Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Market Report – April 2018 Luxury Tier Maintains Growth

Longboat Key Condo

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – April 2018

Sarasota Real Estate Market’s Luxury Tier Maintains Growth Pattern

The whole of the Sarasota Real Estate Market continues to experience measured growth in sales, price appreciation and generally stable inventory conditions. But it is in the luxury tier – properties for sale over $1,000,000 – where activity has been consistently showing year-over-year growth of some significance. Subscribers to my newsletter are aware that the majority of my transactions are in this category, so I do watch and analyze it more than other price points. It has been some time since I focused one of my monthly reports on this segment, so in light of the unique aspects of this tier, I thought it was deserving of my April highlight.

What has been especially noteworthy in the Sarasota Real Estate Market this year is the completion of several spectacular new condominium projects, which have begun welcoming residents over the last six months. These developments, as well as other existing luxury condo residences had an increase in sales of more than 95% in the first four months of the year, when compared to the same period in 2017.  By comparison, single family homes in the over $1 million category increased 24% over prior year.

Another remarkable piece of data is in pending sales, those properties put under contract in the month but not yet closed. According to Trendgraphix, million dollar and above condominiums have shown consistently high growth over prior year with an average of 77% more pending contracts signed each month in 2018 compared to last year. Keeping an eye on pending contracts is key to being able to project sales activity in the 1-3 months ahead.

Also of note is inventory of available luxury condos in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. Again, using the first four months of the year, the area is averaging 27% less inventory of million dollar condo properties on the market. In contrast, inventory of luxury single-family homes is averaging 27% more monthly inventory when compared to last year.

The luxury condo market could be said to have been “disrupted” by the addition of the new buildings, but with others currently under construction and several more in various stages of design and development, I believe the trends that we have seen thus far in 2018 are likely to become the norm over the next couple of years. There has been great pent-up demand from both in-market and out-of-market buyers wanting to buy new construction, and with years of no new product coming to market, I believe there is great promise for luxury condo absorption.

In-market demand is especially interesting as I am finding a desire from current residents on the keys to want to relocate to downtown Sarasota and some new east County developments. In addition, there are many “baby-boomer” local clients looking for the lower-maintenance, privacy and security, and especially luxury-hotel-like services and amenities of today’s condominiums, instead of maintaining a large single-family home.

When looking at where the majority of our non-residents are coming from – the northeastern U.S., as well as Canada and the U.K., Sarasota Real Estate is a great value/investment in comparison to their home communities, with an incredible bonus of the extraordinary Sarasota lifestyle. Luxury buyers are no longer just seeking prime locations, lifestyle has become a primary factor in where to make their investments. The ultra-wealthy have also become increasingly mobile with easy global travel and tech advances allowing them to work remotely, allowing them to spend more time in their preferred location.

The Federal Reserve released a recent report identifying that there are 12.6 million U.S. households that rank in the nation’s top 10% level of wealth, defined as having more than $1.2 million in total assets. Market analysts used this information to assert that there are more potential wealthy buyers than ever before.

One challenge that exists for us in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is that buyers of premium properties typically have the benefit of time and money to wait to find the perfect home. On the other side of the coin, they are often not under pressure to have to sell another home before closing on a new one. So will these wealthy prospects wait for the yet to be completed new buildings to be developed, or will they want to take advantage of the excellent existing condos that have been put on the market during the last year but have not yet been sold, and choose to renovate so that they can move sooner rather than later?

For a snapshot of data from the Sarasota Real Estate Market as it compares to previous year and also state and national statistics, see below:

Sales

  • Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $465.3 million in April increased by $43.4 million from the prior year, and decreased $35.2 million from March.
    • Broken down, single-family dollar volume increased $23.7 million or 8% compared to the prior year and condo sales dollar volume was up $38.3 million or 32% from the prior year. A very healthy status of the market.
  • The number of properties sold in April including both single family and condominiums was 1,200, which was 20 less than March and 26 more than a year ago.
    • Florida’s single-family sales decreased 4.1% and condo sales were up 9.2% compared to prior year.
    • S. single-family sales declined 1.6% and condo sales increased 1.6%.
  • The 2018 monthly year to date average for sold properties is 1,040 whereas the 2017 monthly average was 978 for the year and in 2016 the monthly average was 952.
  • Of the closed sales in Sarasota last month 54 were for over $1,000,000 or 4.5% of total sales, 39 were houses and 15 were condominiums. Though only a small number of units in comparison to total, it is interesting to note that data that I reviewed showed that nearly 25% of total sales volume in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in April was from the luxury market.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 37% of single-family and 64% of condo sales closed without a mortgage. By comparison, national all cash transactions were 21% of total sales.
  • Total pending sales of 1,134 properties that went under contract during April decreased by 101 transactions from the same month last year.
    • As mentioned earlier in this report, the luxury market experienced a notably higher pending contract rate than previous year.
    • S. pended sales for all housing types fell by 2.1% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending increased by 2%.
  • For the first four months of 2018 we have averaged 1,257 pending contracts signed. The monthly average of new pending sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in 2017 was 1,043 vs. 1,005 in 2016.

