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.  

See one of the four floor plans below:

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

Sarasota’s The Oaks Bayside

The Oaks Sarasota

In today’s Sarasota Herald Tribune, Chris Angermann and Harold Bubil feature one of Sarasota’s most beautiful of neighborhoods, The Oaks Bayside.  With just 135 estate homes, the neighborhood offers picturesque settings for each.  Mature and stately landscaping, beautiful water views, and elegant architecture throughout, along with privacy make this a very special community, and its convenient location close to Sarasota Beaches, shopping and fine dining adds to its appeal.

One of my listings, 95 Osprey Point, was the featured property in the article.  The spectacular five-bedroom and seven-bath 8,500 square foot manse was designed and built by famed architect, Bo MacEwen.  Angerman says of the home, “It is exquisitely detailed throughout, from custom millwork on the walls, ceilings and floors, to hand-carved wooden doors and marble and stone finishes.”

Though grand in scale, this is a home well suited for warm family living.  It has also been planned with entertaining in mind. The gourmet kitchen is perfectly designed for both family gatherings and stately catered affairs, and dining options range from a casual breakfast room in a glass enclosed sunroom, formal dining room with a spectacular chandelier centerpiece, and several outdoor dining vignettes including a full Viking outdoor kitchen and a second floor loggia with space for a hundred guests.

A second lot was added to the estate, which is the site of a full one bedroom guest house with kitchen and spacious terrace overlooking the lushly landscaped grounds, perfect for overnight visitors.

The home is offered for sale at $2,200,000.

 

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Moderate Market Signals Healthy Season Ahead

Longboat Key

Moderation is defined as a lessened intensity or extremeness; less violent, severe, excessive or intense. The Sarasota Real Estate Market has established a position of moderation in nearly every category of data used to analyze the health of housing.  The tempering of the extremes that were seen in 2013 of wildly rising prices and volume of sales has been opined to be the result of cash inventors, government incentives and other unique events.  The trends we have experienced year-to-date in 2014 have led to well-balanced and sustainable conditions.

The National Association of Realtor’s reports for the month of August 2014 have analysts somewhat perplexed, many even discouraged, and even others calling data “troublesome” with statistics pointing to falling prices and fewer sales.  As is typical, Sarasota’s Real Estate Market reflects a different picture than when looking at a more global perspective.  Real estate markets in regions such as ours are very often their own microclimates, reflective of the distinctive factors, and even the extreme effects of the market tumult that we experienced the Money Star spins over the last decade.

There are a variety of resources that I tap to monitor our Sarasota Real Estate Market health.  Each one has shown impressive data:

  • Sarasota real estate transactions in August 2014 were almost equal to last year, but still increasing another nearly 2%.
  • Median prices in Sarasota climbed just ½% from last year.
  • Available inventory is also stable, falling just over 1% from August 2013.
  • Pending contracts signed in August were also very close to the same period last year, increasing 2%.

Here are some additional local statistics with state and national comparison included to give my readers a greater graphic of how well the hyper-local elements of the Sarasota Real Estate Market are performing.

Sales:

  • According to the Sarasota Association of Realtors data, August was the 6th month in a row sales hovered around the 1,000 unit mark, reaching 968 properties changing hands.
    • Sarasota sales were up 5% from July and up 1.8% last year.
    • For the first eight months of 2014, closed sales are slightly ahead of last year’s pace by less than 100 sales. 2013 was the second highest in the 91-year history of the Sarasota Association of Realtors.
      • Total sales as reported by the National Association of Realtors fell 5.3% from prior year.
      • In Florida, single-family home sales rose 4.2% compared to August 2013, and condo sales fell 8.8%.
    • Sarasota’s distressed sales (short sales and bank owned) as a percentage of total sales were 22% in August 2014 which was virtually the same in August 2013 more than 35% less than two years ago. 
      • U.S. distressed sales were 13.5% of the total sales, down 14.3% compared to last year.
      • Florida’s distressed sales made up 26% of sales.

Prices:

  • The median sale price for single family homes in Sarasota was $195,750 in August, down slightly from the July figure of $201,000, yet almost the same figure in August 2013.
    • In Florida, prices for single-family homes increased 2.9% compared to last year.
  • For condominiums, the median sale price was $177,000, down 16% from the July figure of $205,000 but 10% higher than last August.
    • It has been common in the past few years for the condominium median sales price to have a greater monthly fluctuation compared to a more steady number for single family homes.  The lack of available condo inventory is putting price pressure on remaining properties.
      • Condo median prices in Florida increased 5.7% in comparison to August 2013.
  • In a 12-month look at our Sarasota median prices, which moderates the monthly swings, single-family homes have increased 10% over the previous 12-month cycle to $192,500 and condos have risen 11.5% to $160,000.
    • Nationally, August median sale prices for all categories of properties increased 4.8% over previous year.

