Sarasota Real Estate Market’s Spirited Spring Selling Season

Sarasota Real Estate

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – February 2018

Sarasota Real Estate Market’s Spirited Start to Spring Selling Season

After strong pending sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in January, it came as little surprise that February activity was robust. Sales continued to escalate over prior year posting particularly strong numbers in the $1 million+ tier, where most of my business occurs.  The sales at this level tend to be low in numbers of transactions, nevertheless, the super-luxury condominiums just completed and ready for occupancy in several new downtown projects once again not only lifted numbers of units sold, but also contributed to total dollar volume of the condo market growing by more than 61% over prior year.

Across the rest of the U.S., sales in February were not nearly as spirited. Experts are leaning towards blaming it on an unseasonably cold January causing growth to flatten, especially in the Northeast and Midwest regions. It is likely that sales reports in the next few months on the national stage may stay restrained as a result of the major late-winter storms all across the nation.

Inventory of all types of units in The Sarasota Real Estate Market contracted a bit, and was especially noticeable in the luxury market where there are now 10.2% fewer million dollar homes and 30.6% less condos available. Granted, there are still almost 500 homes priced over $1 million and 134 condos, but the narrowing of supply here is good news for sellers who have seen long listing to sale periods. Recent changes in inventory are beginning to shorten the timing for a transaction to close.

February’s pending sales once again were well ahead of this time last year, setting us up for another month or two of excellent closing activity ahead, especially in the condominium market where pending sales grew more than 21% over prior year.

Homebuilders here and around the country are lamenting scarcity of buildable lots (regulations and lack of infrastructure two key issues), rising building costs (product, labor and municipality fees), and most importantly, a persistent shortage of qualified labor as key causes of not being able to keep up with new home demand. For the first two months of 2018 Sarasota’s builders have pulled 31% fewer new single-family home permits. The multi-family market is not seeing the same declines, but with demand staying strong for new homes, especially in the moderate price points, we will keep seeing increases in prices as inventory of new homes remains limited.

In reviewing local, state and national market statistics and analyst reports, the following are some of the highlights of the data:

Sales

  • Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $358.6 million in February increased $75.4 million from prior year, and increased $11 million over the prior month.
    • Broken down, single-family dollar volume increased 12% compared to prior year and condo sales dollar volume was up 62%, fueled by another month of new construction condo closings.
  • The number of properties sold in February including both single family and condominiums was 884, which was 29 more than January and 90 more than a year ago, representing a 11% overall growth in number of closings in the month over last February.
    • Florida’s single-family sales increased 3.3% and condo sales grew 6.4% over prior year.
    • S. single-family sales increased 1.8% and condo sales fell 4.9%.
  • The 2017 monthly average of total sales in Sarasota was 978 and in 2016 the monthly average was 952.
  • The majority of my sales occur in the $1 million and above category, so I watch this tier closely. Of the closed sales in Sarasota last month 62 were for over $1,000,000 or 7% of total sales – 34 were houses and 28 were condominiums. This represented 63% more sales over $1 million compared to the same month in 2017.
    • Florida’s $1 million sales were 3.1% of total sales.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 46% of single-family and 65% of condo sales closed without a mortgage. By comparison, national all cash transactions were 24% of total sales.
  • Total pending sales of 1,271 properties that went under contract during February increased by 108 from the same month last year, a 9% increase, with homes showing a 3.5% increase and condominiums up 21% from prior year.
    • S. pended sales for all housing types fell by 4.1% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending were just about the same as last year.
  • 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 two months of 2018 we have averaged 1,257 pending contracts signed.

Prices

  • In February, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $272,500 vs. $257,500 a year ago, 6% higher.
  • 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 $246,500, a 9.6% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew by 5.9% to $243,400.
  • Condominium median sale price was $219,000 in February vs. $230,900 in February 2017.
  • The 2017 monthly condominium median average is $225,585 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $179,500 a 7.2% increase over February 2017.
    • S. median condo price grew 5.7% in February to $227,300.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $398,148 in February vs. $389,011 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 February of $419,299 vs. $296,029 a year ago, likely attributable to the recently completed new luxury buildings in downtown.
  • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $362,378 vs. $325,802 in 2016.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95.5% of list price, and condominiums sold at 95% 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 increased by 213 listed properties from January, but has 169 less properties than in February 2017 and 614 more than the end of 2017.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 5,105 properties for sale, 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 4.7 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.7 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market.
    • Florida currently has 3.9 months of single-family inventory and 5.9 months of condominiums.
    • S. inventory of single-family homes is at 3.4 months and condos reportedly at 3.7 months.
  • Sarasota County had 1,613 new listed properties in February, averaged 1,147 new listings per month in 2017, and in 2016 it was 1,005.
  • Of the total new listings the past month, 134 properties or 8% were listed over $1,000,000.
  • 380 or 23% of the new listings the past month were listed for between $400,000 and $600,000.

There is some concern that rising interest rates may slow sales and result in lower prices, KCM mortgage rate increase vs prices chartbut historically that has not been the case. In the graph to the right, Keeping Current Matters analyzed Freddie Mac data and found that in the last six times interest rates rose more than 1%, the results were actually very different than we would think intuitively.

Actually, the laws of supply and demand far outweigh small increases in interest rates. As I wrote in last month’s report, interest rates have been above 5% for 38 of the last 46 years, so I see no need to panic as we slowly move towards the 5% rate expected by early 2019.

Market analysts are expecting overall sales to increase 4.8% in 2018 and prices to grow 5%, though in The Sarasota Real Estate Market I see exceeding these projections due to the vigorous development of new homes and multi-family projects along with the strong demand.  For nearly 10 years this region saw only minimal new construction. Today’s robust building activity around the region is not able to catch up with the scarcity of development since the market collapse in 2008. There is still room to add new product based on builder reports on buyer traffic at their new development and, as long as demand outpaces supply we will see increased growth in prices.

With the region’s strong jobs market, rising wages and household wealth, attractiveness to buyers from communities around the country that are suffering from unfavorable tax conditions, our strong appeal to the international home buyer market, and the many quality of life benefits that Sarasota offers, I believe that our housing market will continue its spirited activity in the months ahead.

If you have been considering listing your property, I cannot tell you 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 Listing:

Beach Walk Longboat Key

View All Michael’s Listings HERE

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Sarasota, FL Real Estate Market was Jumpin’ in January 2018

Sarasota Real Estate

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – January 2018

Sarasota Real Estate Market was Jumpin’ in January!      