Prices

  • In April, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $285,000 vs. $272,500 a year ago, a 5% increase.
  • The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $267,043 and $249,943 in 2016.
    • In April, Florida median price for single-family homes was $253,895, an 8.1% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew by 5.5% to $259,900.
  • Condominium median sale price was $235,000 in April vs. $215,000 in April 2017.
  • The 2017 monthly condominium median average is $225,585 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $190,000 a 10.5% increase over April 2017.
    • S. median condo price grew 3.4% in April to $242,500.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $410,122 in April vs. $382,073 a year ago.
  • The past year’s monthly average price for houses sold was $370,708 vs. $346,232 in 2016.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in April of $350,311 vs. $312,361 a year ago.
  • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $362,378 vs. $325,802 in 2016.
  • Overall properties sold for at 95% of the list price, a consistent ratio on a regular basis. The 2017 average for all properties sold was 95.6% of list price at the time of contract vs. the original list price.

Inventory

  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,289 properties for sale in Sarasota County, there were 4,401 at the end of 2017, 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has decreased by 70 properties from March, 484 less properties than in April 2017, and 112 than the end of 2017.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 4.6 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market, and indicating that we are still in a seller’s market.
    • Florida currently has 3.8 months of single-family inventory and 5.8 months of condominiums.
    • S. inventory of all housing types is sitting at just 4.0 months of supply.
  • Sarasota County had 1,236 new listed properties in April. The local market averaged 1,147 new listings per month in 2017, and in 2016 it was 1,005.
  • Of the total new listings the past month, 72 properties were listed over $1,000,000 or only 6%.

Statistics on new home construction in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is difficult to obtain, but one recent report noted that more than 900 new home starts in 2017 occurred in Lakewood Ranch alone. I drove through Lakewood Ranch this week to visit some of the new communities underway and continue to me amazed at the seemingly endless new home building. Add Palmer Ranch, The West Villages and other planned communities, along with homebuilder confidence being near an all-time high, and it appears that the new inventory stream will help to maintain a steady balance between supply and demand.

Sarasota has been dubbed a “lifestyle market” where beach, cultural arts and entertainment, culinary offerings, golf and other sports activities are strong influencers for buyers. While our region used to be known as a second home market, we are evolving to a more primary market, not only for the lifestyle aspects, but also for its relative value where buyers can enjoy more space and luxury design elements for their investment.

Consumer confidence remains quite high as a result of a strong jobs market and healthy economy. There appears to be buyer resiliency with little effect on demand from rising interest rates and the prospect of additional increases expected this year. Demand from buyers interested in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is still outpacing supply in virtually all price points and housing segments. All of these market fundamentals suggest that our region will continue its steady expansion.

Economists have estimated that more than 1,000 people move to Florida every day. With Sarasota’s unique lifestyle attributes and affordability when compared to many other coastal communities, it appears that without a significant global geopolitical or other unforeseeable disruption, our region is poised to maintain a healthy pace of sales and price growth, and also inventory balance for the year ahead.

Having assisted clients in the region for more than 35 years, I have the knowledge and experience to guide my customers through the labyrinth of searching for or marketing and selling a property in a relaxed and rewarding manner.

As always, I look forward to serving you, your family and friends with their real estate needs.

Sarasota’s Finest Properties April Featured Listing

Sarasota Real Estate

View all Michael’s Listings Here

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Market Scores with Solid Spring

Sarasota Waterfront

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – March 2018

Sarasota Real Estate Market Scores with Solid Spring

The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s spring selling season is winding down, but some of our strongest months are still ahead. Traditionally, May, June and July are when buyers who viewed properties in our peak season make their offers and close on their new properties. So far this year, sales have been 8.7% higher than 2017’s first quarter, and based on the traffic that I have seen, I believe our market will not only maintain its energy and continue to produce growth in sales and prices, but also retain our balanced conditions.

