Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Solid Spring Sales Momentum

Sarasota Real Estate

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – April 2017

Solid Spring Sales Momentum

The Sarasota Real Estate Market had yet another strong month of sales growth in April, along with adding more inventory of properties for sale and prices continuing to grow modestly.  The region remains well positioned to allow for sustained growth into the summer months ahead.

Recent polls designed to test real estate market confidence reflect a general sense of optimism.  Based on perception of the condition of the U.S. economy, sustained growth of investment portfolios, increased value of real estate holdings, accelerating home construction, and mortgage rates remaining at historic lows are all contributing factors to the positive consumer outlook.

A Gallup poll just taken showed that for the fourth year in a row real estate is considered the best long-term investment, ahead of stocks/bonds, gold and others.  With builder confidence at its second highest reading since 2005, the stars indeed appear aligned for steady growth in the housing sector.

Looking at the whole of The Sarasota Real Estate Market and comparing to national and state data, the following are some of the key points that I assimilated from the many resources I review on a monthly basis:

Sales:

  • Total sales in The Sarasota Real Estate Market in April improved by 5% over prior year and decreased slightly from March, with total dollar volume rising by $7,000,000 over March and approximately $40,000,000 over April 2016, with the majority of growth occurring in the single family home segment.
  • Single-family home sales in April of 793 were 61 more than a year ago, and increased slightly compared to March.
    • Florida’s single-family sales declined 1.2% compared to last year.
    • U.S. sales were up 1.6% from prior year.
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 381 in Sarasota in April was only one sale different than year ago, and decreased by 32 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 4% lower than April 2016.
    • Condo sales nationally grew 1.6% over April 2016.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales was 631, and for this year the monthly average is 6422, and for condos the average monthly sales in 2016 were 309, and this year it is 330.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 40% of single-family and 66% of condos sales were closed without a mortgage.
    • All cash transactions in all of the U.S. were 21% of sales.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in April were only 3.4% of total sales. Thank goodness this aspect of sales is in our rearview mirror.
  • Pending sales of 823 homes that went under contract during April, decreased by 23 sales over the same month last year.  Condominium pending sales of 412 increased by 15 sales from a year ago.  This statistic is helpful in projecting sales growth in the 30-60 days ahead.
    • Pending sales in Florida fell considerably, with single-family homes dropping 9.1% and condos down 5.8% when compared to April 2016.
    • U.S. pending sales fell 3.3% below last year’s number of contract signings in April.

Prices:

  • In April, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $272,500 vs. $250,000 a year ago.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $234,900, a 10.1% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $246,100, a 6.1% increase over prior year.
    • The median price for a NEW home is currently $309,200 –25% more than an existing home.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $249,867 vs. this year it is $260,655.
  • Condominium median sale price was $215,000 in April vs. $218,000 in April 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $172,000, a 7.2% increase over April 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in April was $234,600, a 5.6% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $382,073 in April vs. $356,767 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $368,412 vs. $351,965 this year to date, a 4% decrease.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in April 2017 of $312,361 vs. $376,033 a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $325,928 vs. $347,390 this year.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of the U.S.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market decreased by 374 properties from March and grew by 336 properties or 7% from a year ago and 4% since January 1st.
    • Inventory fell slightly in Florida in April, and declined 9% across the U.S.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 129 properties since the beginning of 2017.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has grown by 49 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.7 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.5 month’s supply of condominiums, basically a balanced market.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,260 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015, and this year the four-month average is 1,443. In April 1,112 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,773 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • The higher inventory in The Sarasota Real Estate Market has been affecting list-to-contract periods, further suggesting that we are moving closer to a market that favors neither sellers nor buyers.

With the consumer confidence in real estate at a high level, even with the slight increase expected in mortgage rates, I have confidence that The Sarasota Real Estate Market will be a beneficiary of the strong housing market sentiment.  Our region continues to enhance its unique attributes such as performing arts, exhibitions, sports facilities, our beaches and waterways, and selection of exceptional restaurants and retail.  I now find conversation with clients about other regions they might be considering that we have historically competed with falling from discussion.

As we approach June and July, often some of our strongest selling periods of the year, the signals reflected in the data reported from April supports continued Sarasota Real Estate Market growth, hence my sense that our region’s housing market has the momentum to allow us to maintain our pattern of sales and price growth.

Are you or someone you know looking to purchase or sell a property?

If you have interest in listing your property, please ask me for my proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” which enables me to analyze your home or property along with recent area sales, other homes on the market, and current overall market performance for your neighborhood and price points.  With this data I am able to help you to determine the current value of your home, what key factors might be most important to consider when pricing, and in what general time frame you can expect a sale based on today’s market conditions.

On the other hand, if your interest is in buying, I would be pleased to work with you in establishing the areas within the Sarasota region that most interest you, develop your key purchasing criteria, share with you my knowledge of the community that will be helpful in narrowing your focus, and help you find that dream home or condominium!

It is always my pleasure to work with friends and family of my valued newsletter subscribers.  Please let me know if you hear of someone seeking to buy or sell a property in our community, you can count on me!

This Month’s Featured Listing

Savoy on Palm

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Market Report – March Data Reflects Positive Trends

Sarasota Housing Market Has Horsepower

The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s March results have revealed that the region continues to see healthy advances in sales and prices, despite an ever-growing inventory of properties for sale.  With pending sales activity in March also showing strong increases over prior year, it is expected that closed sales in April will show growth over prior year, as well.

Based on the activity from buyers in the market last month, and the traditional flow of “serious” buyers that tend to take action in our late spring months, I feel that there is potential for several more solid months ahead.  For those who question whether the housing market might be reaching levels of sales that are unsustainable, I recently found the following graph showing sales between 1990 and today.  It indicates that existing U.S. home sales are growing at a measured pace, we are not seeing erratic patterns, and sales have only just started to surpass 2002 activity.  When analyzing only The Sarasota Real Estate Market, similar sales growth patterns are seen.

Despite the continued increase in new listings of existing homes and condos, the tight supply of quality product in prime locations has generated high demand for new construction, buoying homebuilders high level of confidence.  If access to labor, and pricing and availability of building supplies is able to keep pace, new construction may soon begin to close in on matching buyer demand.  If so, this may bring some of those buyers back into the existing home market and help to ease the over-supply of inventory in some price points.

Based on the many resources that I review prior to publishing my monthly Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report, I have great confidence in our region’s ability to maintain healthy sales and price growth, while at the same time absorbing more inventory.

Looking at the whole of The Sarasota Real Estate Market and comparing to national and state data, the following are some of the key points that I assimilated from the many resources I review on a monthly basis:

Sales:

  • Total sales in The Sarasota Real Estate Market in March improved by 6% over prior year and 44% over February, with total dollar volume rising by $1,007,000 over February and $32,000,000 over March 2016, with the majority of growth occurring in the condominium segment.
  • Single-family home sales in March of 784 were 20 more than a year ago, and increased 51% compared to February.
    • Florida’s single-family sales grew 9.3%.
    • U.S. sales were up 6.1%
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 413 in Sarasota in March increased by 14% from a year ago, and increased by 137 or 49% sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 11.4% higher in March 2017 over prior year.
    • Condo sales nationally grew 5% over March 2016.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales was 653, and for this year the monthly average is 592, and for condos the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301, and this year it is 312.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 40% of single-family and 69% of condos sales were closed without a mortgage.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in March were only 5% of total sales.
  • Pending sales of 880 homes that went under contract during March, increased by 62 sales over the same month last year and were the highest in the last 12 months.  Condominium pending sales of 413 increased by 49 sales from a year ago, a nearly 22% increase.
    • Nationally, pending sales improvement over prior year was much more tempered, growing my less than 1%.

Prices:

  • In March, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $262,621 vs. $244,000 a year ago.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $231,900, a 10.4% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $237,800, a 6.6% increase over prior year.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average for houses sold was $249,867 vs. this year it is $256,707.
  • Condominium median sale price was $230,000 in March vs. $196,000 in March 2016, a 17% increase.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $171,000, a 9.4% increase over March 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in March was $224,700, an 8% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $350,055 in March vs. $356,767 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $345,918 vs. $363,858 this year to date, a 5% increase.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in March 2017 of $341,458 vs. $302,692 a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $325,232 vs. $359,066 this year.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of the U.S.
  • Of the 28 MSA’s in Florida, 22 regions had higher price growth than the North Port-Sarasota MSA, however, Sarasota remains one of the costliest areas in the state, though our number three spot is quite a difference from the front-runners. The Naples area has a median price of $450,000, and Miami has a median of $326,000, both considerably higher than Sarasota’s prices.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market decreased slightly by 37 properties from February and grew by 661 properties or 15% from a year ago and 12% since January 1st.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 316 properties since the beginning of 2017.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has grown by 191 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 6 month’s supply of condominiums, basically a balanced market.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,274 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015 and this year the three-month average is 1,553. In March 1,534 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 5,147 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • The higher inventory in The Sarasota Real Estate Market has been affecting list-to-contract periods, further reflecting that we are moving closer to a market that favors neither sellers nor buyers.