While the rest of the country saw fewer sales in January, moderate price escalation and not much movement in inventory, The Sarasota Real Estate Market was jumping with activity. A very active December that had strong pending contracts ready in the hopper, resulted in another positive month for our region with total sales rising more than 18% from last January. The U.S. on the other hand saw the largest dip in sales, 4.8% compared to prior year, in more than three years according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market once again also recorded a more than 12% increase in pending contracts signed in January compared to prior year, compared to a statewide increase of only 2%. Nationally, pending sales experienced a considerable drop of 3.8% compared to January 2017. Market experts believe the decline may have been related to severe cold in northern markets last month.

As my subscribers know, monitoring pending contracts is one of the best ways to forecast sales in the month or two ahead. There has been a great deal of product under construction, especially in the Sarasota city core, so I believe the upward trend will continue for several more months before tapering off. And based on my own buyer activity, I am confident these new offerings in the Sarasota Real Estate Market will have plenty of qualified purchasers to absorb the new inventory.

Home builder confidence remains very high in the Sarasota Real Estate Market and nationally. With substantial new building activity, it is expected that sales nationally will begin to return to a growth pattern. In fact, 2017’s new home permits in the U.S. increased 9.7% over 2016, Florida’s new single-family home permits grew 12.9%, and the Sarasota County Economic Report indicated that in 2017 building permits increased 23%.

Inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market and across the U.S. remains tight in the lower price points, which is affecting overall growth in sales. However, in the upper and luxury price ranges – above $600,000 – inventory is stable with new listings in premier locations and in excellent condition coming to market at a steady pace this season. With active buyers in the marketplace seeking luxury and ultra-luxury properties (above $1 million), where most of my transactions occur, business is strong and we are beginning to see shortening of list to sale periods, narrower negotiations on price and more showing activity on prime properties.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market continues to have a large number of transactions closed without a mortgage. Compared to national all-cash sales of 22% of total, our region hit 50% in January. Most of this is at the luxury end of the market where buyers have seen considerable growth in personal wealth in both home equity and stock and bond market gains, providing them the advantage of being able to move to closing on their prized property more quickly.

Following are local, regional and national statistics for January 2018:

Sales:

  • Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $347.6 million in January increased $71.5 million from prior year and increased $48.9 million over the prior month of December 2017. This Increase is mainly attributable to significant new condominium construction completions and closings in January.
    • Broken down, single-family dollar volume increased 13% compared to prior year and condo sales dollar volume was up 64% mainly due to the closings of sales of the new condominium projects.
  • The number of properties sold in January including both single family and condominiums was 855 which was 121 less than December and 133 more than a year ago, representing a 18% overall growth in number of closings in the month over last January.
    • Florida’s single-family sales decreased 1.3% and condo sales grew 5.9% over prior year.
    • U.S. single-family sales decreased 4.8% and condo sales fell 4.6%.
  • The 2017 monthly average of total sales was 978 and in 2016 the monthly average was 952.
  • The majority of my sales occur in the $1 million and above category, so I watch this tier closely.  Of the total closed sales in Sarasota last month 57 were for over $1,000,000 or 9%, 22 were houses and 35 were condominiums.
    • Florida’s $1 million sales were 3.5% of total sales.
    • Sales of over $1 million nationally represented only 2.5% of the market.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 43% of single-family and 60% of condo sales closed without a mortgage.  By comparison, national all cash transactions were 22% of total sales.
  • Total pending sales of 1,243 properties that went under contract during January increased by 135 from the same month last year, a 12% increase, with homes showing a 4.7% increase and condominiums up a remarkable 27% from prior year.
    • U.S. pended sales for all housing types fell by 3.8% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending sales grew just 2% higher over last year.
  • 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 January, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $275,900 vs. $250,000 a year ago, 10.6% higher.
    • 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 $240,000, a 9% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew by 5.7% to $241,700.
  • Condominium median sale price was $238,000 in January vs. $239,900 in January 2017.
    • The 2017 monthly condominium median average is $225,585 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $179,900 an 11.7% increase over January 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 7.1% in January to $231,600.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $365,593 in January vs. $352,507 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 January of $484,342 vs. $321,329 a year ago.
    • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $362,378 vs. $325,802 in 2016.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95% of list price, and condominiums sold at 96.3% 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 increased by 401 listed properties from December, but has 246 less properties than in January 2017.
    • Currently there is available inventory of 4,802 properties for sale, 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 4.5 months of single-family homes inventory and 5.5 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market.
    • Florida currently has 3.9 months of single-family inventory and 5.9 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 3.4 months.
  • Sarasota County had 1,790 new listed properties in January and averaged 1,147 new listings per month in 2017 and in 2016 it was 1,005.
  • Of the total new listings the past month 144 properties or 8% were listed over $1,000,000.
  • 456 or 25% of the new listings the past month were listed for between $400,000 and $600,000.
  • 1,190 or 67% of the month’s new listings were listed for under $400,000.

A recent report from The Conference Board stated that consumer confidence in February was the highest that it has been since February 2000. Despite the recent fluctuations in the stock market, Americans believe the strong jobs market and encouraging business climate will allow their personal wealth to grow this year.

With January’s 30-year conventional fixed rate mortgage rate of 4.03%, mortgage rates are still at historically low levels and many buyers continue to take advantage of the favorable conditions. Though rate increases are expected in 2018, economists are projecting only a modest increase of up to 5% by year-end. For comparison’s sake, mortgage rates have been above 5% for 38 of the last 46 years.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market has a nearly balanced market favoring neither a buyers or sellers, high-quality new homes and condominiums are being completed and available for occupancy, attractive and well located existing inventory is coming to market, there is strong household equity growth and moderate increases in interest rates, there is room to increase sales and median prices and inventory to continue the sustained growth that our market has seen these last few years.

Based on my reading of the Sarasota Real Estate Market conditions, as well as the general confidence of U.S. consumers, I continue to believe that the region will maintain its positive momentum and activity will be “jumpin’” for the months ahead.

Michael’s Featured Listing:

Longboat Key Waterfront HomeView all Michael’s listings HERE

 

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – October 2017 – Market Gains in Pending Sales and Inventory

Sarasota Real Estate Market

October’s Sarasota Real Estate Market and most of Florida recovered from the remaining effects of September’s Hurricane Irma.  Most notable were the growth of new pending contracts written in the month and inventory added.  Both areas that had experienced significant declines in September.

New contracts signed for all property types in Sarasota were more than 50% higher than September.  New listings rose nearly 90% when compared to September.

As I wrote about in last month’s Sarasota Real Estate Report, sales lagged in September both as a result of the storm disruption, as well as it being a naturally slow time in our market here.  Total sales in October were more than 11% higher than they were in September.

I have seen no lingering negative effects of September’s business interruption and feel confident that our region has returned to “normal.”  This past month saw exceptional activity in buyer interest and homeowners seeking to list their properties, and with reported high consumer confidence in the economy, I believe that in the months ahead the Sarasota Real Estate Market will continue its upward track.