As stated in past reports, I keep a close eye on the luxury market, which is defined as properties above the $1 million mark. In March, the Sarasota Real Estate Market saw 42 single-family homes and 38 condos change hands in the luxury price tier. 67 homes and 26 condos at the price point came to market, essentially maintaining status quo as far as available properties are concerned. In the first quarter of 2018, million dollar transactions were about 6.7% of total sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. It is important to note that the luxury market tends to have less peaks and valleys of seasonal demand when compared to lower and mid-market tiers.

Much of the country is facing severe shortages of inventory, and despite last month’s slide in new listings in all price points in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, the region is still in a stable position with more than four-months of single-family homes and nearly five-months of condos available for sale. It is not entirely unusual to see a softening of new inventory coming to market at the end of season, as sellers often take their properties off the market to reassess pricing, make repairs that were obstacles to buyers, to hold through the summer and await the next peak tourist season, or because they themselves were not able to find the “move-up” or “move-on” property they were seeking.

Because the Sarasota Real Estate Market remains a seller’s market, meaning having less than six-months of available inventory which is the presumed balance point between buyers and sellers, prices continue to grow. Single-family prices increased 9.3% and condos 4.3% from prior year, and while that sounds like fairly hefty growth, prices are still within range of the pace of growth that Florida and the rest of country are experiencing. In addition, though we are closing in on pre-recession home price levels, there is no need for alarm. This region experienced such dramatic loss of housing values that I believe there is still plenty of room for prices to grow before any concern is warranted.

The pace of new pending contracts signed last month leveled off compared to prior year, but for the quarter is still nearly 5% ahead of 2017. This should help to keep the pace of sales in the next couple of months on track for market growth compared to prior year through the summer.

For a snapshot of data from the Sarasota Real Estate Market as it compares to previous year and also state and national statistics, see below:

Sales

  • Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $500.5 million in March increased by $85.1 million from the prior year, and increased $132.2 million over the prior month.
    • Broken down, single-family dollar volume increased $41.9 million or 15% compared to the prior year and condo sales dollar volume was up $43.2 million or 30% from the prior year.
  • The number of properties sold in March including both single family and condominiums was 1,220, which was 336 more than February and 23 more than a year ago, representing a modest 2% growth in number of closings in the month over last March.
    • Florida’s single-family sales decreased 3.5% and condo sales were down 1.8% compared to prior year.
    • U.S. single-family sales declined 1% and condo sales fell 3.2%.
  • The 2017 monthly average of total sales in Sarasota was 978 and in 2016 the monthly average was 952.
  • Of the closed sales in Sarasota last month 80 were for over $1,000,000 or 6.6% of total sales – 42 were houses and 38 were condominiums.
    • Florida and U.S. $1 million sales were about 3% of total sales in comparison.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 38% of single-family and 65% of condo sales closed without a mortgage. By comparison, national all cash transactions were 20% of total sales.
  • Total pending sales of 1,379 properties that went under contract during March increased by 8 transactions from the same month last year.
    • U.S. pended sales for all housing types fell by 3% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending also dropped about 3%.
  • The monthly average of new pending sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in 2017 was 1,043 vs. 1,005 in 2016. For the first three months of 2018 we have averaged 1,298 pending contracts signed.

Prices

  • In March, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $287,053 vs. $262,621 a year ago, a 9% increase.
  • The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $267,043 and $249,943 in 2016.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $250,800, an 8.2% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew by 5.8% to $250,400.
  • Condominium median sale price was $240,000 in March vs. $230,000 in March 2017.
  • The 2017 monthly condominium median average is $225,585 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $183,000 a 7% increase over March 2017.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 4.8% in March to $236,100.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $412,904 in March vs. $350,055 a year ago.
  • The past year’s monthly average price for houses sold was $370,708 vs. $346,232 in 2016.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in March of $405,745 vs. $341,458 a year ago.
  • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $362,378 vs. $325,802 in 2016.
  • Overall properties sold for at 94.9% of the list price. The 2017 average for all properties sold was 95.6% of list price at the time of contract vs. the original list price.

Inventory

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has decreased by 646 properties from February, 778 less properties than in March 2017, and 968 more than the end of 2017.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,369 properties for sale in Sarasota County, there were 4,401 at the end of 2017, 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 4.8 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market.
    • Florida currently has 3.8 months of single-family inventory and 5.9 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is sitting at just 3.6 months of supply.
  • Sarasota County had 1,359 new listed properties in March, the local market averaged 1,147 new listings per month in 2017, and in 2016 it was 1,005.
  • Of the total new listings the past month, 93 properties were listed over $1,000,000.