As we approach June and July, often some of our strongest selling periods of the year, the signals reflected in the data reported from March supports continued Sarasota Real Estate Market growth, hence my sense that our region’s housing market has the right “horsepower” to allow us to maintain our pattern of sales and price growth.

If you have interest in listing your property, please ask me for my proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” which enables me to analyze your home or property along with recent area sales, other homes on the market, and current overall market performance for your neighborhood and price points.  With this data I am able to help you to determine the current value of your home, what key factors might be most important to consider when pricing, and in what general time frame you can expect a sale based on today’s market conditions.

On the other hand, if your interest is in buying, I would be pleased to work with you in establishing the areas within the Sarasota region that most interest you, develop your key purchasing criteria, share with you my knowledge of the community that will be helpful in narrowing your focus, and help you find that dream home or condominium!

It is always my pleasure to work with friends and family of my valued newsletter subscribers.  Please let me know if you hear of someone seeking to buy or sell a property in our community, you can count on me!

Sarasota Real Estate

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – February 2017

Sarasota Real Estate

February’s Forward Momentum

The Sarasota Real Estate Market saw continued growth of sales volume and median prices in February.  As I have written in the last several months of my reports, the pace of growth has moderated from most of 2015 and early 2016, which in my opinion is good for the region.

Inventory is marching toward a “balanced” market, which is considered to be neither favoring sellers nor buyers, creating a less frenzied environment on both sides of the table.  Conditions at the lower end and mid-market remain extremely active, as quality and availability of properties has created tight inventory and in certain price-points, bidding competition.

As my readers know, the majority of my work is with premium properties where the market conditions are considerably different.  When I reviewed the most recent Trendgraphix report there were several key contrasts.  For example, when all of Sarasota County pending sales for the month of February were reported to be nearly the same as last year at this time, Trendgraphix data for the $1 million and higher bracket had a 32% increase in contracts written in February, the highest number of pended sales in that price tier in the last 12-months.

Available housing inventory in The Sarasota Real Estate Market was 18.2% higher than last February at the premium tier. Increased inventory in low-mid prices was 13% higher in comparison.  While 34 luxury properties were sold in February, there were more than 100 newly listed.  This growing inventory at the upper end of the market is bringing some gorgeous homes and condominiums online, giving our clients many amazing choices.  It has also begun to encourage sellers who have been reluctant to “right price” their properties to reconsider their listing prices, especially if they’re ready to move on.

One of the most remarkable differences comes in the time from list-to-sale.  Luxury homes typically take between 3-4 times as long to sell.  Another difference is in the list-to-sale price, which is generally a bigger spread by about 3% in the luxury market.  Premium median prices grew 14% over prior February, but in the mid-lower tiers, median prices have fluctuated dramatically month-to-month and are now just 3% higher than last year, according to Trendgraphix.

Looking at the whole of The Sarasota Real Estate Market and comparing to national and state data, the following are some of the key points that I assimilated from the many resources I review on a monthly basis:

Sales:

  • Total sales in The Sarasota real Estate Market in February improved 2.7% over prior year and 2.5% over January, with total dollar volume rising 3%.
  • Single-family home sales in February of 518 were 12 more than a year ago, a 2.2% increase, and increased approximately 10% compared to January.
    • Traditional single-family home sales (non-distressed) showed 6.2% improvement.
    • Florida’s single-family sales fell .5% year-over-year.
    • U.S. sales were up 5.8%
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 276 in Sarasota in February increased by one sale from a year ago, and increased by 28 sold properties from the prior month.
    • After removing distressed condo sales, the data showed an improvement of 1.1% over prior year.
    • Florida condo sales were 4.1% higher in February 2016 over prior year.
    • Condo sales nationally grew 1.7% over February 2016.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales for 2016 was 653 vs. 697 in 2015, and for condos the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301 vs. 314 in 2015.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 42% of single-family and 66% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in February were only 6% of total sales, compared to 9% last year in February.
  • Pending sales of 790, homes that went under contract during February, increased by 10 sales over the same month last year.  Condominium pending sales of 373 decreased by 13 sales from a year ago.

Prices:

  • In February, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $257,500 vs. $252,250 a year ago.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $225,000, a 12.5% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $229,900, a 7.6% increase over prior year.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average was $249,867 vs. $221.067 in 2015.
  • Condominium median sale price was $219,245 in February vs. $190,000 in February 2016, a 15% increase.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $167,500, a 11.7% increase over February 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in February was $216,100, an 8.2% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $389,011 in February vs. $376,318 a year ago, a 3.3% increase.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $345,918 vs. $321,651 in 2015, another strong 7.5% increase.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in February 2017 of $296,029 vs. $310,252 year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $325,232 vs. $284,361 in 2015.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of the U.S.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 136 properties from January or 3%, and grew 18% from a year ago.
  • Since the beginning of last year the available inventory has increased by almost 1,600 properties or 44%, which will affect prices. The greater the inventory, the more downward pressure there is on list and sale prices.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 914 properties since the beginning of 2016 or 38% and continues to climb each month.
    • Florida single-family inventory is at a 4.2 month supply and condos at a 6.4 month supply.
    • Inventory on a national scale has fallen more than 6% since last year and is at just a 3.8 month supply.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has grown by 672 properties since the beginning of last year or 56%.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 6.2 month’s supply of condominiums. The number has been steadily increasing each month the past year. This is the first time in many years that we have crossed the 6 months of supply, the line that is believed to signal a balanced market.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,274 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015. In February 1,459 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 5,184 properties for sale vs. 3,598 at the end of 2015.

The recent reports of strong consumer confidence, along with homebuilder sentiment reaching record high levels, signal a lasting growth pattern for the real estate market.  Though there are likely to be financial and political pressures that affect many areas of the economy, analysts and experts believe the housing market is positioned to be resilient to these forces and will continue its moderate expansion.

Florida was recently cited as being the #1 state in the country for inbound new residents.  Interestingly, some of our key feeder markets – New York, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey – had the highest number of residents moving out.  Our next highest competitors for these relocations are Texas and Arizona (a distant 3rd.)   With the pace of new residents expected to maintain for the foreseeable future, it is not at all unreasonable for us to feel very confident in The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s ability to continue its momentum.

Despite the considerable increase in inventory that has been reported, we are at the height of The Sarasota Real Estate Market season, and the interest from buyers is stronger than I have seen it in years.  I believe that for quality properties, in the most desirable locations, with limited repairs or renovations necessary, and sellers who are prepared to “right price” their properties and ready to move quickly if a reasonable offer is proffered , this is an excellent time to take action.  Buyers, especially at the luxury level have the available resources to close quickly, but are also prepared to wait for just the right home.  Maybe yours is the one they’re looking for!

If you have interest in listing your property, please ask me for my proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” which enables me to analyze your home or property along with recent area sales, other homes on the market, and current overall market performance for your neighborhood and price points.  With this data I am able to help you to determine the current value of your home, what key factors might be most important to consider when pricing, and in what general time frame you can expect a sale based on today’s market conditions.

On the other hand, if your interest is in buying, I would be pleased to work with you in establishing the areas within the Sarasota region that most interest you, develop your key purchasing criteria, share with you my knowledge of the community that will be helpful in narrowing your focus, and help you find that dream home or condominium!

It is always my pleasure to work with friends and family of my valued newsletter subscribers.  Please let me know if you hear of someone seeking to buy or sell a property in our community, you can count on me!

View this month’s featured listing:

Longboat Key Home

View all my listings HERE

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – January 2017

sarasota real estate

A Promising Start to the New Year

The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s first month of 2017 did not disappoint the forecasters.  With the last months of 2016 showing strong volume of new contracts signed, the healthy number of transactions in January were generally expected.  Reports of improved consumer confidence at the end of 2016 helped to attract buyers, potential increases in interest rates likely also motivated would-be buyers, and expectations of continuing price appreciation moved buyers to take action.