Home builder confidence as reported by the National Homebuilder Association was at its second highest level since July of 2005.  A variety of financial industry and government reports released these last few weeks have shown that consumers believe that the country’s steady job growth, wage increases, continuing historically low interest rates, and especially gains in home equity will allow the housing market to continue its positive path.

One of the challenges that will keep the growth in our area on a slightly less robust sales pace when compared to prior year is undersupply of properties in certain popular locations, and most especially in specific price points such as single-family homes priced under $250,000 and condominiums over $600,000.  Both categories have seen little growth in available properties for sale.

On the other hand, as noted earlier, home builder confidence remains strong, and as long as issues of limited workforce and rising prices for construction materials do not become even greater burdens than they are now, experts are projecting the delivery of new homes to market to remain strong.

The Sarasota County Office of Financial Management has reported that permits for new homes have grown 12.7% year-to-date compared to 2016.  These new homes are helping our region maintain stability, as it allows for current homeowners who have enjoyed home equity growth to trade-up to a new home.  In turn, additional existing homes will be added to our available inventory.  Many would-be homeowners had been holding back on buying a new home due to concern they may not find something suitable.

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 monthly.

Sales:

  • Total dollar volume of $314.2 million in October increased $45.4 million from prior year and increased $51.6 million over the prior month.
  • Single-family home sales in October of 611 were 19 more than a year ago and increased by 82 sales from September.
    • Florida’s single-family sales rose 2% compared to last year.
    • U.S. sales were 1% below prior year.
  • Total number of condominium sold of 243 in Sarasota in October was 33 lower than a year ago, and increased by only 3 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 2.2% greater than October 2016.
    • Condo sales nationally were virtually equal to the same month last year.
  • The 2017 monthly average of single family sales is 672 vs last year the monthly average was 664, a similar monthly pace.  For condos, the average monthly sales are 317 vs. 305 in 2016.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 37% of single-family and 52% of condo sales closed without a mortgage.  This percentage consistently exceeds Florida and national cash sales trends.
  • Pending sales of 646 homes that went under contract during October increased by 19 from the same month last year.
  • Condominium pending sales were down by 31 sales going under contract in October compared to prior year.
    • U.S. pended sales for all housing types fell .6% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending sales were 11% higher than last year.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 672 for houses vs. 664 in 2016, and 317 for condos vs. 305 in 2016.

Prices:

  • In October, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $279,000 vs. $236,313 a year ago, 18% higher.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $235,558, a 7.1% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes grew by 5.4% to $248,300.
    • The median price in October for a NEW home in the U.S. was $312,800.
  • The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $264,452 vs. $249,943 last year.
  • Condominium median sale price was $224.000 in October and the 2017 monthly average is $221,702 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $170,000 an 5.2% increase over October 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 6.9% in October to $236,800.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $381,268 in October vs. $319,350 a year ago.
    • U.S. average sale price for a NEW home topped $400,000 in October.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold is $365,153 vs. $346,232 last year.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in October of $314,206 vs. $290,697 a year ago.
  • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $337,517 vs. $325,802 last year.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95.4% of list price, and condominiums sold at 95.1% of the list price. The year to date average for all properties sold is 94.7%.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 235 listed properties from September, as there typically is an increase as fall approaches, and as a result of come delayed listings from the September storm.
  • Since January 1, 2017, inventory has fallen by 536 properties or 12%.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 3.9 months of single-family homes inventory and 4.9 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 5.6 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 3.9 months, 10.4% less than a year ago.
  • Sarasota County is averaging 1,241 new listings per month and in 2016 it was 1,259.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,059 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.

A bright spot in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is the attractiveness of our region to international buyers.  Michael Saunders & Company has forged extraordinary partnerships with the world’s leading luxury real estate consortiums, and those relationships will continue to benefit our clients.

A recent report from the Florida Association of Realtors stated that Florida is the #1 state in the country for foreign investment in real estate.  21% of all Florida’s residential sales in the last year were to foreign buyers, compared to just 10% of sales nationally.  The median price paid by international buyers is 18% above that paid by US buyers, and 72% of all foreign purchases were all cash transactions.

Canada continues to be the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s primary source of international buyers.  With the Canadian dollar stabilizing against the US dollar, and skyrocketing average prices for real estate in our key feeder cities in Canada compared to our modest price growth, I am of the belief our friends to the north will remain active in our market.

The U.K., our other top feeder market, has faced considerable economic change this past year.  Despite the potential challenges ahead, experts believe that the thirst for properties in Florida will keep investment in Florida strong in the year ahead.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market is positioned well for an active peak season and I eagerly look forward to assisting clients either looking to list or purchase a prized property refine their goals and achieve their objectives!

Wishing all my subscribers the happiest of holiday seasons!

This Month’s Featured Listings

Elden Bayshore collage

Longboat Key Waterfront

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Market Report – September 2017

Sarasota marina

Hurricane Irma and Holiday Trigger Lean Sales Volume

The Sarasota Real Estate Market suffered a considerable impact from many fewer business days in September as a result of both Hurricane Irma and the Labor Day holiday.  Though September is typically a softer month than others throughout the year, when comparing sales to the same month last year, the area saw an 18.5% decline in closings.  The Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee calculated that the region had 20% fewer business days compared to other months this year.

Despite the substantial decrease in number of units sold in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, condo sales dollar volume was just 2% behind last year, and single-family was 13.5% behind prior year.  At the same time sales weakened, prices maintained their climb with single-family home prices growing 8.4% and condominiums up 11.2%.

With homeowners focused on hurricane preparations, evacuation plans, and eventual clean-up, significant business disruptions caused by loss of power and technology, need for re-inspections of homes under contract after the storm passed, and general angst not only caused sales to lag, but also new listings and pending contracts to be impacted.  Single-family listings were almost 37% fewer than previous year and condos saw 18% less units come to market.

Current inventories of single-family homes and condominiums in the Sarasota Real Estate market are at the lowest levels in more than a year.  Homeowners who were unable to get their properties listed in September will hopefully go forward with their plans to sell and help to restock our now tight supply.

Pending sales is one of our best forward looking indicators.  In September new contracts signed were almost 30% behind last year.  However, it is important to note that while this may affect sales in the next month or two, demand has not waned and those same buyers are still in the market for properties, so I do not expect future sales to fall measurably as a result of the hurricane.

Florida and Texas represent nearly 20% of all real estate sales each month, so with the states so severely impacted by Harvey and Irma, both August and September saw total U.S. sales slide.  The National Association of Realtors reported that September inventory and pending sales nationwide also declined, likely attributable to the storms.

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 monthly.