Pending sales:

  • Pending sales continued to reflect this summer’s robust buyer activity with 880 pending contracts, comparable to last August of 864, an increase of about 2%.
    • Total U.S. pending sales in August fell 2.1% year-over-year.

Inventory:

  • Based on the monthly average of sold properties during 2014, the Sarasota Real Estate Market has a supply of inventory of just 3.4 months of available properties for sale, well below the recognized market stability point of 6 months of supply.
  • Properties listed under $500,000 have only 3 months of inventory.
  • In the $500,000 to $1,000,000 price range there is 6.6 months of inventory.
  • $1,000,000 and above properties have 13.8 months of inventory.
    • In comparison to Sarasota’s low inventory, nationally and throughout Florida inventory is at a 5.5 month supply, much closer to the level considered to be neither a buyer or seller market.

The stable and consistent trends in the Sarasota Real Estate Market aided by low interest rates, consumer and builder confidence, home equity gains throughout the nation, and especially the promise of exciting new inventory entering our market in the next 12-24 months, gives me confidence that Sarasota’s Real Estate Market growth will continue.  The balance of this year should see steady increases in sales, prices and inventory, which will lead to impressive results during our peak winter and spring sales seasons.

With the tourism season expected to reach record levels and the volume of inquiries I am receiving already showing signs of surpassing last year’s high-level of activity, for those property owners considering selling, this is the time for us to be discussing a listing.  The process of getting a property on the market can take a few weeks so the sooner you start the more chance we have of introducing your listing to the real estate community in time for season.  In addition to the adage “location, location, location,” timing is everything!

Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – Summer Data Shows Stable Patterns

Longboat Key Beach

Summer, our traditionally softer selling season in Sarasota Real Estate, has shown persisted strength and stability in nearly every statistical assessment.  Prices have continued their slow and steady climb, inventories are improving, distressed inventory remains on the down-swing, pending sales are stable, and new construction at all price points is active.  All of the market fundamentals along with tremendous “foot traffic” seeking to buy, give me confidence in projecting strong fall and winter selling seasons, leading to a robust spring 2015.  The information for this month’s Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report is gleaned from a number local, regional and national resources allowing for a broad look at the real estate market, enabling a comparison of our local “micro-climate” to markets outside our region.

Sales:

  • According to the Sarasota Association of Realtors data, July was the 5th month in a row sales hovered around the 1,000 unit mark, reaching 936 properties changing hands.
    • In the county’s history only once has there been a five youtube to mp3 online konverter month hot streak of over 1,000 closed transactions, March through July 2005.
    • Though the results are notable, Sarasota sales were down 11.4% from June and down 4% from last year last year.
    • For the first seven months of 2014 closed sales are very close to last year’s pace which was the second highest in the 91 year history of the Sarasota Association of Realtors.
  • All Florida sales of single-family homes were reported to be 5% above last year and condo sales almost 7% behind last year.
  • On a national scale, total sales fell 4.3% compared to July 2013.
  • Sarasota’s distressed sales (short sales and bank owned) as a percentage of total sales were 19.5% in July 2014 vs. 24.9% in July 2013, a major improvement.
    • National sales of distressed homes represented 9% of total sales.
    • At the market’s worst in 2011, 50% of the homes sold in the Sarasota area were distressed properties.
    • As the number of distressed properties in our inventory is reduced, median sale prices are being positively affected.

Prices:

  • Median prices for all properties in the Sarasota area climbed to over $200,000 for the first time since August 2008.
    • Single-family homes increased 6% and condominiums had an impressive surge of 29% over prior year.
    • The median price for single family Sarasota properties sold in July was $201,000 and condominiums was $205,000. Last month both were $195,000.
    • In a 12-month look at our Sarasota median prices, which moderates monthly swings, single-family homes have increased 11.2% over the previous 12-month cycle and condos have risen 10.6%.
    • Florida’s single-family median sale price for July was 3.6% above last year and condos improved 7.4% over 2013.
    • Nationally, median prices for single-family homes rose 5.1% and condos just 3.3% from prior year.