While growth in sales across the nation has slowed slightly over the last year, it is expected that the prolonged growth cycle we have been experiencing will continue.  The gradual economic gains, rather than patchy peaks and valleys has helped housing stay on an even course.

In general, consumers believe that housing is a sound investment.  The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence rose in their February survey, both for current conditions and near-term (6 months), as well as for future business conditions.  Though there is some concern tied to the projected interest rate increases, a recent survey of 100 economists by Pulsenomics showed that in their opinion, an impact on sales would likely not occur until rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage hit 5% or higher.  And to put the rate into historical perspective, the average over the last many decades has been 8.1%.

Home builders also remain bullish, especially after new home sales clocked a 5.5% increase over January 2016.  Headwinds for new construction in the year ahead such as burdensome regulations, rising material and labor costs do not appear to be swaying home builder confidence.  New homes typically average about 35% more than the cost of an existing home.

Economists surveyed last month project that over the next five years, housing prices will grow a cumulative 17.3% or an average of about 3.5%, with 2017 seeing an increase of 4.4% and gradual decline each year to 2.8% growth in prices in 2021.  I believe this to be a fair and sound picture of housing on a national scale, with slightly higher increases in our region.

The following are some of the key data that I assimilated from the many resources I review on a monthly basis: 

Sales:

The big story in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in January was the considerable increase in condominium sales over the prior year.  Based on the pending contracts activity that we saw in the prior months, I was not surprised by the figures, and expect next month to also show improvement.  The dollar volume of transactions in Sarasota was also impressive, with total sales improving 12.4% over prior year, all a result of the increased condo sales, where volume rose 60.4%.

  • Single-family home sales in January of 474 decreased 9% when compared to January 2016, and decreased 23% compared to December.
    • Florida’s single-family sales grew 5.2% year-over-year.
    • U.S. sales were up 3.7%
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 248 in Sarasota in January increased 15% from a year ago, and decreased by 50 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 6.2% higher in January 2016 over prior year.
    • Condo sales nationally grew 4.8% over January 2016.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales for 2016 was 653 vs. 697 in 2015, and for condos the average monthly sales were 301 vs. 314 in 2015.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 41% of single-family and 62% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
    • The national average is 23% of all sales transactions.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in January were only 5% of total sales, compared to 10% last year in January.
  • National home sales are expected to increase 2.25% in 2017.
  • Pending sales, homes that went under contract during January, increased 8.1% over the same month last year.  Condominium pending sales also grew – 11.2%.  This is an excellent indicator of sales pace in the months ahead.

Prices:

Median and average prices in the Sarasota Real Estate Market continue to climb, albeit at a more measured pace than last year’s often double-digit growth month after month.

  • In January, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $250,000 vs. $230,500 a year ago, an increase of 8.5%.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $220,000, a 10% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $228,900, a 7.1% increase over prior year.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average was $249,867 vs. $221.067 in 2015.
  • Condominium median sale price was $239,900 in January vs. $218,000 in January 2016, a 10% increase.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $161,000, a 6.6% increase over January 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in January was $217,400, a 6.2% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $352,507 in January vs. $341,644 a year ago, a 3% increase.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $345,918 vs. $321,651 in 2015, another strong 7.5% increase.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in January 2017 of $439,711 vs. $314,735 a year ago. The key factor in the sharp increase was the closing of some significant new construction waterfront condominiums.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $325,232 vs. $284,361 in 2015.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of the U.S.

Inventory:

The Sarasota Real Estate Market has hovered near a balanced market for much of the last year, in stark contrast to many other markets across the country where inventory shortages have been inflating prices and creating unbalanced conditions.  While our growth in inventory is concerning to some, I find it a great relief to have multiple high-quality properties to show each of my buyers.

In the low-to-mid price tiers inventory is still tight, while in the luxury level we are in a healthy position with new inventory nearly evenly replacing sales each month, establishing a nice pipeline of fresh properties coming to market.  Motivated sellers are being pressured by the growing inventory and are beginning to revise prices to move their properties so that they in turn can find their next home.

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 556 from December or 12%.  The largest growth occurred in the $200-400,000 price points.
  • Since the beginning of last year the available inventory has increased 1,151 properties or 30%.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 560 properties since the beginning of 2016.
    • In the luxury tier, above $1 million, growth was 11% compared to more than 40% in the mid-priced tiers.
    • Florida single-family inventory is at a 4.2 month supply and condos at a 6.4 month supply.
    • Inventory on a national scale has fallen more than 7% since last year and is at just a 3.6 month supply.
  • Condominium inventory has grown by 517 properties since the beginning of last year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.9 month’s supply of condominiums. The number has been steadily increasing each month the past year.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,274 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015. In January 1,665 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 5,048 properties for sale vs. 3,835 at the end of 2015.
  • At the luxury level of greater than $1 million, inventory of single-family homes has increased 11% from prior year, and condominium inventory has grown more than 16%.
    • Time from listing to sale fell about 25% during 2016, however, sales above $1 million typically take up to three times longer than properties priced in every other pricing tier.

According to a recent report in RealtyTrac, the average sale in 2016 netted a 21% gain since the homeowner purchased their property – this is the highest since 2007.  With prices continuing to escalate over the next year, home equity will stay on an upward trajectory, providing the capital needed for those wanting to sell to “move-up” and others wishing to make improvements to their current residence through use of HELOC’s.  HELOC activity has been on the rise for the last several years, with activity growing 21% in the last two years alone.

As we move into the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s peak selling season, all of the data and analyst forecasting lead me to believe that our first-quarter 2017 will build on the prosperous start in January.  With the Administration’s focus on adjusting regulations to make home-ownership more attainable for qualified purchasers, necessary loosening of onerous regulations, modest rise in interest rates, commitment to building job opportunities and investing in infrastructure, along with encouraging investment in the U.S. from International markets, and many other economic stimuli will sustain the advancing momentum of our housing industry.

Based on my own business activity since the start of the year, especially at the luxury level where the majority of my listings and sales occur, I feel a noticeable burst of energy in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.  Buyers and sellers that I have worked with over the years are both in a “get moving” temperament.  Buyers who were sitting on the fence are looking feverishly for their something special.  Sellers who have been tentative in either bringing their property to market or in “right-pricing” to get it sold are also in a great mind-set to move on to their next home.  From my perspective, I see our peak selling season keeping us busy!

If you have interest in listing your property, please ask me for my proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” which enables me to analyze your home or property along with recent area sales, other homes on the market, and current overall market performance for your neighborhood and price points.  With this data I am able to help you to determine the current value of your home, what key factors might be most important to consider when pricing, and in what general time frame you can expect a sale based on today’s market conditions.

Conversely, if your interest is in buying, I would be pleased to work with you in establishing the areas within the Sarasota area that most interest you, develop your key purchasing criteria, share with you my knowledge of the community that will be helpful in narrowing your focus, and help you find that dream home or condominium!

It is always my pleasure to work with friends and family of my valued newsletter subscribers.  Please let me know if you hear of someone seeking to buy or sell a property in our community!

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Year End 2016

Longboat Key Waterfront

A Fully Recovered Market?

It has been 12 years since the height of the Sarasota Real Estate “boom” and eight years since what most consider the bottom of the “bust.”  According to housing industry experts and economists, many indications across the country are pointing to a “fully recovered” market.  However, there are so many variables within each micro/metro area, is it possible to actually define what makes a market whole again?

I took a look at just one of the many reporting tools I use to analyze the Sarasota Real Estate Market each month, Trendgraphix, and came away with some pretty telling statistics of the boom-to-bust and back again period that I thought you might find interesting.

Sales

  • In the year 2005, the last of the “boom” period, just under 10,000 transactions took place in Sarasota County.
  • At the bottom of the market in 2007 less than 6,000 units changed hands.
  • In 2015 more than 12, 600 sales took place – 26% more than 2005.
  • In 2016 over 11,000 transactions occurred, more than an 80% improvement from 2007.
  • The lowest single month of sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market was September 2007 with just 365 units trading hands.
  • The highest in the last 12 years was April of 2015 with 1,272 transactions.

Prices

  • Median prices in December 2016 were recorded at $254,000 for all properties in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.
  • At the peak in 2005 median prices were $362,000.
  • And at the lowest in 2010 median prices were $135,000.
  • Average prices reached their highest in December 2005 – $616,000! They fell quickly through the next year and in December 2006 were $411,000.
  • In February 2010 the lowest average sale price in Sarasota was $203,000.