Sales:

  • Total sales in The Sarasota Real Estate Market in September decreased by 143 sales to 769 from prior year, and decreased 224 sales from August.
  • Total dollar volume decreased $30.8 million from prior year and fell $89.3 million behind the prior month.
  • Single-family home sales in September of 529 were 106 less than a year ago and decreased by 196 sales from August.
    • Florida’s single-family sales fell 20.4% compared to last year.
    • U.S. sales also fell and were 1.2% below prior year.
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 240 in Sarasota in September was 13% lower than a year ago, and decreased by 28 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 15.9% lower than September 2016.
    • Condo sales nationally declined 3.2% compared to last September.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales was 672, and for this year the monthly average is 679, an almost identical pace.  For condos, the average monthly sales in 2016 were 308, and this year it is 325.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 40% of single-family and 56% of condo sales closed without a mortgage.  This percentage consistently exceeds Florida and national cash sales trends.
  • Pending sales of 452 homes that went under contract during September decreased by 25% from the same month last year, which as noted earlier is a direct result of the large September storm.
  • Condominium pending sales were also significantly down with a 39% decrease in properties going under contract in September compared to prior year.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 732 for houses vs. 725 in 2016, and 348 for condos vs. 334 in 2016.
    • U.S. pended sales fell 3.5% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s pending sales saw a 30% drop in properties going under contract in September when compared to prior year, similar to what we experienced in our region.

Prices:

  • In September, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $269,900 vs. $249,000 a year ago, 8% higher.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $239,900, a 7.6% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $246,800.
    • The median price in September for a NEW home in the U.S. was $319,700.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $248,167 vs. this year it is $262,836.
  • Condominium median sale price was $220,000 in September, the 2017 monthly average is $221,449 vs. $209,058 as the 2016 monthly average.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $173,000 an 8.1% increase over September 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in September was $231,300.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $353,869 in September vs. $340,938 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $350,914 vs. $363,363 year to date.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in September of $314,206 vs. $277,738 a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $330,575 vs. $314,206 this year.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95.7% of list price, and condominiums sold at 94.2% of the list price.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is close to the same from August and a year ago. Consistency of available inventory is a good indicator of a stable market.
  • Since January 1, 2017, inventory has fallen by 771 properties or 17%.
  • For single-family homes, Sarasota’s inventory has decreased by 521 properties since the beginning of 2017.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has decreased by 250 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 3.7 months of single-family homes inventory and 4.5 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 5.5 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 4.2 months, 6.4% less than a year ago.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,162 new listings per month in 2016 and this year the nine-month average is 1,227. In September only 759 listings came on the market, I am sure a direct result of the storm.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 3,824 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.

Homebuilders remain steadfast in their confidence that the market for newly built homes will continue to be strong.  Though material and labor shortages exist and costs are rising, a recent survey by the National Association of Homebuilders indicated developers believe they can maintain their pace of building and deliver much needed new inventory to market.

A recent survey of more than 100 real estate experts, economists and market strategists also reflected sentiments of a very healthy housing market.  They project a strong finish to 2017, sales increase in 2018 of more than 5%, and price increases of about 6% on the national stage.  Over the next five years the same group expects national average home value appreciation to grow 3.6% annually and cumulative appreciation for homes of 18.4%

  October activity in my business has been as strong as I can remember in recent years.  A high level of activity from eager buyers and many new sellers give me confidence that in the season ahead the Sarasota Real Estate Market will continue this year’s pattern of sales and price growth.

If this is your time to sell or buy a new home or condominium, give me a call and let me help you achieve your real estate objectives.

View Michael’s Newest Listing!

Renaissance PH collage 431 N Shore collage
2525 Bayshore collage Elden Bayshore collage

View all of Michael’s Listings HERE

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Market Report – July Shows Continued Growth

Sarasota waterfront

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – July 2017

Summer Sales Show Further Market Growth

The Sarasota Real Estate Market managed to continue its growth pattern. July data exhibited that demand remains strong for the region, and it appears that the healthy conditions should allow for sustained growth in the months to come.

While many expect our summer selling season to be softer when compared to the peak tourist/part-time resident months, July closed sales are typically active, this year topping sales in the October 2016 thru February 2017 months. Properties that went under contract in July 2017 exceeded those of July 2016 by approximately 4%, so expectations are that the moderate sales growth over prior year will continue in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.

Inventory once again remained in the 4.5-month supply range, well enough below what economists view as a healthy balance of 6-month’s supply, so we are left with conditions that will continue to keep upward pressure on prices. Despite a steady flow of new listings in July, both single-family and condominium units for sale grew at their slowest pace for the year, and just barely replaced sold inventory for the month.

Median price growth in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is considered “sustainable” by market experts. Though prices have fluctuated month-to-month, escalation year-over-year has been moderate and appears to be at a pace that reflects soundness in the housing market here.

The “affordable” tier of our regional market still shows few signs of easing inventory scarcity, making it difficult for our young families and workforce to achieve homeownership. With new homes coming to market generally priced more than 30% above existing homes, it doesn’t appear these conditions will improve in the short-term.

At the other end of the Sarasota Real Estate Market where most of my business is done, above $1 million, new listings fell just short of sales for the month, though still leaving us with a fair inventory of luxury properties for sale. I am aware of a number of prospective existing home and condominium owners contemplating bringing their luxury properties to market this fall. As a result, expect to see supply expand in the next few months, creating some competition for inventory that has been on the market for a while.

July sales of luxury properties in the Sarasota Real Estate Market grew considerably over 2016 – well in excess of 80%, but it is also important to note that total number of $1 million and above units sold last month was only 50. There are currently 571 $1 million+ properties for sale in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. The Sarasota media helps us celebrate when one of these prized properties changes hands by featuring them in their publications and broadcasts, but showing you this variance between inventory and number of sales highlights just how exceptional – and rare – each one of these transactions is.

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 monthly:

Sales:

  • Total sales in The Sarasota Real Estate Market in July increased by 54 sales to 989 from prior year, and decreased 14% from June.
  • Total dollar volume increased $44.6 million over prior year and fell $60.4 million behind last month.
  • Single-family home sales in July of 683 were 3 sales more than a year ago and decreased by 102 sales from June.
    • Florida’s single-family sales grew 3.3% compared to last year.
    • U.S. sales were up just 1.7% from prior year.
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 306 in Sarasota in July was 20% higher than a year ago, and decreased by 64 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 3.6% higher than July 2016.
    • Condo sales nationally grew 5.3% over last July.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales was 653, and for this year the monthly average is 694.  For condos, the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301, and this year it is 346.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 33% of single-family and 60% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.  This percentage consistently exceeds Florida and national cash sales trends.
  • Pending sales of 703 homes that went under contract during July increased by 7% over the same month last year.
  • Condominium pending sales were impressive with a 20% increase in properties going under contract in July over prior year, racking up a total of 306 units.  This statistic is very helpful in projecting sales growth in the 30-60 days ahead.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 774 for houses vs. 649 in 2016, and 377 for condos vs. 298 in 2016.
    • U.S. pended sales fell 1.3% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s pending sales saw an approximately 3% increase in properties going under contract in July when compared to prior year.

