The news of our area’s continuing upward momentum in sales, narrowing spread between list and sale price, listings turning over more quickly, contraction in inventory keeps coming, and 30-year mortgage rates at all-time low levels. My own experience is that all of the above is absolutely accurate however, as we all know, we have just ended our peak selling season. The activity was just the shot in the arm our realtors and listing clients needed to be almost giddy at times, especially as recently released statistics showed inventory at nearly 80% less than it was in 2008. Now, as we move into the next period for transactions, lifted by Floridians and International visitors, with available properties hovering around just 5-months of supply and home prices inching higher, our market seems prepared to support more listings coming online to meet our next genus of interested buyers and long-term housing investors.
Housing is not a stand-alone market, of course, and as we course our way through an election year, politics overseas prominently affecting our global economies, and the job market here in the U.S. continues to totter to name just a few of the unpredictable sources of consumer confidence fluidity, we need to be guarded with our optimism. In addition, we cannot overlook or underestimate the impact that the distressed housing segment may still play in flattening out the gains we might otherwise be seeing, even with so many other factors showing strong recovery. Our region’s professional realtors have taken time to become educated in selling the so-called shadow inventory, and with a better informed sales force I believe we are prepared to minimize the impact that this new “property type” has in our market but, nevertheless must continue to be restrained in our projections.
As I have written before, real estate in many areas is microcosmic, and Sarasota is such a place. Our desirability for overall quality of life, including the spectacular location and wealth of allures in the realm of arts, entertainment, dining and shopping, do make for a compelling argument that our region is better poised for sustained recovery.
Michael Saunders called this “A Rare Moment of Equilibrium” in her recent posting, attached here. As realtors, we often use the 6-month supply marker to identify a balance between a buyers and seller’s market, and as mentioned earlier in this posting, we have now dipped below that important indicator. As you will read in her attached article, there continues to be good data to support our position that now is the most stable of times in which to be seeking to buy or sell property.