Inventory

  • January 2005 records reflected that there were 3,221 properties listed for sale.
  • By February 2007 that number soared to more than 13,500 listings.
  • In 2015 you may recall my monthly reports lamenting low inventories – in August 2015 we had less than 3,000 listings.
  • As of December 2016, we have seen a nice recovery of listing volume and now have just about 4,700 properties for sale in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.

There is no question that 2017 brings some measure of uncertainty as the economic policies being bantered about in DC will all take time to make it through the legislative process.  How much effect the changes will have on the 2017 Sarasota Real Estate Market is impossible to know at this time.  Experts feel confident that the stimulus policies that are being reviewed will grow jobs, which is expected to translate into greater financial stability and buying potential.

The international economic and political environment are also a potential disruptors.  As the value of the dollar rises there are expectations that investors may look to other global destinations where their money will go farther, but there are others who believe that those with money to invest, still see both the U.S. in general and the Sarasota Real Estate Market in particular are not only a safe place the “park” their cash, but also one where the value of their investment will continue to grow.

New homes including single- and multi-family will remain strong, based on homebuilder association reports.  New home sales in 2016 grew 12.2% nationally over prior year.  Rising building material costs, continued labor shortages and difficult regulatory issues in many areas cause some concern for builders, but generally it appears the industry remains bullish on the demand for new properties.

Determining whether the Sarasota Real Estate Market is “fully recovered” is not a simple task.  Have our sales remained consistent? Yes.  Have the median and average prices had stable growth? Yes.  Is the gap between months of inventory and demand narrowing? Yes.  Are pending sales showing potential for solid months ahead? Yes.  These and other key indicators all point to a healthy housing market – but what does/will “fully recovered” look like?

The following is data on December’s activity, which added to the steady improvement in the region’s housing market during 2016.

Sales:

With the continued decline in distressed inventory and sales, the market is less influenced by that segment of transactions, but it still does have impact.  The data below includes all sales in the market, but when looking only at “traditional” sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, single-family homes saw an increase of 3.2% transactions and condominium sales increased 19.6%.  Based on the activity that I have witnessed in the last eight weeks, demand for our region is as high as I have ever seen it, leading me to believe that our peak selling season ahead will be impressive.

  • Single-family home sales decreased 7% when compared to December 2015, and increased 9% compared to prior month.
    • Reports from areas of Florida that we compete with – S. Florida and Naples – were that both saw considerable decreases in sales against last December. While there is no one reason for the decline, the significant price growth experienced in those areas has been cited as a major factor.
    • Sales for the entire U.S. rose just .7% last month when compared to December 2015.
  • Total number of condominium units sold in Sarasota in December increased 11%, and increased 50 sold properties than the prior month.
    • Condo sales in S. Florida fell 7%, and the State of Florida reported 5.2% less condo sales in December.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales this year is 653 vs. 697 in 2015, and for condos the monthly sales are 301 vs. 314 last year.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 37% of single-family and 69% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
    • The national average of cash sales remains significantly lower than ours – just 21% of all sales.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in December were only 4% of total sales, compared to 12% last year.
  • In 2016 11,439 properties sold in Sarasota County vs. 12,127 in 2015, a 6% decrease. The breakdown is 7,830 houses sold in 2016 vs. 8,365 in 2015. With condos it is 3,609 properties sold in 2016 vs. 3,762 in 2015. It is important to recall that 2015 had the highest number of sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market of any year on record.
  • The sales volume in 2016 was $3,894,700 vs. $3,770,440 in 2015, reflecting the increased selling prices. The monthly average is $980,000.

Prices:

The National Association of Realtors is projecting median prices to grown 4% in 2017, about the same as 2016.  Experts who watch the Sarasota Real Estate Market expect our region to perform better than the rest of the country, and that growth will be steady.

  • In December, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $264,500 vs. $239,900 a year ago, an increase of 10%.
    • S. median home prices were $233,500, a 3.8% increase over prior year.
    • Florida’s median home prices grew 9.2% to $226,000. In Naples, single-family homes are selling for a median of $385,000.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average was $249,867 vs. $221.067 in 2015.
  • Condominium median sale price was $217,000 in December identical to the December 2015 price.
    • S. condos sold for a median of $221,600, an increase of 5.5% over previous year.
    • Florida median condo prices rose 7.7% to $166,900. Naples condos had a median last month of $253,000.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $350,103 in December vs. $354,880 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $345,918 vs. $321,651 last year, another strong 7.5% increase.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in December 2016 of $321,329 vs. $281,534 a year ago, a 14% increase. The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $325,232 vs. $284,361 last year. There were two new luxury Longboat Key gulf front condo projects that had all their closings this year, which contributed to the increase.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of the U.S.

Inventory:

As homebuilder confidence remains high, we can look for additional narrowing of the gap between a seller’s and buyer’s market.  The prices for new homes tend to be noticeably higher per square foot when compared to existing homes and condos.  Though new construction of luxury condominiums is robust, especially in the downtown Sarasota core, we also have a good number of existing luxury condos on the market.  I have seen quite an interest from local luxury home and condo owners on the islands and in downtown purchasing in the newer buildings, leaving behind some very attractive units to meet demand.  In the luxury price tier, inventory is adequate to meet demand and I believe we will see some strong sales this season.

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 698 properties or 18% since the beginning of this year.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 321 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • Condominium inventory has grown by 377 properties or 29% since the beginning of the year.
    • By comparison, inventory of condominiums in the Naples market has grown 47%.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.5 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.4 month’s supply of condominiums.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,274 new listings per month this year, about the same monthly average as 2015, and currently shows a total available inventory of 4,595 properties for sale vs. 3,897 at the end of 2015.

As you look back over 2016’s local, regional and national data, it does indeed appear as though the housing market is seeing more “normalization” as some analysts call it – meaning that the peaks and valleys of these last many years have diminished, the balance between available inventory and demand has narrowed, household net worth has gained strength bringing more buyers back into the market, unemployment has fallen allowing more people at the entry-level of the market a chance at the “American dream” of owning a home, interest rates are likely to increase (though not measurably and remain well under MANY of the last few decades,) and the country appears to be back on track for greater economic gains resulting in growing GDP.

What are some of the other “2017 predictions” coming from the national market experts?  Technology is now impacting sales.  It is said that with the ease of accessing listings online and contracting happening electronically, it is expected that there will be a quickening of the pace of a sale from viewing through contract.  And, of course, the hot topic of interest rates cannot go unmentioned.  To put into perspective the expected 2017 year-end rate of 4.5%, the average interest rate over the last 50 years is 8.26%.  4.5% doesn’t look too bad when you compare.

Also often mentioned by industry analysts is the desire (and capability) of the eldest of the millennials to buy their first home.  For the baby boomers, whose home equity has grown significantly in the last several years, there is strong interest in moving up and/or purchasing vacation and retirement property.  Both generations will bring many new buyers into the 2017 marketplace.

While it appears that the Sarasota Real Estate Market has had explosive new home, condo and apartment building in the last couple of years, it’s important to remember that new building came to a virtual standstill for nearly a decade.  Sarasota’s current balanced inventory conditions compared to much of the country where inventory is still woefully short of demand, will serve us well in the coming year by keeping our pace of price escalation at a moderate pace.

Analyzing The Sarasota Real Estate Market conditions has provided me essential insight to aid both buyers and sellers in achieving their objectives in today’s environment.  The value of a highly experienced, locally as well as globally connected agent/broker, and a skilled negotiator and advocate cannot be understated in this very competitive market.  I look forward to working with you, your family and friends in this exciting year ahead!

THIS MONTH’S FEATURED LISTING

Longboat Key home

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Market Ignites at Year-End!

Sarasota Real Estate

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – November 2016

I hope that you enjoyed your holidays and created many lasting memories with family and friends, and wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

The final data for 2016 has yet to be released, but November statistics revealed that the previous couple of months of tempered activity in the Sarasota Real Estate Market turned quite briskly.  With the number of sales transactions near or below the same month last year for the months leading up to November, the trend pivoted.  Total sales exceeded November 2015 by 6.7%.  Also important was that the number of pending contracts signed rose nearly 29% when compared to last year’s activity for the same month.  Contract signings are up for both October and November, which appears to be signaling a strong year-end and start to 2017.