Prices:

  • In July, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $260,000 vs. $242,500 a year ago, 7% higher.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $240,000, a 7.1% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $260,600, a 6.3% increase over prior year.
    • The median price in July for a NEW home in the U.S. was $313,700, 6.3% higher than a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $249,867 vs. this year it is $262,937.
  • Condominium median sale price was $214,175 in July, the 2017 monthly average is $222,789  vs. $207,892 as the 2016 monthly average.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $170,950 a 6.8% increase over July 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in July was $239,800, a 5.3% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $373,959 in July vs. $335,617 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $346,008 vs. $364,667 year to date.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in July of $327,912 vs. $325,238 a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $325,549 vs. $345,475 this year.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95.2% of list price, and condominiums sold at 94.1% of the list price.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market decreased by 168 properties from June and grew by 242 properties or 6% from a year ago.
  • Since January 1, 2017, inventory has fallen 9.2%.
  • For single-family homes, Sarasota’s inventory has decreased by 227 properties since the beginning of 2017.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has decreased by 196 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • 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, basically a balanced market.
    • Florida currently has 4.1 months of single-family inventory and 5.8 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 4.2 months, 9% less than a year ago.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,260 new listings per month in 2016 and this year the seven-month average is 1,312. In July 1,067 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,172 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.

As we look back at the July 2017 data, I maintain my confidence that the Sarasota Real Estate Market is positioned well to extend its stretch of healthy balanced conditions and sustained growth.

This Month’s Featured Listing

Siesta Key Waterfront

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Market Report – June Continued Upward Course

Sarasota Real Estate Market

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – June 2017

Housing Market Continued Upward Course

The Sarasota Real Estate Market marked yet another month of growth in June 2017. Though moderate, our region has been able to sustain its momentum while other markets in Florida and nationally are tending to less constancy in sales, prices and inventory.  Last year’s inventory replenishment set Sarasota’s housing market on a course that has allowed for sustained equilibrium, which has contributed to prolonged growth.

April and May’s improvement in pending sales, compared to the same months in 2016, led us to expect a rise in closed transactions in June.  The most notable increase was in the Sarasota condominium segment, with a nearly 5% increase in sales in the month compared to last year. Interestingly, as inventory inched up over the last few months, prices for condominiums have been stabilizing, and the gap between list and sale price has widened slightly, from a high of 95.5% of list price at 12/31/16 to 93.2% last month.

Closed sales of Sarasota Real Estate in June saw the largest growth in the price tiers greater than $600,000.  Single-family homes in the higher price points grew 33% and condominiums approximately 19%.  This is likely due to the fact that lower priced inventory is so thin, that buyers in those segments simply cannot find properties in their preferred locations and within their budgets.

June’s new listings in the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s single-family segment fell slightly when compared to 2016, while condominium new listings increased more significantly.  With an average of around 660 homes sold each month, the growth in inventory that we saw in June is still not equaling the number of sold properties.  New listings of condominiums grew by 50 more units compared to last year’s new listings for the month, but that is not quite keeping up with the region’s average monthly condo sales.  With current inventory at about 4.3 months for single-family homes and condominiums at a 4.8 month supply, we seem to have inched back away from the near-equilibrium that we saw a few months ago.

Real Estate analysts and economists believe that the national housing market is still in a growth phase, likely resulting from consumer confidence related to job and wage growth, the increase in GDP, continued stabilization of mortgage rates, and especially homeowner equity gains.  Experts are projecting these conditions to remain stable, and in turn see ongoing market strength through the months ahead.

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 monthly:

Sales:

  • Total sales in The Sarasota Real Estate Market in June decreased by just 11 sales from prior year, and decreased 7% from May.
  • Total dollar volume increased $17 million over prior year and fell $12 million behind last month.
  • Single-family home sales in June of 785 were 6 sales less than a year ago and decreased by 37 sales from May.
    • Florida’s single-family sales grew 4.3% compared to last year.
    • U.S. sales were up just 0.6% from prior year.
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 370 in Sarasota in June was almost 5% higher than a year ago, and decreased by 55 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 4.9% higher than June 2016.
    • Condo sales nationally grew only 1.6% over last June.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales was 653, and for this year the monthly average is 696.  For condos, the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301, and this year it is 352.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 38% of single-family and 64% of condos sales were closed without a mortgage.  This percentage consistently exceeds Florida and national cash sales trends.
  • Pending sales of 741 homes that went under contract during June increased by 6.2% over the same month last year.
  • Condominium pending sales were impressive with a 36% increase in properties going under contract in June over prior year, racking up a total of 346 units.  This statistic is very helpful in projecting sales growth in the 30-60 days ahead.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 786 for houses vs. 760 in 2016, and 392 for condos vs. 353 in 2016.
    • U.S. pending sales were up just 0.5% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s pending sales saw an approximately 3.5% increase in properties going under contract in June when compared to prior year.
  • Median time from listing to sale has inched higher in the last several months, now nearly 10% longer than last year at this time.

Prices:

  • In June, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $275,000 vs. $248,000 a year ago, nearly 11% higher.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $245,000, an 8.9% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $266,200, a 6.6% increase over prior year.
    • The median price in June for a NEW home in the U.S. was $310,800 – 17% more than an existing home.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $249,867 vs. this year it is $262,937.
  • Condominium median sale price was $215,500 in June, the 2017 monthly average is $224,224  vs. $209,429 as the 2016 monthly average.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $176,820, a 7.2% increase over June 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in June was $245,900, a 6.5% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $359,226 in June vs. $334,481 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $346,008 vs. $363,118 year to date.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in June of $362,344 vs. $379,877 a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $325,549 vs. $348,402 this year.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95% of list price, and condominiums sold at 93.2% of the list price.

Inventory:

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market decreased by approximately 130 properties from May and grew by 330 properties or 11% from a year ago.
  • Since January 1, 2017, inventory has fallen 5.5%.
  • For single-family homes, Sarasota’s inventory has decreased by 100 properties since the beginning of 2017.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has decreased by 155 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.3 months of single-family homes inventory and 4.8 month’s supply of condominiums, basically a balanced market.
    • Florida currently has 4.9 months of single-family inventory and 5.8 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 4.3 months, and has decreased now for 25 months in a row.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,260 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015, and this year the six-month average is 1,353. In June 1,132 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,340 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • New home building nationally is still lagging behind historical trends when compared to population growth.  Lack of skilled labor and increased costs of development – both related to supplies and regulations – has kept construction well below demand, and below what is needed to help the country’s housing inventory reach a better inventory equilibrium.