The Mortgage Bankers Association recently reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was at its highest since August of 2013. However, even at 4.58% they said that mortgage applications were up 11% compared to last year at this time. The generally solid economic news, growth of homeowner equity resulting from prices rising across the country and steady investment growth, leads experts to opine that they do not anticipate the rising interest rates to diminish demand for housing.

Last month’s survey of home builders once again showed confidence in continuing a steady pace of both new multi-family and single-family development. With a steady in-flow of new product in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, price growth will remain moderate as demand still exceeds both existing available inventory and pace of new housing completions. In fact, the pace of home price increases is reported to be back on a similar track as was seen for the 15-year period preceding the financial crisis, when annual growth averaged 6.1%.

As the traffic and high-season pace of activity in the Sarasota area begins to ebb, I want to remind all of my non-resident readers that this area has so very much to offer in the “softer” shoulder and summer seasons. The wide variety of performing arts, stunning exhibits at our galleries and facilities such as Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Andy Warhol feature and the ever-thought provoking Embracing our Differences on the downtown Bayfront, endless activities on the water and at the beaches, beautiful golf courses and so much more make this one of my favorite times of year. Consider coming to see for yourself why investing in the lifestyle that is Sarasota is something truly like none other – every season of the year!

Having assisted clients in the region for more than 35 years, I have the knowledge and experience to guide my customers through the labyrinth of searching for or marketing and selling a property in a relaxed and rewarding manner.

As always, I look forward to serving you, your family and friends with their real estate needs.

This Month’s Featured Listing from Michael’s Portfolio:

Sarasota Real Estate

View all of Michael’s Listings HERE

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – December 2017 – Out Like a Lion

sarasota real estate market

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report

December 2017 – Out Like a Lion

Still deep in the middle of winter, this weather idiom seemed appropriate to describe the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s December performance. With strong growth in sales, prices and pending sales, we did not gently ease into 2018 – we came roaring in!

Recent reports from the Sarasota County Finance Department helped to support my opinion that 2018 will continue to show strong activity in the real estate market. Two highlights were that unemployment fell 15% last year and building permits pulled in December were 50% greater than the same month last year. Much of the new employment occurred in the construction industry. Schools are making every effort to help to train young people in the building trades, but challenged to keep up with demand.

The new tax code is expected to incent small business formation, which the local home building community hopes will grow the talent pool available to meet the ever-rising demand for new construction and renovations.

Michael Saunders recently spoke to a group of luxury realtors previewing a stunning new property. She said buyers, especially at the high-end where the majority of my activity takes place, are seeking “perfection,” and they’re willing to wait for it. Most buyers of premium properties close their transactions without a mortgage and have funds immediately available when the time comes to purchase their “perfect” property.

As new listings of existing homes continue to fall short of demand for high quality construction and finishes in the most coveted locations, more luxury buyers are looking to new construction – whether in a new community or razing an older home so that they can build exactly what they want, where they want it. However, they are having to wait longer for construction to take place and finish due to the lack of available tradespeople in our area.

The other strong dynamic driving much of the demand is the new-family formation in the millennium population. While many would say that Sarasota is an “older” community, recent census reports revealed that Sarasota saw the 9th largest growth in percentage of millennial population in the country, just barely behind expected cities like Austin and San Diego. Millennials now represent nearly 16% of our MSA’s population, and many if not most, were born and raised here.

This group, ages 21-37, is eclipsing the baby-boomers and now represents two-fifths of the working population in the US. These 75 million Americans are now of age and at a point in their professional careers where they are ready to purchase homes. They tend to prefer urban settings and short commutes to work and schools, helping to explain the considerable multi-family infill by developers and renovation of older cottages that we are seeing in the city of Sarasota.

Lest those who prefer not to see any new growth should be alarmed by the strong Sarasota Real Estate Market, that Sarasota County report that I mentioned earlier showed that in 2017 the area saw just a 2% increase in population. The traffic, including increased commercial vehicles on the roads, is in part due to an increase in part-time residents, but is more a result of a strong economy and appears less to be blamed on swelling population.

With the robust economy, increase in household wealth via greater home values and stock market investments, our residents are spending more – on household items, home improvement, dining out, shopping and entertainment. This spending is creating those jobs that brought our unemployment to historic lows, has encouraged fantastic new restaurants and amazing food markets, some of the best healthcare in the country, new retail options and year-round exceptional quality performing and visual arts…further enhancing the region’s quality of life.