While new listings coming online were similar to the pace we’ve seen most of this year, they fell short of replenishing the sold and under-contract properties, leaving the Sarasota Real Estate Market shy of a balanced market.  With the market still leaning toward a seller’s market, prices would be expected to continue their climb, and as a result dollar transactions exceeded the increase in unit sales, with a total dollar volume of transactions nearly 8% higher than last year.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market and reportedly across much of the U.S. in the month leading up to the presidential election seemed to pause awaiting the outcome.  Whether specifically tied to the end of the election season, anticipated economic growth under a new administration, expected easing of onerous regulations that affect the housing and financial markets, pro-growth policies and initiatives likely coming from Congress or many other speculations, consumer confidence reached its highest level since August 2001 according to the Conference Board’s most recent report.

Housing industry experts and analysts predicted correctly the mortgage rate increase that occurred early last month, which some say may have contributed to higher sales in November as buyers tried to lock in low rates.  As the year progresses, rates are projected to reach 4.5%, but with a growing economy, job and wage growth, and improved home values experienced over recent years, economists are not concerned that a rise in rates will have a negative effect on the market – especially since interest rates are still at historic lows.  How many of us remember our 17% mortgages in the early 1980’s?

The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s solid fundamentals, enhanced by a growing population, strong local economy and jobs market, and incomparable quality of life will likely reflect in year-end reports coming out strong, and help to ignite an active selling season through the spring of 2017.

Sarasota Real Estate Market Data:

Sales:

As stated, The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s November unit sales were strong, with “traditional” (not including distressed inventory) increasing nearly 14% over the same month last year.  With pending contracts also rising considerably over prior year, it appears that we will have healthy improvement over last year for December and likely January, as well.  The highest volume of change in the market occurred in the $300,000-$999,000 price tier.  Many national experts cite our region as one of the most desirable for livability and economic stability, and on a population growth path that is expected to continue uninterrupted for the foreseeable future.

  • Total number of condominiums units sold in November increased 10.3% and were 17 units fewer than prior month.
  • Single-family home sales increased 5.2% when compared to November 2015, and decreased 4% compared to prior month.
    • Florida’s single family home sales increased 12.8% and condos 4.1%
    • S. single-family sales grew 16.2% and condos 10% – the highest level since February 2007.
  • The monthly average of single family sales this year is 665 vs. 774 in 2015, and for condos the monthly sales are 301 vs. 318 last year through November.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 37% of single-family and 59% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
    • Nationally, all cash sales represented 21% of total transactions.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in November were only 4% of total sales, compared to 10% last year.

Prices:

Median prices on the whole increased in The Sarasota Real Estate Market, with single-family homes posting an increase well above state and national growth, while our condo market median price tempered from its surge that had been seen in many of the months of 2016. Prices in our region, as I have noted in previous newsletters, were reported to have fallen at one of the nation’s highest percentages during the recession.  Despite our continued median price growth, we are still not matching what economists say is the natural escalation based on average GDP, so I do not believe that we are at all near a point overpricing in the regional housing market.  Average sale prices are more than 95% of list price, which indicates the market is reasonably accepting of the current prices.

  • In November Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $265,000 vs. $228,750 a year ago, an increase of 16%.
    • Florida’s median home price rose 10% to $220,000.
    • S. median home price for November was $236,500, 6.8% ahead of prior year.
  • The year to date monthly median average is $248,537 vs. $219,355 last year, a strong positive increase.
  • Condominium median sale price at $196,500 fell from $199,000 a year ago.
    • Florida median price for condominiums was $162,000 in November, an 8% increase over 2015.
    • S. median condo price in November was $222,600 increasing 5.8% compared to prior year.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $327,105 in November vs. $327,954 a year ago.
  • The year to date average price sold for houses is $345,538 vs. $318,630 last year, another strong increase.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price of $322,414 vs. $309,171 a year ago, a 4% increase. The year to date average price sold is $325,587 vs. $284,617 last year. There were two new luxury Longboat Key gulf front condo projects that had all their closings this year, which contributed to the increase.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price.

Inventory:

The supply of single-family homes and condos in The Sarasota Real Estate Market increased again in November, which has been the case for most of 2016.  However, with the volume of sales and pending sales growing at equally impressive levels, total inventory remains below demand.  While there is just a 4.4 month supply of single-family inventory and 5.4 months of condo inventory, we are inching closer to market equilibrium, which is marked by a 6-month supply of product, at which time it would be expected that price increases would slow.  As we enter our peak selling season, I do not anticipate a shift from a seller’s to a buyer’s happening in the near-term.

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 617 properties or 16% since the beginning of this year.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has only grown by 263 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • Condominium inventory has grown by 355 properties or 29% since the beginning of the year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5.4 months of supply of condos and 4.4 months of single-family homes in inventory.
  • Sarasota is averaging 1,284 new listings per month this year, about the same monthly average as 2015, and currently shows a total available inventory of 4,481 properties for sale.

The Homebuilder Association’s recent poll of its members showed confidence at the highest since 2005, signaling continued healthy growth in new homes and condominiums.  And while inventory is still favoring sellers, I expect the gap will edge closer to equilibrium as 2017 progresses.  Home prices will grow through the year, though at a more moderated pace than the last few years, and tapering off slightly as we enter 2018 and inventory begins to balance between supply and demand.

With our new administration having a keen understanding of the important role that real estate plays in the economy, I am quite bullish on the 2017 housing industry, and especially The Sarasota Real Estate Market.  Though global markets and incidents are always a threat to economic stability and cannot be ignored, Real Estate is a “local sport” and ours is well positioned to weather uncontrollable outside disruptions.

Analyzing The Sarasota Real Estate Market conditions, neighborhood activity, the new homes market and responding to a noticeable rise in buyer traffic has provided me essential insight to aid both buyers and sellers in achieving their objectives in today’s environment.  The value of a highly experienced, locally as well as globally connected agent/broker, and a skilled negotiator and advocate cannot be understated in this very competitive market.  I look forward to working with you, your family and friends in this exciting year ahead!

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – October 2016 – Market is Primed for Season

Sarasota Bay

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – October 2016

Primed Season

With fresh listings of new and existing homes filling the supply gap, The Sarasota Real Estate Market is primed for the peak selling season ahead.  We have been lamenting low inventory for the last couple of years, but the balance between supply and demand is finally narrowing, presenting buyers with more options to choose from.

These last few weeks have been extremely active – more so than we have seen in many months.  Whether the reason is post-election energy, response to the stock market rise, concern over the prospect of rising interest rates, value of the dollar against other global currencies or many other possibilities, buyers and sellers alike seem to be ready to take action as the year comes to an end.

October’s Sarasota Real Estate Market data has been released and after analyzing the information that I receive from a number of sources, and also reviewing economic and housing expert reports, the region appears to be well positioned to produce continued growth in sales and sale prices as 2017 gets started. Though the total number of units sold in October fell slightly below last year’s sales, dollar volume of transactions continued to be pacing ahead of 2015 year-to-date by approximately $100 million.

Median prices are growing consistently, and are expected to stay on the same steady path upward as we move into the time of year where the bulk of our transactions get underway.  Tourism projections for the coming peak winter/spring months are favorable, which bodes well for the real estate market since a large percentage of our buyers begin as visitors.  Reports of record numbers of new condominiums and homes being completed and ready for occupancy has created a positive impact on inventory and is beginning to ease the pent-up demand for newly built properties.  With continued strong demand and inventory issues easing, The Sarasota Real Estate Market is primed for season!

Sales

Sarasota Real Estate Market transaction volume moved slightly downward on October, however after distressed property activity is removed from the data, another picture emerges.  Foreclosure and short sale transactions are 60% below last year’s numbers, which has resulted in considerable downward pressure on the total numbers.  When “traditional” sales are looked at independently, single-family home sales increased 8% and condominiums rose 5.1% compared to last October.

  • Total number of condominiums units sold in October decreased 6.4% and single-family homes fell 7.3% when compared or October 2015.
  • The monthly average of single family sales this year is 665 vs. 717 in 2015, and for condos the monthly sales are 326 vs. 305 last year through October.
  • Single-family sales last month were short by only 4 sales from October 2015, and eased 6.6% from last month.
  • Condominium sales fell 3% over prior year and were 4 units less than last month.
    • Condominium sales throughout Florida saw a considerable decline of 12.3%.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 37% of single-family and 57% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in October were only 5% of total sales, compared to 12% last year.
    • Florida’s single-family homes sales say a decline of 5.35 compared to last October.

Prices

The median price of a home in the Sarasota Real Estate Market continued its climb, though it should be noted that our region is still not back to the peak pricing of the pre-recession period, and is still on a moderate trajectory leading industry experts to define our market as one of the healthiest among our MSA comps.  National economists are projecting median prices to grow 3.5% in 2017, after this year’s 4.8% median price increase.  Florida and our regional experts are suggesting that we may see increases in the 8% range in the Sarasota market.