Pending Sales:

  • Pending sales continued to reflect this summer’s robust buyer activity with 901 pending contracts, a similar number to a year ago.
    • The number of pending contracts signed last month were 30% higher than 5 years ago.
    • Analysts believe, and I agree, that the pace of pending sales for this past month indicates that our sales volume in August and September should help to maintain stable market conditions through the balance of our slower selling season.
  • In contrast, US pending sales for July fell 2.1% compared to the same month last year.

Inventory:

  • Based on the monthly average of sold properties during 2014, the Sarasota Real Estate Market has a supply of inventory of just 3.9 months of available properties for sale, well below the recognized market stability point of 6 months of supply.
  • In the $500,000 to $1,000,000 price range there is 6.4 months of inventory.
  • $1,000,000 and above properties have 11 months of inventory.
  • It is interesting to note that in our local market 86% of the properties sold this year have been under $500,000.
  • Since the low point of our market during the recession, Sarasota’s inventory has fallen almost 40%.
    • The continued inventory shortage will keep upward pressure on prices, though in my opinion not enough to cause concern of inflated values.
  • In comparison to Sarasota’s low inventory, nationally and throughout Florida inventory is at a 5.5 month supply, much closer to the level considered to be neither a buyer or seller market.
  • New condominium project developers are reporting reservations are at or above projections, which has helped to get construction underway, and will ultimately help to rebalance the severe shortage of condominium inventory in the region.

All of the above information helps to paint a comprehensive picture of the Sarasota Real Estate Market.  With continued pressure from lower inventory, high buyer confidence reflected in the rising prices, a steady pace of pending sales leading into our “shoulder” season, all indicate a Stable Sarasota Market.

As we move into our busier season in the months ahead, it would be prudent for anyone considering listing a property to begin the process swiftly as I am already receiving inquiries from buyers seeking to “beat the rush” of the peak season.  Please let me know if you are contemplating a sale of your property so that we can bring it to market in time to meet the demand that I expect to see beginning next month.

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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.

Sarasota Real Estate

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ARIA Longboat Key

January Sarasota Real Estate Data Confirms Market Strength

Sarasota Bay Aerial View

With virtually every morsel of January’s Sarasota Real Estate market data reported and analyzed, it appears that our region is poised for a peak selling season that would make both sellers and buyers feel confident that this is a great time to be in the game.  Inventory is rising, creating better balance between supply and demand; sales in January exceeded last year by a healthy margin; pending sales continued to maintain their stride; average number of days from listing to sale compressed further; median sale prices are still increasing; and inventory remains in a relatively balanced condition.  While some statistics are not escalating at the enormous pace of last year, the moderating yet consistently improving market is just what we need to keep our region on a long-term upward trend.

Inventory

New listings in Sarasota County are up 10.6% just since December, which is a 32-month high and indicative of an improving market. In a recovering market, such as we have been experiencing, sellers who have been on the sidelines waiting to list feel it is time to get the property on the market to take advantage of the recent increases in prices, and even though available inventory has risen it is still significantly lower than a couple years ago.

Inventory levels are 30% higher than the recent low point in July 2013, but when compared to the height of the recession, inventory was 47% higher than it is now.  In fact, the market gauge – months of inventory – has not been as low as it is today since 1998.  Despite the addition of new listings, as has been widely reported, our market currently has 5.6 months of inventory, a level considered to still be below equilibrium.

  • Inventory in the under $500,000 segment of the market is currently just 4.2 months.  In the $500,000 – $1 Million category inventory was 8.8 months. For the luxury classification of over $1 Million the inventory is now showing 24 months of supply, which though it appears high compared to “traditional” inventory equilibrium, is reasonably low for this classification.
  • Though new home starts in Sarasota County are reportedly up 51% over prior year and our area is considered to be one of the most active building markets in the country, new construction is still lagging demand.  Builders and suppliers have reported an upsurge in home repairs and renovations, as homeowners prepare to put their existing homes on the market and knowing that, while consumers might prefer a new home, an existing home in a great location and in good condition may suffice for buyers looking to move more quickly than new construction allows.
  • The National Association of Homebuilders released a report predicting that new home construction will increase 25% nationwide this year.  The growth is a result not only of demand, but also attributed to lenders again funding developers.

Sales

As mentioned previously, there is pent-up demand for new construction.  Nationally, new home sales were most active last month boosting number of units sold by almost 10%.  The Florida Realtors Association indicated that statewide sales of single-family homes was up 10.2% compared to prior year and condo sales increased just over 9%.  When “distressed” properties are removed from the mix, an increase in year-over-year sales of 20.4% for single-family properties and 16.9% for condos were recorded.