It comes as no surprise to my readers that The Sarasota Real Estate Market is heavily influenced by foreign market interest.  And on a national scale, Florida continues to be in the top spot for foreign buyer interest, with nearly 25% of all transactions taking place in our fine state.  Canadian buyers are the leading source of foreign buyers in Florida.

Though the value of the dollar my make some take pause, the fact that real estate prices have escalated at such explosive rates in certain areas of Canada, buyers are feeling they have the equity in their primary residence to consider investing in U.S. real estate.  In general, our key international feeder markets still consider the U.S. and especially Florida, a secure place to invest, despite political and economic factors here and abroad.

The National Association of Realtors just released a report showing that in the 12-months ended March 30, more than $153 Billion of properties were acquired by foreign nationals and recent immigrants, a 49% increase over the year prior.  Also noted in the report was that the median price paid by a foreign buyer is 28% higher than a U.S. buyer.

Michael Saunders & Co. has been at the forefront of establishing international affiliations, and this serves our clients well.  Michael Saunders herself travels many months of the year nurturing these relationships, while at the same time building our brand visibility through speaking engagements and event sponsorships.  Having the depth and breadth of relationships around the globe is one of the most valuable resources we luxury Sarasota Real Estate agents have at Michael Saunders.

Summer selling season in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is powered in part by the broad appeal our region has to the international buyer.  With the reach that Michael Saunders & Co. has, our sellers often have a considerable advantage in marketing their properties.  For example, one of my listings was featured this month on the home page of Luxury Portfolio International’s website.  Properties appearing on their site are said to reach 10 times more qualified buyers, as they have 250,000 visitors to their site from more than 200 countries/territories around the world each month.

As we are at the height of our international visitor season here in Sarasota, and with the pace of pending contracts continuing to grow over prior year each month, I am projecting that in the months ahead The Sarasota Real Estate Market will maintain its steady upward course.

It is always my pleasure to work with friends and family of my valued newsletter readers.  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!

This Month’s Featured Listing:

Longboat Key Waterfront

newslettersignup

 

What Drives the Affluent Homebuyer?

Luxury Real Estate

As a Luxury Real Estate Broker/Associate with Michael Saunders & Company I have the privilege of also being an Associate of several carefully curated relationships with international luxury real estate marketing partners.  One such group is Luxury Portfolio International, which offers marketing benefits including the opportunity for my listings to have an extended reach through the most prestigious luxury global real estate agents.  Along with the marketing benefits, I am also invited to exclusive events and presentations that sometimes only an élite group are offered to participate in.

Two weeks ago Luxury Portfolio International held its annual conference in Miami, which I was fortunate to have been invited to attend.  Luxury Portfolio is a division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World – known as the premier network of the world’s most powerful independent brokerages. Luxury portfolio is where the highest global net-worth buyers are introduced to some of the world’s finest listings, including many represented by Michael Saunders & Co. associates such as myself.

Recently Luxury Portfolio released an excellent white paper on the traits and objectives of “The Affluent Homebuyer.”  Together with several qualified partners, the top 10% of consumers in 14 countries were surveyed for learning about affluent homebuyer trends and proclivities.  In all, more than 5,000 worldwide interviews were conducted including more than 1,000 million-dollar homebuyers, and along with data provided by a variety of organizations, Luxury Portfolio presented an insightful report on this important group of prospective buyers.

At our Miami conference many of the points raised in the report were shared and discussed in-depth.  The full report is attached HERE, as a benefit to my loyal subscribers.  After reading it, I would be delighted to hear from any readers who have thoughts and comments about the findings.

Having a better understanding of this important tier of homebuyers is extremely important in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, as this price grouping is a considerable part of our regional housing market.  While the majority of my business is in the greater than $1 million domain, what I found interesting in the report, is how reflective the findings are on the mid-price tier, as well.  So for those not at the top of the market, I believe this is an interesting read for all.

One of the quotes in the report says, “More and more, the affluent today want something new and different and the once strong push to find ‘the right products’ is giving was to a search for something deeper, unique and more meaningful.”  This sounded to me like virtually all of the clients I am working with – whether it’s the new property they are searching for, or in conversations about travel preferences and experiences, favorite consumer products and even the automobiles they drive.

As evidenced by the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s consistent strong price growth, especially at the luxury level.  Our region continues to attract buyers who see us as not only more desirable geographically than other cities, but also our rich culture, active lifestyle, family-friendly community, philanthropic spirit and several other motivations.

Many thanks to Michael Saunders for recognizing the importance of these prized global affiliations and for bringing Sarasota into the global spotlight through Luxury Portfolio International and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.

Read the full report HERE.

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Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Prices and Inventory Fired Up!

Sarasota Beaches

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – May 2016

Prices and Inventory Fired up for Summer Selling Season

The Sarasota Real Estate Market summer selling season is primed with inventory for the traditional busy months of July and August.  With new listings of existing homes and condominiums across nearly all price tiers showing adequate replacement of sold properties, it appears that there is stabilization, which will likely help to moderate escalating prices.

The strong price performance in the Sarasota Real Estate Market indicates a continued “seller’s market” with inventory below what is considered a balanced market, and also continued impressive market demand.  The stable inventory conditions and momentum of demand are encouraging sellers, who have been on the hunt for just the right time to list their homes, to finally bite the bullet and enter the game.

I am seeing buyers in the mid-to-top tier price markets that are ready, willing and able to make an immediate purchase.  However, they have become pickier over time and expect the properties that they are inspecting to be in excellent condition, or priced to compensate for repairs and maintenance that are required to bring it to move-in condition.

Though reports of total sales appear to show waning activity, transactions of distressed properties have become a diminutive portion of the market, causing wide irregularity in data year-over year.  In fact, sales of foreclosed and short-sale properties in the Sarasota Real Estate Market have fallen more than 70% since last year at this time.  When reviewing numbers of “traditional” sales, closings on existing homes and condos not in the distressed group have grown 11.7% and 2.5% respectively.

With homeowners seeing a return to equity on their current homes as real estate values have increased, cash sales, especially at the top of the market, continue to be strong in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.  This element will also contribute to quicker closings.  If you are a potential seller and haven’t listed your property yet, here are some things to consider:

  • Listings of new inventory are increasing in the market, which is expected to continue making competition more likely as the year progresses.
  • More buyers have ready cash or credit to make a rapid decision.
  • Interest rates for new mortgages remain at extremely low levels – last month a 30-year mortgage averaged just 3.6%. Imagine locking in your new purchases for 30 years at less than 4%!
  • What are you waiting for to make your next move, whether it be a move-up, downsize or geographic move?