Below is a collection of data gathered from a number of local, state and national reports that I monitor.

Sales:

  • Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $401.5 million in December increased $89.7 million from prior year and increased $13.7 million over the prior month.
    • Broken down, single-family dollar volume increased 13% compared to prior year and condos sales dollar volume was up 64%, as with last month, mainly due to the closings of sales of the new large condominium building, The Vue, in downtown Sarasota.
  • The number of properties sold in December including both single family and condominiums was 966 which was 92 more than November and 51 more than a year ago.
    • Florida’s single-family sales increased 2.6% and condo sales grew 6% over prior year.
    • U.S. single-family sales decreased 2.6% and condo sales were up only 1.7%.
  • The 2017 monthly average of total sales is 978 vs last year the monthly average was 952, a similar monthly pace.
  • Of the closed sales 87 were for over $1,000,000 or 9%. 30 were houses and 47 were condominiums.
    • The increase over prior year for homes sold over $1 million was 36.4% and condos were a remarkable 327% greater (again likely the result of completion of The Vue.)
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 40% of single-family and 63% of condo sales closed without a mortgage.  This percentage consistently exceeds trends for Florida and national cash sales (20% in December.)
  • Total pending sales of 895 properties that went under contract during December increased by 88 from the same month last year, an 11% increase.
    • U.S. pended sales for all housing types grew by just .5% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending sales were less than 1% higher than last year.
  • The monthly average of new pending sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market this year is 1,043 vs. 1,005 in 2016.

Prices:

  • In December, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $285,000 vs. $264,500 a year ago, 7.8% higher.
    • The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $267,043 vs. $249,943 last year.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $244,185, an 8% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew by 5.8% to $248,100.
  • Condominium median sale price was $250,000 in December vs. $217,000 in 2016.
    • The 2017 monthly condominium median average is $225,585 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $180,000 a 7.8% increase over December 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 6.4% in December to $236,500.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $382,597 in December vs. $350,103 a year ago.
    • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold is $370,708 vs. $346,232 last year.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in December of $480,239 vs. $321,329 a year ago, again attributable to new The Vue luxury condominium building closings.
    • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $362,378 vs. $325,802 last year.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95.5% of list price, and condominiums sold at 95.7% of the list price. The year to date average for all properties sold is 95.6% of list price at the time of contract vs. the original list price.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 55 listed properties from November, as there typically is an increase as peak season approaches.
    • Since January 1st, inventory has fallen by 194 properties or 4%.
    • Currently there is available inventory of 4,401 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.3 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market.
    • Florida currently has 3.6 months of single-family inventory and 5.6 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 3.2 months, 10.3% less than a year ago and the lowest since tracking of the data began in 1999.
  • Sarasota County is averaging 1,147 new listings per month and in 2016 it was 1,259.
  • Of the total new listings the past month 11% or 122 properties were listed over $1,000,000.
  • 24% or 276 new listings the past month were listed for between $400,000 and $600,000.
  • 65% of the month’s new listings were listed for under $400,000.

Distressed Sales:

These are sales that are short sales, selling below the underlying mortgage amount, or foreclosed properties, those selling by the lender. This part of the market is becoming so insignificant that I no longer plan on reporting about it in the future.

  • For 2017 of the 11,734 properties sold only 453 or 4% were of a distressed sale nature.
  • 368 sales were houses and 85 were condominiums.
  • 289 houses and 73 condominiums were foreclosed properties.
  • 79 houses and 12 condominiums were short sales. Fortunately for the overall economy this process is finally in the country rear view mirror.
  • For the most part the prices of these transactions are on the very low end of our overall local market.

Bloomberg News recently reported, “America’s housing market is gearing up for a robust year ahead. Builders are more optimistic, demand is strong and lean inventory is keeping prices elevated.” This seems to be the mantra throughout the real estate expert and economic analyst spheres, as nearly every report released in the last month has said the same.

The dollar has weakened some against key international markets, which is expected to keep our foreign buyers investing in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. It helps our buyers and sellers to have the powerful global relationships that Michael Saunders & Company has forged.

The robust and growing US economy, strong demand from buyers and somewhat weak supply will shape the Sarasota Real Estate Market in the year ahead. High consumer confidence as we have now tends to translate to a strong real estate market.

If you have been considering listing your property, I cannot express how strongly I feel that entering the marketplace at this time of year is most advantageous in that you’re capturing the greatest number of eyes during peak season.