In Sarasota, the January 2014 closed sales were up 10% from the same month last year.  The total sales in Sarasota County for all of 2013 were 11,184, the second highest in history with 2004 being the highest during the bubble years of 2003 – 2005. There were 7,453 single family home sales and 3,371 condos sold. The January sales, along with higher traffic from prospective buyers, an expected higher than normal tourist season ahead, and a fair pace of pending sales recorded in January are good indicators that we are on pace to surpass the 2013 total this year.

Distressed properties are still an important statistic to monitor, and sales of those properties in January represented just under 25% of the closed sales, significantly lower than the 50% level experienced in 2011.

The average number of days from the date of listing to closing has been falling consistently this last year.  The trend continued into January with that period compressing almost 15% compared to the same time last year.  Statewide that figure is lower, estimated to be closer to 7%, further showing that demand for Sarasota Real Estate is strong.

Prices

The Sarasota County market continues to see measurable price appreciation.  Median sales prices in our region for single-family homes have increased 21.3% and condos 17.1% from one year ago. While this number may seem considerable, it is actually a relatively modest rise in median prices indicating a healthy market, in contrast to an unsustainable spike being experienced month after month as was seen in the run-up years of 2004-2006.  As a comparison, national median sales prices were just 12% over prior year, and in Florida, single-family home prices escalated 12% and condominiums up 16.9%.

A recent study by Zillow, surveying more than 100 industry experts and strategists, found a projection of price increases nationwide to be 4.5% in 2014, which is still greater than historical averages that typically run closer to 3%.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market is also holding steady on sold vs. list price at about 90%.  I believe that this reflects sellers understanding “right-pricing” and avoiding the urge to overprice in this recovering market, as well as sellers wanting to expedite their sale to allow them the upgrade, relocation or change in lifestyle they are looking for.

My opinion is that our increasing Sarasota Real Estate Market prices will continue a steady climb and result in consistent year-over-year growth through the year, with obvious escalation during the peak spring season and moderation as the year progresses.

Thanks!

I would like to once again thank my past and current clients, as well as the many readers of my monthly report who show their confidence in me by sending me an extraordinary flow of referrals, for allowing me to serve you.  This last year, even though it was one of recovery, was active!

I continue to be proud to have achieved a Top-20 Sales Producer position in the Sarasota-Manatee region, which has more than 5000 registered real estate agents. It is my hope that these results are evidence of the professionalism that I bring to each transaction, experience in the market, knowledge of marketplace trends and developments, and individual attention to each of my buying and selling clients to understand their unique needs and expectations.  It would be my distinct honor to assist you, family, friends or acquaintances with their next Sarasota Real Estate transaction!

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 Sale 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. YTD (Year to Date).

SARASOTA COUNTY MARKET REVIEW JANUARY 2014

Jan 2014 chart

Sarasota Real Estate: Year-End Data Reveals Resilience and Records

Casey Key Listing

The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report

Year-End 2013 Real Estate Data Reveals Resilience and Records

Most of the reports, data and expert opinions that I look to when researching my monthly Sarasota Real Estate reports have been issued.  As I have reported throughout the year, the Sarasota region has had an extraordinary year, and with the market improvement at a reasonable and sustainable tempo we are poised for a healthy and prosperous 2014!  Some of the more remarkable changes can be seen in the progress over the last three years.  Just a few of the indicators that impressed me are:

  • At the end of 2010 total inventory for sale in our market was 6923 units – 47% higher than at the end of 2013.  Current inventory has not been this low since 1998.
  • Months of inventory at that same time was reported to be 8.6 months.  On December 31, 2013 months of inventory based on closed sales was at just over four months.
  • Median prices in our region in December 2010 were 25% less than those measured at the end of 2013.
  • The average number of days from listing to contract has fallen 35% since the end of 2010.

Though considerable progress in the recovery of our precious Sarasota economic driver, the housing industry, has taken place, the pace that the region saw was swift yet comparatively moderate leaving us plenty of room to continue to grow at a sustainable rate through the coming year.  According to recent statistics reported in TrendGraphix, our Sarasota inventory of single-family homes has increased almost 17% over last year, and pending sales were up almost 11% in December compared to previous year.  After pending sales are closed, it is estimated that we will be left with approximately 5.2 months of inventory, nearing the 6-month inventory point thought to indicate a balanced market.  The condominium market continues to be pressured.  Though several impressive projects have been revealed and are in various stages of permitting, nothing has been released for occupancy in several years causing condo inventory to have fallen 10.5% to last year and likely compressing further over the coming year and causing upward pressure on prices.