Sales

As noted earlier, despite news of overall softening sales over these last several months, when put into perspective with the changing distressed homes situation, where low priced inventory was being picked up by investors, I believe we have fundamentally stable conditions.  Sales month-to-month this year are trending at a typical pace for each month without any signs of volatility.  And while numbers of units sold have dropped slightly, rising prices created a greater total dollar volume of sales of single-family homes 6.2% and condos 6.4%.

  • In Sarasota, May single family home sales decreased 7% compared to May 2015 and condominium sales fell 12%.
  • The Sarasota real estate market has averaged 978 sold properties per month this year. Houses average is 655 properties sold and for condos it is 323.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 821.
  • Sarasota is averaging monthly sales of $342.3 million.
    • U.S. real estate sales in May rose 4.7% for single-family homes and 3.3% for condos.
    • Florida’s housing transactions had 4.5% more single-family home sales and condo sales were equal to last year.
  • According to the Realtor Association of Sarasota Manatee, the pace of pended sales in May was down 9% from April, but 31% fewer than May 2015. This is a metric that is important to monitor since it tends to be a predictor of closings over the next 30-90 days.
    • It is important to note that though this statistic sounds rather dramatic, this is a trend we have seen much of this year, without actual monthly transactions falling behind prior year by the same measure.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 50% of the monthly transactions closed without a mortgage. 42% of single-family and 66% of condos sales were all cash.  These numbers represent one of the highest rates of cash transactions in the country in our sized region.  By comparison, the national average of cash transactions was 22% of all sales.

Prices

Median prices in the Sarasota Real Estate Market continue to climb at double-digit rates, a particularly strong pace compared to many of the country’s markets.  However, compared to the peak of the market in Sarasota, prior to the housing crash that started in 2006, single-family homes and condominiums remain comfortably below that extreme.  With a steady flow of new homes and condos as well as existing properties coming on the market, we should see gains in prices, though as we are easing closer to stabilized conditions, price growth is expected to slow a bit.

  • In May, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $263,000 vs. $230,000 a year ago, an increase of 14%.
  • Condominium median sale price grew to $218,975, an increase of 4.3% over May 2015.
    • Florida median price for a single-family home is reported to be up 10.5% over last year, to $213,000, and condo median prices increased 4.4%.
    • Nationally, median prices for all homes rose 4.7%, with single-family homes now at a median of $241,000 and condos $229,600. This is the highest median price in nearly the last decade on the national level.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $378,023 in May vs. $345,956 a year ago, a 9% increase.
  • Sarasota homes sold at 95% of the list price.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price of $357,441 vs. $317,371 a year ago, a 13% increase.

Inventory

While demand is still ahead of supply, inventory in the key mid-tier and luxury price categories is inching up.  Last month, the Sarasota Real Estate Market saw new listings in the mid-tier segment ($300,000-999,000) increase by about 25% over prior year, while sales fell in the category by about 10%.  At the luxury level (over $1 million), listings grew by 29% with sales also declining about 10% compared to the same month in 2015.  In both cases inventory growth outpaced sales activity indicating that the gap between a buyer’s and seller’s market is narrowing in these key price categories.

  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by almost 700 properties or 18% since the beginning of this year. For single-family homes inventory has grown 15.3% and condos 33%.
  • Compared to May 2015, in the price range of $250,000 to $600,000, where the majority of sales occur in our market, the inventory increase is 34.6%.
  • Total inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is reported to be at a 4.1-month supply based on the average monthly sales total for the first four months of this year, still reasonable shy of a balanced market, which is defined by a 6-month supply of inventory. Our months of available inventory has not risen above 6 months this year.
  • Sarasota is averaging 1,419 new listing per month this year and currently shows available inventory of 4,769 properties for sale.

Builder confidence remained high when surveyed this month.  However, there are signs that labor and specialty sub-contractor availability will remain concerns through the end of the year, limiting any appreciable increased flow of new home inventory to market.

According to all of the local, regional and national data resources and expert reports that I monitor, it is clear that the Sarasota Real Estate Market represents one of the most steady of the local markets that I watch.  The statistics that I review show clearly and convincingly that our region has sustainable market stability.

Even with increased inventory, which is expected to continue to rise, it is my belief that price appreciation will maintain a steady rise and sales will remain stable.  As the temperatures rise and backyard barbecues become a family staple, let’s also fire up the Sarasota Summer Selling Season!

Introducing Azure on Palm – Sarasota’s Newest Downtown Luxury Condominium Community

AZURE ON PALM

It is my pleasure to introduce downtown Sarasota’s newest luxury condominium – Azure on Palm – now under construction!

Sarasota Luxury Condo

Azure on Palm is a luxury boutique project with just 16 private residences and is perfectly located for taking advantage of all that downtown Sarasota has to offer. Just a block from the stunning Sarasota Bay Front and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and just a few blocks north to central downtown Sarasota, and in the heart of charming Burn’s Court, you have all the wonderful dining and shopping, cultural and recreational amenities, and even the weekly Sarasota Farmer’s Market right at your doorstep! And famed St. Armand’s Circle and Lido Beach are less than three miles away.

Sarasota Luxury CondoCelebrated architect DSDG has created Azure on Palm in a contemporary style and the development team is offering luxury fixtures and finishes to choose from including Thermador, Bosch and Hans Grohe. Incredible resort-style amenities such as a relaxing pool area with cabanas, fire pit conversation area, fitness center, on-site concierge, two enclosed garage spaces plus air conditioned storage, and even a private residents paw park.

Sarasota Luxury CondoEach spacious condominium boasts between 2,700 to just under 3,000 square feet of modern living, including a great room of over 700 square feet with a wall of nine-foot tall sliding glass leading to a terrace with your own gas BBQ grill, three bedrooms plus den, three baths. The penthouses offer even more design details to appeal to the most discriminating tastes.

Prices begin at $1,399,900.

Call me today 941.928.3559 to schedule your private introduction to this wonderful new downtown Sarasota luxury condominium – Azure on Palm.  

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Sarasota Luxury Condo

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – March 2015

Longboat Key Waterfront

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – March 2015

Strong Performance Generates Confidence

As the Sarasota Real Estate Market nears the end of its peak selling season, it is hard not to be confident in our region’s vitality.  Our area has been buoyed by a record tourist season, equity recovery by households that held onto assets during the market downturn, consumer confidence in our driver markets, and pent-up demand.

Market fundamentals such as sales growth, median price increases, tight inventories, and competitive real estate lending are all fueling a sense of strength and stability.  With many of the markets that are feeding buyers into Sarasota experiencing median prices 3-4 times as high, and average square foot costs in excess of twice that of Sarasota, we continue to considered “reasonable” value.  One of our closest competitors for out-of-state buyers is Naples, where price per square foot costs are reported to be 25% higher than Sarasota.