At the same time, if you are a buyer, with prices expected to maintain a healthy pace of appreciation, interest rates set to increase and inventories anticipated to grow only gradually, now is a prime time to select something from the beautiful properties we currently have available in the region.

Seller or buyer, I am eager to assist you in achieving your desired outcomes!  Don’t hesitate to call to share your goals and I will help you to determine the best plan for your unique needs.

Michael’s Featured Listings:

401 S Palm collage2

Elden Savoy collage2

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – What Might a 2018 Crystal Ball Tell Us?

2018 Sarasota Real Estate Market

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – November 2017

If We Had a 2018 Crystal Ball What Might it Tell Us?

The 2017 Sarasota Real Estate Market appears to be on track to exceed prior year sales by as much as 10% if pending sales in October and November close as expected.  With another leap in contracts signed but not yet closed in December, it seems the region is well positioned to maintain its healthy expansion into 2018.

A stabilized market for an extended period signals that we are no longer in a market recovery.  Instead the Sarasota Real Estate Market is vibrant yet controlled, vigorous but without signs of fragility, and flourishing due to a number of hyper-local as well as national and global effects.  Completely different from the ride up to the market crash, consistent improvement without the toxic market volatility has placed us in a position to allow for steady growth.

Economists and market experts are in agreement that sales, prices and new construction are all expected to grow in the coming year.  What is influencing the positive outlooks?  Nothing that we haven’t reported in this monthly report throughout the year…but all worth mentioning again as we prepare to enter a New Year.

  • Interest rates are expected to remain at historically low levels. There are conflicting opinions on whether there will be three or four fed rate hikes, but none believe rates will reach 5% at least before the end of next year.
  • Unemployment rates are at a 17-year low and wages are rising giving eager homebuyers the confidence to take the plunge.
  • The country’s economic growth is spurring consumer confidence, which in turn fuels the real estate market.
  • Household wealth has expanded in part due to the healthy real estate market, but also the surging stock market and personal investments, building homeowner equity and available funds for real estate investment.
  • A large new generation of millennials is moving from rental to homeownership. They are expected to absorb considerable inventory of new and existing homes.
  • Reticent sellers afraid they couldn’t find their “move-up” dream are expected to finally list their properties, as a vast number of new homes will become available and recently updated and modernized existing homes come to market.

A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that the number of homeowners believing that now is a good time to sell is 14% higher than this time last year.  Though we hoped the Sarasota Real Estate Market would have seen more easing of tight inventories in certain prized locations and price-points, the listings activity did not yet bring us to six-month supply, which is considered a well-balanced market.

Despite still being in a seller’s market (and expected to stay that way at least for the first half of the year,) and with an average sale at 95% of list price, buyers are optimistic.  The volume of calls that I am receiving from sellers who had hesitated listing their properties is high, so I see improving inventory conditions ahead.

Prices this year across the country have grown 5-6%.  In the Sarasota Real Estate Market we have seen several months of double-digit year-over-year growth, mostly a result of tight inventories.  As our listings grow, price appreciation is likely to soften a bit, further reinforcing market stability.

Homebuilders learned some tough lessons in the real estate market crash as they were left with loads of excess inventory and undeveloped land.  Though homebuilder confidence is nearly at an all-time high, the business model has turned from who can have the biggest market share, to profitability and balance sheet fortitude.

While builders have yet to meet demand, the pipeline is encouraging and pacing ahead of prior year production.  Concerns for too few “starter homes” and affordable options are expected to persist, as there is just too much demand for builders in the mid-market and luxury new homes.

My crystal ball is obviously telling me that, without considerable unforeseen disruptive events, we are headed for another stellar year in the Sarasota Real Estate Market!

But 2017 isn’t over yet!  Following are the results of the busy November Sarasota Real Estate Market and comps to some state and national data.  Based on the strong activity in November and continuing growth in pending contracts signed in the month, I see this year ending with healthy growth of sales and median prices, along with moderate volume of new listings and a local market primed for a Happy New Year!