The 2013 year-end results in the local, regional, state and national real estate marketplace have been well reported over the last few weeks.  Some of the more important industry improvements that I have seen and not reported previously are:

  • The Florida housing industry has now experienced 25 consecutive months of home price increases.
  • The statewide median price rose 11.4% in the last year, national increase was 9.9%, and our local Sarasota median price trumped both with the rolling 12-month average recording a 20% surge.
  • Nationally the number of homes under construction showed the 28th straight month of increased units with housing starts jumping 18% over prior year.
    • In the Sarasota area, single family home inventory has risen over prior year bringing inventory to a more manageable level, but with limited new condos completed, we are still facing a declining condo inventory causing expectations of a steeper climb in prices compared to single family homes.
    • Inventory in the under $500,000 segment of the market is currently just 3.6 months, in the $500,000 – $1 Million group inventory was 7.8 months at year-end, and in the luxury classification of over $1 Million the inventory is now showing 13.5 months of supply, the lowest measured since 2002 and 65% lower than 2007, the local area peak.
    • In the luxury market, which is a large percentage of the business that I transact for my clients, inventory has compacted substantially and is now at what market analysts consider a balanced level for this price segment.
  • In the month of November, new permits issued for construction of single family homes in Sarasota increased a little over 29% (December permit data is not yet available.)  Virtually every month of the past year has shown considerable permit activity in the region.
  • The national home sales volume in 2013 was reported to be the highest since 2006 – an increase of 9.1 % over 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors.  Locally, our total sales for the year rose just under 9%.

And because the distressed inventory discussion in our region is still an extremely relevant one, I think it is important to update my readers on the state of this class of properties.  It is of no surprise to those of us here that Sarasota has been cited as the epicenter of bank-owned homes, foreclosures and short sales over the last few years. However, despite Florida still being called the top market for distressed homes, Sarasota has successfully moved ahead as other parts of the state continue to struggle. Before the market collapse, fewer than 1% of the homes in our market were considered distressed. At the height that number skyrocketed to more than 50% of our available inventory in late 2010. As this trend continues, there will be less impact from the REO’s on pricing allowing the increases we have been seeing in median sale prices to maintain their upward climb.

  • Currently only 377 properties for sale in the MLS are listed as short sales or bank owned (REO’s), equal to about 9% of available properties.
  • Of the distressed sales listings 81% are under $250,000, 13% are listed between $250,000 and $500,000 and only 4 or 1% are over $1,000,000 signaling to luxury buyers not to waste your time only looking for a distressed sale listing.
  • During 2013 sold distressed properties were 2,613 equaling 23% of all sales.
  • Of the sold distressed properties, 87% of them were under $250,000, 9% were between $250,000 and $500,000 and only 75 sales were between $500,000 and $1,000,000.
  • Just less than ½% or only 18 properties of the sold distressed properties were over $1,000,000.

As we enter our peak selling season here in the Sarasota real estate market, along with other industry experts and analysts, I am convinced that we will experience moderating price increases due to the narrowing gap between inventory and buyers as more units are entering the market.  I also believe that, though my listing clients would love to see a spike in selling prices, moderation is a healthy market trend to prevent the possible overheating that we experienced in years past.  The challenge of limited condominium inventory may cause a higher growth in prices in that segment, but my research indicates that even there we will see sensible increases rather than extreme changes.  Based on the pace of reservations made at the new condo projects announced in our region, there is a healthy appetite for new construction and I am eager to see these new developments come to fruition.

With the expectation that prices will increase, the pace of new product entering the market is not anticipated meet demand, especially at the luxury level, and as we hit the months when we see the most sales activity, it is my hope that those potential sellers that are still sitting on the sidelines will finally take the plunge and list their properties.  This is an ideal time for sellers looking to move up, try a new neighborhood they’ve been considering, or change housing from single-family to condo or vice versa.  As always, I would be delighted to assist anyone wanting to test the market by offering my Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).  This proprietary program allows me to analyze your home or property along with recent area sales, other homes on the market, and current overall market performance, and guide you through the step-by-step process of how to use your personalized CMA report to maximize your asset’s market value.

And, finally, many thanks to my valued clients and referring friends who through listings and sales volume allowed me to reach a position in the top-20 producers of the more than 5,000 Sarasota and Manatee realtors.  I am also grateful to have the power of the region’s most successful brokerages, Michael Saunders & Company, which as a company achieved more than $2.2 Billion in 2013 sales volume.

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 Sale 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. YTD (Year to Date).

Chart for Dec 2013 Report