With the results of the last 10 months of 2012 tallied, the year’s home sales, prices, inventory levels and new home building activity have exceeded even some of the most optimistic projections made by housing industry experts and Wall Street economists months ago. Based on trends and current pending sales, analysts are forecasting another 7% increase in prices this month compared to November 2011, and by year-end inventories are expected to be in excess of 20% lower than last year.
The recent reports from the National Association of Realtors showed that last month’s sales of existing homes were up 11% over last year and new home sales jumped 17%. Overall sales have climbed more than 45% since June 2010.
The National Homebuilders Association’s recent survey of its members showed continued improvement in homebuilder confidence and the highest in the last six years. Last month homebuilders nationally broke ground on new homes at the fastest pace in four years, and the Census Bureau issued a report saying that housing starts have increased 41% since last year! Total construction spending is reported to have risen 55% since the bottom of the market in mid-2009.
In the Sarasota metro area, the real estate market has continued to be robust and there is no question that it will continue through the end of the year, as is evidenced in the increase in pending sales of 33% compared to last year. Pending sales, properties that are under contract but will typically close within one or two months, is an excellent performance measure to note. With the obvious demand for Sarasota real estate from local, national and international buyers, a severely contracted supply of properties available, and new homes entering the marketplace at too slow a pace to meet buyer demand, prices are inching higher. So far prices in our local Sarasota region have risen in every month of 2012. The news of rising prices is encouraging buyers to come off the sidelines and sellers to be more confident that they can sell at a good price.
Tom Heatherman of Michael Saunders & Company wrote in his blog this week, “With a strong year behind us and Southwest Florida’s busiest home buying season ahead, if your goal is to sell your home in 2013, now is the time to list it.” The article is attached HERE and includes a great deal of relevant data revealing why and how the Sarasota real estate market continues to outperform the nation.