The peak selling season in regions of the country that the Sarasota Real Estate Market appeals to is just now starting.  It is my opinion that as those property sales heat up, we will see demand in this area as sellers are freed up to search for second homes or relocations, creating potential for an extended selling season in Sarasota.  In fact, early data reported by Trengraphix indicates that closed and pended properties reported so far for April are trending ahead of last year, further supporting the notion of a continued rise of sales ahead of last year’s record season.

Recent surveys of potential real estate buyers in the U.S. revealed that Americans believe residential real estate is considered the “safest” investment.  Homebuilder sentiment this last month continued to indicate confidence in the continued strong demand for new homes, but that cost and availability of labor, and potential rising building supply costs may force constrained growth for months to come.

Inventories of properties available in the Sarasota Real Estate Market took another dip in March, leaving a deficit of 1.5-2.5 months of supply (depending on which statistical analysis you review) between the theoretical balanced market of six-months and current availability of units for sale.

Below is Sarasota Real Estate Market data that I believe supports why I have confidence that the strong performance that we have been experiencing will continue:

March Market Data

Sales

First quarter 2015 sales are pacing 7% ahead of the same quarter 2014.  At the bottom of the market in 2008, sales were 50% less than this quarter.  At the height of the market run-up in 2005, 1st quarter sales were 13% less than our current results.  Adding the Trendgraphix data showing an increase in April’s closed and pended contracts, it is clear that this year is off to a strong start.

  • Total sales in March in the Sarasota Real Estate Market increased 14.3% from March 2014.
    • Single-family homes rose 13% over last year and condos rose 17%.
    • March sales were an impressive 43% greater than last month’s total transactions.
    • The closed sales the past month is very close to the all-time high of 1,228 sales in April 2004.
    • The pace of sales nationally was also strong, reported to be 10.4% ahead of previous year and 6% above last month, and the highest rate of sales in 18 months.
    • Florida sales increased 17.4% over previous year.
  • The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s all-cash transactions consistently exceed average around the country.
    • In Sarasota, March’s cash sales were 56% of all transactions.
    • By comparison, the national percentage of all cash sales was just 24%.
  • Distressed sales (short sales and bank owned) as a percentage of total sales have continued to fall.  In March those sales were 17% of total sales in Sarasota, considerably below the 50% mark at the bottom of our housing market.
    • Nationally, the percentage of distressed sales was 10%, compared to 14% in March 2014.

Pending Sales

According to Trendgraphix, pending contracts signed in March were strong, far exceeding last year.  The Sarasota Association of Realtors has adjusted their data tracking and reported in their month-end release that pending sales in March were close to even with previous year.  Whichever report is used, because year-to-date sales are already ahead of last year’s, I am optimistic that the trend will continue.

Sale Prices

One of the most important signs of stability in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is a consistent pattern of growth in median prices.

  • Prices for Sarasota Real Estate transactions closed in March rose 8% over prior year.
    • The median price for single family homes is $207,500, an increase of 9.5% over a year ago.
    • Condominiums median price was $180,745, an increase of 5.8% over a year ago.
  • The average sale price for houses In Sarasota was $303,270 in March, and they were sold at 94% of the list price.
  • With condominiums, the average sale price was $258,921 and sold at 93.5% of list price.
  • The median sale price for properties across the US in March was $212,000, which was 7.8% higher than last year.
    • In the case of national sales, median prices for single family homes were 8.7% higher than previous year, and condominiums increased by 1.6%.
  • The state of Florida is also seeing consistently increasing median prices. In fact, the state recorded its 40th month in a row of year-over-year price increases.
    • Florida’s median single family home prices were $190,000 last month, and condominiums were $152,000, both increasing approximately 9% from previous year.

Inventory

As home equity within the Sarasota Real Estate Market improves, and sellers previously hesitant to list their properties waiting for the market peak, we have been hopeful that those home sellers who had been sitting on the sidelines would put their properties on the market.  However, strong sales are consuming far more properties than the pace of new listings.  In fact, inventory in March fell 11% from month-end February.  Sarasota continues to suffer from too few properties to meet demand, and despite the sense of booming construction activity in the region, the new homes market is not yet great enough to offset the many years of inactivity and deficiency of existing homes coming on the market.

  • Total inventory in the area is currently at a 4.6 month supply
    • Properties under $500,000 have just 3.7 month’s supply.
    • In the category $500,000 – $1 million, inventory is 11 months.
    • For properties over $1 million, there is a 20-month supply.
  • Statewide inventory is reported to be about 5.5 months, and the national inventory level is 4.6 months of supply.
  • New listings in the Sarasota Real Estate Market have increased over the past few months, though the inventory has still decreased 8% from a year ago, and as previously mentioned, is 11% below last month.

Though our traditional spring break visitors from around the U.S. have returned to their home states, the next few months are some of our strongest for international visitors.  These global buyers bring the advantage of their typically shorter timespan to make a buying decision and more all cash transactions allowing for swifter closing periods.  Being an associate of Michael Saunders & Co. provides one of the largest distribution networks to qualified real estate professionals and consumers around the world through our various affiliations, including Christies International, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Mayfair International Realty and Luxury Portfolio.

If you have been pondering over when the right time to list your property is, there has not been a stable cycle like we are experiencing now in many years.  In the last year more than 12,100 properties sold…that’s more than 33 sales per day!  With sales volume continuing to climb, inventory remaining limited and demand for our region hot, I believe that now is an extraordinary time to get into the game.  I would be happy to review your potential listing and offer an analysis of the market conditions along with your individual needs, to help you determine with confidence what your best outcome can be if you choose to sell.

On the other hand, if you are a buyer, I ask…why wait?  Prices are expected to continue to climb, list to sale price ratios as well as number of days on market have narrowed considerably, proving that sellers are “right-pricing” their properties.  Let me know what your needs and vision are and we can work together to find your ideal property before someone else acquires it!

Whether a buyer or seller, my more than 30 years in the Sarasota Real Estate Market brings an advantage of a depth of knowledge of the many special communities in and around Sarasota, market trends, and even planned transformations that could affect housing.  As a seasoned real estate professional, I will work with you to identify your short- and long-term interests, and will help you to achieve your individual objectives.  Please call if now is your time to buy or sell a property!  It would be my distinct honor to assist you, family, friends or acquaintances with their next Sarasota Real Estate transaction!

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The following statistical data is provided through the Sarasota Association of Realtors for properties throughout Sarasota County. The table summarizes what happened in each price segment. The Sold, Pending and Listed columns are sales and new listings for the month of the report, and the Pending Total and Listed Total are the current totals of each at the report’s month end.

 SARASOTA COUNTY MARKET REVIEW MARCH 2015

March 2015 chart