  • In October Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $236,125 vs. $230,000 a year ago, an increase of 3%. The year to date monthly median average is $246,890 vs. $218,620 last year.
  • Condominium median sale price at $185,000 fell from $205,000 a year ago.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $318,818 in October vs. $319,377 a year ago.
  • The year to date average price sold is $347,381 vs. $317,963 last year.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price of $289,646 vs. $249,196 a year ago, a 16% increase. The year to date average price sold is $325,905 vs. $282,114 last year. There were two new luxury Longboat Key gulf front condo projects that had all their closings this year, which contributed to the increase.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price.

Inventory

Inventory remains the key market influencer.  The Sarasota Real Estate Market has seen consistent upward movement in housing stock this year, something that was badly needed to help to bring the region into a more balanced market position.  Though still below a traditional 6-month supply, which is believed to be neither a seller’s nor buyer’s market, the seeming surge in new inventory is necessary to fuel sales in the coming peak sales season.  In fact, given that inventory of well-located properties in superior condition remains quite tight, some would-be sellers are still holding back on listing their properties, because of concern that they will not find what they’re looking for in a new home in the same time it would take to sell their home.  Another conundrum our area has been facing.  I still encourage my prospective listing clients that there are some incredible properties that are well-priced and available now – it’s time to act before our seasonal shoppers arrive!

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 418 properties or 11% since the beginning of this year.
  • For single-family homes inventory has only grown by 167 properties since the beginning of the year and by 16% from a year ago.
  • Condominium inventory has grown by 398 properties or 20% since the beginning of the year and by 35% from a year ago.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5.2 months of supply of condos and 4.3 months of single-family homes in inventory, still shy of the 6-month target for a balanced market.
  • Sarasota is averaging 1,284 new listings per month this year, about the same monthly average as 2015 and currently shows a total available inventory of 4,315 properties for sale. Average number of properties sold this year is 970 per month vs. 1,043 monthly in 2015.

New home sales both regionally and nationally have grown considerably this year.  With new home sales pacing nearly 20% ahead of last year and prices also steadily increasing, some of the pent-up buyer demand is being met.  However, it is reported that new home sales only represent less than 12% of total sales, down from about 24% pre-recession.  With demand for new homes strong, labor supply is tightening and economists are warning that new home prices are likely to rise considerably in 2017.

There are many new homes and condos in the Sarasota Real Estate Market to choose from, but with an estimated 80% of new homes sold before completion, I encourage my clients seeking a new home to act sooner rather than later.  I have recently toured nearly every new luxury home that has come on the market in the preferred areas where my luxury clients are targeting their search, and I can say from my first-hand look, there are some stunners out there…but they won’t last for long!

With a new presidency will come a change in a wide range of policies.  Most economists are suggesting that the strategies being discussed will boost economic growth, and are even predicting the first multi-year sustained rate of inflation over 2% since 2007.  Compared to the 1.5% inflation over the last year, there is no question that it will have an effect on the real estate landscape.

A key change expected is that interest rates are anticipated to rise.  Given that today’s interest, which is below 4%, is the lowest (by a pretty wide margin) of each of the last four decades.  Experts advise that the increase will be measured and they do not see it having a negative impact on housing unless rates reach 5% or higher, which they believe to be very unlikely in the short-term.  At the same time, lending guidelines are expected to change allowing for more Americans to qualify for mortgages, and for lenders to get out from under some of the most onerous regulations so they can help more able homeowners achieve their dream.

With our key selling season just ahead, not only is the Sarasota Real Estate Market primed, but I also expect the continued consistent entry of new inventory will help to keep our market conditions more balanced than we’ve seen over the last few years, and that prices for all properties will maintain their steady climb. With the prospect of a healthy national economy in the coming year, and the attraction of the quality of life that Sarasota offers – that only gets better year after year – I believe that our real estate business will remain healthy through the end of this year and well into 2017.

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Market Conditions Remain Solid

Sarasota Bridge

Market Conditions Remain Solid

As the summer selling season gives way to our traditionally busier months ahead, recognizing The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s steadiness of demand, sales pace, price appreciation and inventory growth experienced in recent months is important.  Having a solid foundation as we head into “season” highlights the strength of our region’s market.  Despite general global economic uncertainty and political unknowns ahead, all indications from analysts and experts, the area is expected to continue on a steady path.

The bulk of activity in The Sarasota Real Estate Market occurs in the mid-market tier – between $150,000 – 400,000.  Driven by young professionals and newly forming families, retirees and investors this category represents the highest volume of sales transactions and new inventory.  The luxury category – above $1 million – saw steady activity throughout the summer months, and recent replenishment of quality inventory bodes well for the coming season.

A recent report from Luxury Portfolio, a Michael Saunders & Co. global luxury affiliate, revealed that more than one-half of the world’s ultra-wealthy population – more than 60,000 individuals – reside in N. America, Sarasota’s major feeder market.  And it was also noted that more than 45% of this of category of potential buyers of Sarasota’s luxury listings are planning to buy within the next three years, and a large percentage claim that they have been “Sidelining” cash until the U.S. presidential election is over.  To read more about their findings, see their most recent report titled The New Rules of Luxury Living.

One dilemma that my luxury home buyers are discovering, is having the patience needed to find the right property.  Luxury buyers behave differently from mid-market.  They typically demand first and foremost special locations, along with privacy, highest quality construction and specific style and floor plans.  Most are seeking properties in near-ready condition to move into, and with cash ready to pull the trigger as soon as they find what they’re looking for, they want “it” now.  Waiting for new construction or hassling with extensive renovations is not the prevailing preference.  I tell my luxury buyers that if they find something they like, they had better move quickly, because if they don’t someone else will!

On the other hand, selling luxury homeowners waiting for their own transition, have resisted making much needed renovations to their listings, so a number of the available properties will not meet luxury buyer demand – unless sellers are prepared to price their properties “right.”  While inventory at the luxury level has reached a more normalized quantity, quality is not necessarily where it needs to be to create robust activity.

The rate of new single-family homes and condos entering the marketplace is reported to be nearly 30% ahead of last year’s pace on a national level.  While I do not have accurate numbers to confirm local activity, based on general information released by developers and builders, the Sarasota Real Estate Market is exceeding this pace.  Homebuilder confidence remains strong and regional activity is expected to continue to be impressive through the year ahead, helping to relieve some of the pent-up demand for new construction.

September 2016 Sarasota Real Estate Market Data:

Sales:

Non-distressed activity once again recorded sales gains last month, rising 6.5%.  When all sales are figured in, total sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market decreased slightly from the previous month, which is typical of September, and declined 1% compared to September 2015.  As noted in my comments above, I do believe that market demand continues to be strong, and at all price points I am confident that with the solid market conditions we have, the season ahead looks promising.

  • The monthly average of single family sales this year is 672 vs. 730 in 2015, and for condos the monthly sales are 309 vs. 331 last year through September.
  • Single-family sales last month fell 3% from prior year, and 5% from last month.
  • Condominium sales grew 3.3% over prior year and were just slightly ahead of last month.
    • U.S. real estate sales saw condominium transactions fall 3.2%, and single-family homes grow 4.1% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s housing transactions saw single-family home sales fall by .5% compared to last year, and condo sales dipped 3.9%.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 35% of single-family and 57% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
    • The national percentage of all cash sales is near 20%, and Florida’s all cash transactions are reported to be 28%.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market August were only 6% of total sales, compared to 11% last year.
    • Distressed sales fell to a new low of only 4% on a national scale, and represent more than 9% of all sales in Florida.

Prices:

The growth of median prices in the Sarasota Real Estate Market continues, however as many will recall from my previous reports, the region is still on a recovery path and not yet at pre-recession levels.  The pace is larger than many other cities around the country, but we also had one of largest declines in prices in the nation.  The added bonus of the price gains here is that it has created considerable improvement in home equity, allowing those who have wanted to purchase something new greater freedom to do so.  Market experts recently reported that home equity wealth has doubled over the last five years, largely because of the recovery of home prices.  Seeing the Sarasota Real Estate pricing move back in line with what would be “normal” year-over-year patterns after more than a decade of less stable growth spurts and dips breeds even more confidence in the solid ground our region is on.