Sales:

  • Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $387.8 million in November increased $118.8 million from prior year and increased $73.6 million over the prior month.
    • Broken down, single-family dollar volume increased 45% compared to prior year and condos sales dollar volume was up 92.7%.
  • The number of properties sold in November including both single family and condominiums was 874 which was 20 more than October and 48 more than a year ago.
  • Single-family home sales fell by 3.3% in November, but condo sales saw a remarkable 26% growth, much as a result of the new bayfront The Vue project completion.
    • Florida’s single-family grew by 1.3% and condos were 5.8% higher than November 2016.
    • U.S. sales were at the highest sales pace since December of 2006.  Single-family grew by 3.2% and condos by 7.5%.
  • The 2017 monthly average of total sales is 979 vs last year the monthly average was 952, a similar monthly pace.
  • Of the closed sales 84 were for over $1,000,000 or 10%. 34 were houses and 50 were condominiums.
    • In the $600,000 and higher price point, single-family sales grew 40% and condos priced over $600,000 were 335% greater than prior year!
  • 165 closed sales were sold between $400,000 and $1,000,000 or 19%.
  • 71% of the closed sales were under $400,000.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 36% of single-family and 68% of condo sales closed without a mortgage.  This percentage consistently exceeds trends for Florida and national cash sales (22% in November.)
  • Total pending sales of 940 properties that went under contract during November increased by 133 from the same month last year, a 16.5% increase.  The largest segment of growth was condominiums, which may also be attributed to pending closings in the large nearly sold-out Vue project.
    • U.S. pended sales for all housing types grew by just .8% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending sales were 6.6% higher than last year.
  • The monthly average of total pending sales this year is 1,545 vs. 1,540 in 2016.

Prices:

  • In November, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $285,000 vs. $265,000 a year ago, 7.5% higher.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $240,000, a 9.1% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew by 5.4% to $248,800.
    • The median price in November for a NEW home in the U.S. was $318,700.
  • The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $266,320 vs. $249,943 last year.
  • Condominium median sale price was $240,000 in November vs. $207,770 in 2016.
  • The 2017 monthly median average is $223,365 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $176,000 an 8.6% increase over November 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 8.8% in November to $242,500.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $414,368 in November vs. $350,103 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold is $369,627 vs. $346,232 last year.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in November of $493,125 vs. $322,414 a year ago. A contributing factor to this growth is the closing of numerous new construction luxury residences at The Vue.  In fact, condo sales for units above $600,000 were 335% higher than prior year, strongly impacted by the same project.
  • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $351,663 vs. $325,802 last year.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95.3% of list price, and condominiums sold at 95.7% of the list price. The year to date average for all properties sold is 94.8%.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 287 listed properties from October, as there typically is an increase as fall approaches.
  • Since January 1, 2017, inventory has fallen by 249 properties or 5%.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,356 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • There are currently 7.3% fewer single-family homes on the market in the over $1 Million price point than there were in November 2016, and condos in the same luxury level have 12% fewer units to choose from than last year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.2 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market.
    • Florida currently has 3.8 months of single-family inventory and 5.7 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 3.4 months, 9.7% less than a year ago.
  • Sarasota County is averaging 1,254 new listings per month and in 2016 it was 1,259, virtually identical.
  • Of the total new listings the past month 9.6% or 133 properties were listed over $1,000,000.
  • 25% or 349 new listings the past month were listed for between $400,000 and $600,000.
  • 65% of the month’s new listings were listed for under $400,000.

As we near the end of 2017, I continue to be bullish on the outlook for the Sarasota Real Estate Market.  The active buyers looking at our spectacular region, growing availability of inventory in desirable locales and price points, along with the great stability of our market conditions support the confidence that I have.

If you have been considering listing your property, I cannot express how strongly I feel that entering the marketplace at this time of year is most advantageous in that you’re capturing the greatest number of eyes during peak season.

At the same time, if you are a buyer, with prices expected to maintain a healthy pace of appreciation, interest rates set to increase and inventories anticipated to grown only gradually, now is a prime time to select something from the beautiful properties we currently have available in the region.

Seller or buyer, I am eager to assist you in achieving your desired outcomes!  Don’t hesitate to call to share your goals and I will help you to determine the best plan for your unique needs.

Wishing you good health, abundant happiness, peace and prosperity in 2018!

Michael’s Featured Listing:

Golf Links collage

View all of Michael’s Listings HERE

 

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Market Report – Spring Sales Swell

Sarasota Home Sales

The view from one of the sales in my Spring portfolio

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – May 2017

Spring Sales Swell

Looking back at the Spring Selling Season in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, total sales in the months March-May grew more than 7% over 2016, with condominium transactions seeing the largest growth over prior year.  At the same time, inventory has also grown generally keeping up with demand, and has been pretty evenly split between new listings of single-family and condominiums.

The result of this steady sales and inventory growth has been a shift, bringing the market closer to neither favoring sellers nor buyers.  However, in the less than $250,000 tier there continues to be a scarcity of product, especially in the most desirable locations where our workforce and young families are looking to buy.

