slower sales month, the overall numbers are still very strong,” said Association President Stafford Starcher. “We continue to note the lack of available inventory, but we did have a small bump upwards from August. Last year and the previous year we saw the inventory rise through the winter months and peak in February.

If that trend continues, local agents should expect a very busy season once again.” The inventory of single family homes and condos rose slightly to a combined 3,337 from the August total of 3,303 in Sarasota County, and to 2,571 from 2,534 last month in Manatee County. This compares to 3,666 last September in Sarasota County and 2,731 in Manatee County, or declines of 9 percent and 6 percent, respectively. When the market reached an equilibrium between buyers and sellers in 2013, there were roughly 5,500 properties for sale in Sarasota County and 5,000 for sale in Manatee County. Those figures have trended lower for over the last two and a half years, and the current level represents over a 40 percent drop from those recent totals.

Median days on market were between 35 and 54 in September, compared to 46 to 66 last September, which indicates homes are selling more quickly. The two-county area saw the month's supply of inventory remain well below the 6 month level that defines a market in equilibrium between buyers or sellers. The figures once again were between 3.2 and 3.6 months in both counties for both single family and condos.

The lower inventory has seemed to impact single family home median sale prices most obviously in Manatee County, with an increase from $217,000 last September to $265,950 this year for a 22.6 percent surge. In Sarasota County, the price increase has also been substantial, from $189,000 last September to $223,500 this year, an 18.3 percent rise. Condo prices were actually down from last year in Sarasota County by 1.3 percent, from $195,000 to $192,500. Manatee County saw a small increase of 3.6 percent, from $152,000 up to $157,500. Condo price fluctuations tend to be more difficult to predict and don’t usually follow a steady trend line like the single family home market locally.

The first three quarters of 2015 remain on a record pace, and depending on how the final quarter transpires, we could see the highest number of sales in the region’s history by year-end.  

New pending sales, which reflect new contracts written in the two-county area, were down for single family homes and almost unchanged for condos from last September. But the drops were not substantial enough to warrant any major concern, noted Starcher, as the numbers typically drop in September.

“I remain very optimistic and enthusiastic about our local real estate market,” noted Starcher. “We continue to see sales number at or near record levels, and the price rise in the single family market obviously has not scared away buyers. The affordability of local properties remains at a much better level now than during the boom years of 2004-2006, as interest rates remain very favorable for buyers.” 

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