  • In September, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $249,000 vs. $223,500 a year ago, an increase of over 11%. The year to date monthly median average is $248,086 vs. $217,355 last year.
  • Condominium median sale price at $192,450 was consistent with a year ago.
    • Florida median price for a single-family home is reported to be up 11.3% over last year, to $222,500, and condo median prices increased 6.7% to $160,000, just about equal to August prices.
    • Nationally, median prices for single-family grew 5.6% to $235,700 and condos traded for 6.1% more than last year, now $222,100.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $340,938 in September vs. $341,376 a year ago. The year to date average price sold is $350,554 vs. $317,806 last year.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price of $275,757 vs. $319,365 a year ago, a 14% decrease and a significant decrease from the August average price of $330,379. The year to date average price sold is $329,933 vs. $285,772 last year.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price.
  • The national median price for new home sales is reported to be $313,500.

Inventory:

The majority of inventory growth is taking place in the mid-tier price points in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.  As mentioned, we are also seeing improvement in the number of properties on the market in the luxury price points, but as previously stated the luxury buyers are considerably more precise in what they are seeking and less likely to “settle” for something that doesn’t meet their criteria.  There is so much data available to consumers and real estate professionals that sellers must be ever-more careful in pricing properties competitively if they truly desire to sell their property.  While it is still a seller’s market, as we inch towards market equilibrium, pricing becomes all important.

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 303 properties or 8% since the beginning of this year.
  • For single-family homes inventory has only grown by 97 properties since the beginning of the year and by 20% from a year ago.
  • Condominium inventory has grown by 206 properties or 16% since the beginning of the year and by 39% from a year ago.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5 months of supply of condos and 4.2 months of single-family homes in inventory, still shy of a balanced market, which is defined by a 6-month supply of inventory.
  • Sarasota is averaging 1,283 new listings per month this year, about the same monthly average as 2015 and currently shows a total available inventory of 4,501 properties for sale. Average number of properties sold this year is 981 per month vs. 1,011 monthly in 2015.
    • Florida housing inventory is reported to have 4.2 months of single-family supply – 4.2% fewer than last year at this time, and 5.8 months on condos listed, 9% more than last year.
    • National inventory is reported to be 4.5 months of supply of all housing types, a dip of more than 6% in supply of available properties for sale.

With the recent indication that interest rates may be rising in the New Year, some are wary of how that will affect the Sarasota Real Estate Market.  As well, other macro-economic and political forces are bound to have some influence on buyers and sellers, our region’s proven stability and soundness may not insulate us entirely from an event of some significance, but I continue to be very confident that demand for our region will remain strong.  With the market moving closer to a balanced one between sellers and buyers, prices will continue their ascent and new construction will remain constant.

The Mortgage Bankers Association president and CEO was quoted as saying at their recent annual conference, “A home is more than the American Dream.  It is the heart of every community and housing comprises 18% of the gross domestic product, a steady source of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and it is critical to the success of every single American.”  This clearly rings true for Sarasota, where one of our most important economic drivers is the housing market.

Sarasota Real Estate Market’s steady decline of distressed homes and along with that the opportunistic investors taking advantage of those properties, the large population of cash buyers ready to take action, steady median price growth, a stable sales volume environment, increasing existing homes coming to market and growing new home inventory are all important factors creating the region’s solid foundation.

As I look ahead to our peak season, I not only look forward to assisting my valued buying and selling clients meet their expectations, but with season comes even more excitement in our community.  A plethora of fine exhibits, entertainment and performances by our extraordinary local and visiting artists, charitable events of every kind and for everyone supporting the amazing health and human services organizations in our area, and the arrival of our all-important tourists and seasonal residents make our winter and spring season something to truly look forward to.

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – August Activity Improves Market Balance

sarasota real estate

Is Market Equilibrium on the Horizon?

The Sarasota Real Estate Market has moderated in recent months, as has been widely reported including in my last few monthly newsletters.  After several years of double-digit price growth and desperately low inventories of existing homes and condominiums to meet demand, the market was heavily weighted on the side of sellers.  Serious buyers found the Sarasota market quickly pushing their anticipated budgets near or out-of-reach, especially in the low-mid market price points.

Over the last 12-months fluctuating median prices for existing single-family homes have moved 17.5% and condominiums have seen a spread in monthly median sale prices of 18.4%.  Though year-over-year monthly reports show slightly softer variances, these shifting prices are causing some, especially in the moderate priced categories to have angst over whether to move or stay put, placing some pressure on sales activity.

Another closely watched Sarasota Real Estate Market dynamic is housing inventory.  Last year the region was reporting a dearth of supply of existing properties with single-family homes sitting at just a 3.2 month supply and condos with only 3.1 months of available properties on the market.  Since then inventory levels have improved considerably with single-family home stock now reported to be 19% greater and condos rising more than 43% when compared to last August.  Although still shy of the “traditional” market equilibrium of 6-months of supply, this important market dynamic is contributing to slower price escalation and lengthened listing-to-sale periods.

The time it takes to sell a home or condo in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is a statistic we watch closely, especially as our peak selling season approaches.  With more properties for buyers to choose from, it is natural for selling times to increase, which is why I have been encouraging my “prospective” selling clients to enter the game NOW.  With selling periods averaging about 100 days from listing to closing, more than 30% higher over the year and increasing consistently, waiting to list is only delaying the potential sale further.

Sales

The number of total August property sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market increased compared to July, but fell 10% when compared to prior year.  In the price category where the most of my work is done – above $1 million – set against sales in August 2015, there were 38% more condo sales and 23% fewer single-family home transactions.  Total sales volume rose over July with 5% more sales dollars in single-family homes and condos had 9% more.  Year-over-year volume saw 3.9% less volume, likely the result of fewer distressed properties changing hands, and condominium transactions produced 1.4% more sales volume.

  • Sarasota is averaging monthly residential real estate sales for the eight months of 2016 of $344 million vs. $330 million in 2015. August saw $330.6 million in transactions, 6% less than July and 3% less than a year ago.
  • The monthly average of single family sales this year is 677 vs. 740 in 2015 and for condos the monthly sales are 312 vs. 371 last year through August.
  • Single-family sales last month were down 11% from prior year, and down 2% from July 2016.
  • Condominium sales were down 6% from last year in July and up 6% from July.
    • S. real estate sales decreased 1% from July and increased less than 1% compared to last year, with single-family home sales growing just .6% and condos up 1.1%.
    • Florida’s housing transactions saw single-family home sales grow 8.2% compared to last year and condo sales were up 3.5%. July sales in Florida had fallen considerably against prior year sales so this growth brought annual sales more in line with the steady growth seen in 2016.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 38% of single-family and 62% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market August were only 6% of total sales, compared to 14% last year.
  • New home building and sales in Sarasota and across the country remain strong with expectations from analysts that production and demand for new product will remain robust through the coming year.
    • Just yesterday a report was released by Metrostudy, a respected leader in housing industry analytics. It ranked the North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton area the 3rd “hottest” new home market in the country.  This mirrors recent surveys of national homebuilders, who remain extremely confident in the continued demand for new homes.

Prices

The monthly median price gains in 2016 have moved fairly steadily without any significant spikes.  This moderation in prices is a positive sign of the market’s health and helps to create a more sustainable housing market.  According to Trendgraphix, over the last three years, prices in the Sarasota Real Estate Market have seen the greatest upward shift in the under $250,000 segment and over $1 million tier with both seeing in excess of a 21% rise.  In the mid-market range of prices, there has been just a 4.6% increase in median prices since August 2014.  Industry experts are projecting a total of 5% price increase for the next 12-months and 3.5% for the 5 years after that.

  • In August, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $253,528 vs. $237,799 a year ago, an increase of nearly 7%. The year to date monthly median average is $247,972 vs. $216,587 last year.
  • Condominium median sale price grew to $220,000, a small increase over August 2015.
    • Florida median price for a single-family home is reported to be up 12.6% over last year, to $225,000, and condo median prices increased 6.7% to $160,000, just about equal to July prices.
    • Nationally, median prices for single-family grew 5.1% to $242,200 and condos traded for 3.7% more than last year, now $225,100.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $359,394 in August vs. $331,011 a year ago, an 8.5% increase. The year to date average price sold is $351,757 vs. $314,860 last year.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price of $330,379 vs. $304,615 a year ago, an 8.5% increase. The year to date average price sold is $336,705 vs. $281,573 last year.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price.

Inventory

Inventory of existing single-family homes and condominiums remained nearly stable with July.  Early this year inventory showed its strongest replenishment, growing at double-digit pace over 2015.  Each month since that point, the region has maintained stable inventory levels neither growing nor falling measurably.  The largest growth in available properties for sale has taken place in the $200,000 – $600,000 range where single-family homes grew about 36% and condos have about 50% more units listed.