In the greater than $1 million tier, inventory has grown quite substantially in the single-family home segment, taking available properties to a nearly 15-month supply.  This is forcing sellers to reassess their pricing strategy, potentially creating an advantage for buyers seeking a home in this category.  In the luxury market of condominiums, inventory is closer to a 6-month supply, which is considered a position of market equilibrium.

In May, pending sales once again improved over prior year, indicating that June sales may again show growth in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.  Recent surveys of consumer confidence have shown that it continues to rise, further fueling the all-important economic engine of real estate.  Analyses of the homebuilder market also reflects their confidence in the market’s demand and ability to absorb new homes and multi-family development.

In addition, economists have released their projections after the 1st quarter of 2017 indicating that, barring any major geopolitical disruption, the U.S. economy is on track to grow GDP at a rate of 2.5-3% over the next few years, after a flat 2% rate for the last eight years.  This is expected to translate into more jobs and wage growth, increased household wealth, and will most likely trigger more investment in real estate.

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 May improved by 10% over prior year and increased slightly from April, with total dollar volume rising by $6,000,000 over April and approximately $8,000,000 over May 2016.
  • Single-family home sales in May of 822 were 61 more than a year ago or 8.7% higher, and increased slightly compared to March.
    • Florida’s single-family sales grew 7.6% compared to last year, recording the most ever homes sold in a month.
    • U.S. sales were up 2.7% from prior year.
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 425 in Sarasota in May was nearly 13% higher than a year ago, and increased by 44 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 8% higher than May 2016, also setting an all-time record.
    • Condo sales nationally grew 3.2% over May 2016.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales was 653, and for this year the monthly average is 678.  For condos the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301, and this year it is 349.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 36% of single-family and 62% of condos sales were closed without a mortgage.
    • By comparison, all cash transactions in all of the U.S. were 22% of sales.
  • Pending sales of 753 homes that went under contract during May, increased by 12 sales over the same month last year, a 1.6% increase.  Condominium pending sales of 425 increased by 48 sales from a year ago, a 4.2% increase.  This statistic is helpful in projecting sales growth in the 30-60 days ahead.
    • U.S. pending sales fell 1.7% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s pending sales saw approximately 7.5% increase in homes going under contract in May.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 795 for houses and 401 for condos.

Prices:

  • In May, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $260,000 vs. $263,000 a year ago.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $239,000, a 7.7% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $252,800, a 5.8% increase over prior year.
    • The median price for a NEW home in the U.S. is currently $345,800 – 36% more than an existing home.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $249,867 vs. this year it is $260,524.
  • Condominium median sale price was $225,700 in May, 3.1% higher than 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $178,000, an 8.1% increase over May 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in May was $238,700, a 4.8% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $345,835 in May vs. $377,779 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $363,986 vs. $357,128 this year to date.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in May of $338,511 vs. $358,234 a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $325,371 vs. $345,614 this year.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of Florida and the U.S.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market decreased by approximately 200 properties from April and grew by 450 properties or 11% from a year ago.
    • Inventory fell slightly in Florida in April, and declined 8.4% across the U.S.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 41 properties since the beginning of 2017.
    • Compared to May 2016, growth last month was evenly distributed across all price ranges.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has decreased by 47 properties since the beginning of the year.
    • The growth in May compared to prior year in the condominium category was seen most in the under $200,000 and over $1 million tiers.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.5 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.2 month’s supply of condominiums, basically a balanced market.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,162 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015, and this year the five-month average this year is 1,397. In May 1,214 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,589 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 homebuilder sentiment maintaining optimism, new home sales are expected to help to improve availability in some price tiers where inventory is tight.  The challenge remains finding quality finish workers, enough laborers to keep production on track, and a rising cost of materials.  These concerns may be what led to the drop in U.S. home starts of 2.4% and permits down 1% last month.  The Census Bureau reported that new home sales last month grew 11.3% in the U.S., and Florida’s new home sales rose 2.9%.

It is my hope that the new building that we’re experiencing in the Sarasota Real Estate Market will continue to fill demand and help to keep the market in a healthy buyer/seller balance, allowing for our sales and prices to continue on their steady growth through the summer months.

Despite being in what many consider to be our quieter summer selling season, I have seen only a slight dip in demand from new and repeat clients looking to purchase.  I am convinced that the Sarasota Real Estate Market is a year-round pursuit for eager buyers and sellers.

If you have interest in listing your property, let’s talk.  My proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” enables me to quickly analyze your home or property 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 know you can count on me!

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

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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