Sarasota and Manatee county housing prices inch up 8.75 and inventories are improving.  A"normal" inventory level is usually a six month's supply and we're inching closer.  Sellers have been enjoying  recent price increases, Buyers' may have a slightly easier time finding inventory that match their needs. 

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

Are We Getting Ready for A Hot Season?

Total closed sales are up 8.7% from November 2015 for single family homes and condos in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Single family homes showed the most improvement from last year, with a 10.5 percent increase in the two-county area, while condos also increased by 4.5 percent.

Inventory also showed improvement from November of 2015, with a combined 12.6 percent increase in the two-county area. Single family home inventory in Sarasota increased by 10 percent, while Manatee experienced a 6.4 percent increase. Sarasota condo inventory increased by 28.6 percent and Manatee County increased by 12.1 percent.

“Since September, we’ve seen an upward trend in inventory, reversing the downward trend that started in March of this year,” said 2016 RASM President, Linda Formella. “This trend is typical for our market as homeowners start listing in preparation for season.”

New pending sales have been on the rise since September of this year. Sarasota County condo new pending sales increased by 39.8 percent from last year and single family by 24 percent. Single family home new pending sales in Manatee increased by 25.1 percent, while condos increased by 8.4 percent from 2015.

The months’ supply of inventory has also been on the rise since September, slowly moving toward a balanced market (6-month supply). Sarasota single family homes are at a 4.4-month supply and condos are at a 5.4-month supply. Manatee County single family homes are at a 4.2-month supply and condos are at a 4.2-month supply of condos.

When comparing to 2015 prices, the median sales price for single family homes increased in both counties. Sarasota single family homes experienced a 15.8 percent increase to $265,000, while Manatee increased by 3.3 percent to $279,000. Condo median prices were down slightly from last year, with Sarasota decreasing by 1.3 percent to $196,500 and Manatee decreasing by 1.9 percent to $160,500.

“As long as inventory remains at lower levels, median prices can be expected to increase,” adds Formella. “Buyers facing rising prices and interest rates may look to enter the market, putting more pressure on already low inventory.”

In a recent article published by Forbes, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explains that, on a national level, the only way to lessen home price growth is to bring in more supply.

“The bottom line is that we need a few years of above-normal construction activity,” said Yun. “Only then will we see a slight rise in vacancy rates to help lessen the rent growth pressure and bring the inventory of homes for sale to a more balanced market.”

Both Sarasota County and Manatee County were fortunate to experience an increase in inventory and supply in November of 2016, indicating a healthy market as seasonal sales begin.

For the full article from Lawrence Yun, visit: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lawrenceyun/2016/12/13/housing-shortage-for-how-long/#167b76f2451e

Click Here to view the Press Release.