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 310 properties or 8% since the beginning of this year.
  • For single-family homes inventory has only grown by 71 properties since the beginning of the year and by 20% from a year ago.
  • Condominium inventory has grown by 239 properties or 19% since the beginning of the year and by 43% from a year ago.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5.1 months of supply of condos and 4.1 months of single-family homes in inventory, still shy of a balanced market, which is defined by a 6-month supply of inventory, indicating the Sarasota Real Estate Market is still considered a “seller’s market” but inching toward equilibrium.
  • Sarasota is averaging 1,147 new listings per month this year and currently shows a total available inventory of 4,207 properties for sale. Average number of properties sold this year is about 1,000 per month.
    • Florida housing inventory is reported to have 4.2 months of single-family supply and 5.8 months on condos listed.
    • National inventory is reported to be 4.6 months of supply of all housing types.

With the peak Sarasota Real Estate Market selling season just a few months away, I am expecting a good deal of activity, both from new listings and continued strong demand.  Despite the many potential market disruptors, analysts and economists are expecting consumers to remain bullish on real estate through the next year.

Just this week, the National Association of REALTORS, Mortgage Bankers’ Association, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae all released forecasts for the 2017 housing market.  All groups project stronger selling activity than 2016, mostly as a result of Millennials buying homes for their growing families, as well as household balance sheets across the country steadily growing.

The closer our market moves to inventory equilibrium – meaning it is neither favoring sellers nor buyers – the less hyper-price escalation we will experience and listing-to-sale periods will continue to stretch longer.  While there will not be a shift from sellers’ to buyers’ market overnight, there has been good progress made toward a more balanced environment.  With all of these current and projected trends, the Sarasota Real Estate Market is in a healthy state and comfortably positioned to take us into the traditionally heavier buying months ahead.

 

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Moderating Sales Improves Sustainability

Sarasota penthouse

For those that follow Sarasota Real Estate Market activity in the media, it’s not new news to you that the pace of sales has clearly retracted through most of 2016.  However, conversely, keeping up with the brisk tempo of the last two record-setting years might be cause for some concern, given the still limited growth in inventory.  Homebuilder confidence once again rose this month, according to the National Association of Homebuilders, which is great news as it is the new construction that has had the greatest impact on the market this year.

As mentioned in my last month’s Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report, new home sales are not recorded with the Association of Realtors as all other data is, so it is difficult to have an accurate count of just how many new homes are being completed and sold.  Last week John Hielscher of the Herald Tribune reported that new home starts in the Sarasota Real Estate Market have grown 43.6% over the prior year.  Industry experts estimate that new home availability is about 4.5-months of supply, nearly the same as our existing home reserve.

While market reports indicate that total transactions in the Sarasota Real Estate Market fell over 22% last month, when adding the increase in new home construction and sales, and eliminating distressed transactions form the calculations, I do not believe that the moderating pace of sales is quite as dramatic as the number appears.

Within months, literally thousands of new condominiums, single-family homes and rental homes will be completed in our region, and looking at the Sarasota Real Estate Market conditions, I see a healthy environment and most certainly a sustainable one.

Sales

As mentioned, Sarasota Real Estate Market transaction fell more than 22% in July.  But if you remove the substantial decline in the distressed market, the “traditional” sales fell at a much less alarming level of 15.5%.  Indeed, the number is still worthy of a raised eyebrow, however, as I have said, I feel that new home/condo inventory is growing at a healthy pace now and is keeping real estate, one of our area’s most important economic drivers and employment sources, on an upward track.

When taking the sales activity and slicing it by price tier, the largest decline – about 26% – was in the under $200,000 category.  At the luxury level where most of my activity takes place (above $1 million), sales decreased about 18%.  Year-to-date, all sales in Sarasota’s Real Estate Market have fallen less than 8%.

  • Sarasota is averaging monthly sales in 2016 of $301.4 million vs. $277.4 million in 2015. July saw $311.1 million in transactions, 14% less than July 2015.
  • The monthly average of single family sales this year is 581 vs. 613 in 2015 and for condos the monthly sales are 281 vs. 297 last year through July.
  • Single-family sales last month were down 22% from prior year, and down 14% from June 2016.
  • Condominium sales were down 25% from last year in July and about 28% less than June.
    • S. real estate sales decreased 10.9% in July.
    • Florida’s housing transactions saw single-family home sales fall 8% compared to last year and condo sales were down 11.5%.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 34% of single-family and 59% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
    • On a national scale, all cash sales were 21% of total sales.
  • Distressed sales were only 6.2% of total sales, compared to 12% last year.

Note:  Some analysts have suggested that because July had five weekends and only 20 business days during which closings would be scheduled, the unusual calendar event may have contributed to the more significant drop in sales compared to other months of 2016.

Prices

Once again, the Sarasota Real Estate Market showed impressive price growth.  Though we have fallen a bit from the heady 20+% year-over-year increases of last year, again this moderation is a sign of health and market stability.

  • In July, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $242,500 vs. $219,500 a year ago, an increase of nearly 9.5%. The year to date monthly median average was $212,536 vs. $182,200 last year.
  • Condominium median sale price grew to $205,000, an increase of 8% over July 2015.
    • Florida median price for a single-family home is reported to be up 11.6% over last year, to $223,000, and condo median prices increased 6.8% to $160,000.
    • Nationally, median prices for all homes rose 5.3%.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $335,617 in July vs. $308,356 a year ago, a 8.8% increase.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price of $325,238 vs. $275,700 a year ago, an 18% increase.
  • Sarasota homes sold at 95% of the list price.

Median home prices

This week, leading real estate news and data resource, KeepingCurrentMatters, prepared a chart for the years 2000-2016 that overlays actual home price increases (in tan) on one that shows an historically based average of 3.6% annual increase (dark blue). Despite some commentators concern that prices are escalating at too rapid a pace – or even that we may be entering a housing bubble, this chart offers a very interesting picture asserting that without the wild price swings over the last decade, our home prices might be even higher.

Inventory

The rising inventory of existing homes and condominiums for sale has been steady these last several months – and we needed it!  Buyer interest has remained strong all through the summer and we will need this increased selection of properties as the selling season ramps up in the fall.

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 404 properties or 10% since the beginning of this year.
  • For single-family homes inventory has grown 7% and condos 18% over the past 12 months.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee Total reports that there are just 5.1 months of supply of condos and 4.2 months of single-family homes in inventory, well shy of a balanced market, which is defined by a 6-month supply of inventory, indicating the Sarasota Real Estate Market is still considered a “seller’s market.”
  • Sarasota is averaging 1,176 new listings per month this year and currently shows a total available inventory of 4,301 properties for sale.

While national, state and regional data all showed a softer month of sales in July, it is important to remember than a single month does not indicate a long-term trend.  There are many influencers on the number of closings each month and any single one can swing activity quickly, one way or the other.  An example is my note earlier about the number of days available in the month of July to transact closings, another is when the school year starts creating a “need” for families to complete moves by a certain date, and yet another is how long an appraisal might take and whether it might be disputed and cause closings to be postposed, or even further negotiation on a sale price.  In addition, research has shown that the Baby Boomer generation is staying in their homes longer than in years past, and instead there has been a surge in home improvement spending.  Is this trend beginning to affect property sales?

The Sarasota Real Estate Market is presently stabilized with new homes and condo activity robust to help in keeping pace with demand.  The region continues to be ranked one of the best places to live, work and play, and early indications for the fall selling season look promising.  A healthy local economy, steady demand and “seller’s market” inventory levels are considered by market experts to be signs of a stable real estate market.  2016 may not beat last year’s sales and price appreciation records, but I believe the area needed moderation to ensure sustainability.

Echoing my view of the market’s health, just today, CoreLogic economist Sam Khater called the housing market “an oasis of stability.”  He says that the moderation in housing prices vs a market with volatility and more dramatic fluctuations indicates weakened sustainability.  In today’s steady market he proclaims that, “a stable home price environment is a very good sign for the housing market and will help anchor the economy if it encounters rough patches in the future.”

With fresh inventory entering the market, maybe it’s time for those buyers who haven’t yet started the search to take advantage of the larger number of choices before our peak selling season starts.  At the same time, I would recommend anyone considering selling so that they can purchase something else not to wait – prices will continue to rise modestly, but if you’re waiting for some large increase before listing your home, that is unlikely.  Rather you may want to view these great new properties that are being listed, because they might just be what you’re hoping for in a new home!