February’s Forward Momentum
The Sarasota Real Estate Market saw continued growth of sales volume and median prices in February. As I have written in the last several months of my reports, the pace of growth has moderated from most of 2015 and early 2016, which in my opinion is good for the region.
Inventory is marching toward a “balanced” market, which is considered to be neither favoring sellers nor buyers, creating a less frenzied environment on both sides of the table. Conditions at the lower end and mid-market remain extremely active, as quality and availability of properties has created tight inventory and in certain price-points, bidding competition.
As my readers know, the majority of my work is with premium properties where the market conditions are considerably different. When I reviewed the most recent Trendgraphix report there were several key contrasts. For example, when all of Sarasota County pending sales for the month of February were reported to be nearly the same as last year at this time, Trendgraphix data for the $1 million and higher bracket had a 32% increase in contracts written in February, the highest number of pended sales in that price tier in the last 12-months.
Available housing inventory in The Sarasota Real Estate Market was 18.2% higher than last February at the premium tier. Increased inventory in low-mid prices was 13% higher in comparison. While 34 luxury properties were sold in February, there were more than 100 newly listed. This growing inventory at the upper end of the market is bringing some gorgeous homes and condominiums online, giving our clients many amazing choices. It has also begun to encourage sellers who have been reluctant to “right price” their properties to reconsider their listing prices, especially if they’re ready to move on.
One of the most remarkable differences comes in the time from list-to-sale. Luxury homes typically take between 3-4 times as long to sell. Another difference is in the list-to-sale price, which is generally a bigger spread by about 3% in the luxury market. Premium median prices grew 14% over prior February, but in the mid-lower tiers, median prices have fluctuated dramatically month-to-month and are now just 3% higher than last year, according to Trendgraphix.
Looking at the whole of The Sarasota Real Estate Market and comparing to national and state data, the following are some of the key points that I assimilated from the many resources I review on a monthly basis:
- Total sales in The Sarasota real Estate Market in February improved 2.7% over prior year and 2.5% over January, with total dollar volume rising 3%.
- Single-family home sales in February of 518 were 12 more than a year ago, a 2.2% increase, and increased approximately 10% compared to January.
- Traditional single-family home sales (non-distressed) showed 6.2% improvement.
- Florida’s single-family sales fell .5% year-over-year.
- U.S. sales were up 5.8%
- Total number of condominium units sold of 276 in Sarasota in February increased by one sale from a year ago, and increased by 28 sold properties from the prior month.
- After removing distressed condo sales, the data showed an improvement of 1.1% over prior year.
- Florida condo sales were 4.1% higher in February 2016 over prior year.
- Condo sales nationally grew 1.7% over February 2016.
- The 2016 monthly average of single family sales for 2016 was 653 vs. 697 in 2015, and for condos the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301 vs. 314 in 2015.
- All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 42% of single-family and 66% of condos sales closed without a mortgage.
- Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in February were only 6% of total sales, compared to 9% last year in February.
- Pending sales of 790, homes that went under contract during February, increased by 10 sales over the same month last year. Condominium pending sales of 373 decreased by 13 sales from a year ago.
- In February, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $257,500 vs. $252,250 a year ago.
- Florida median price for single-family homes was $225,000, a 12.5% increase over last year.
- The national median price for homes was $229,900, a 7.6% increase over prior year.
- The 2016 monthly median price average was $249,867 vs. $221.067 in 2015.
- Condominium median sale price was $219,245 in February vs. $190,000 in February 2016, a 15% increase.
- Median price for a Florida condo last month was $167,500, a 11.7% increase over February 2016.
- U.S. median condo price in February was $216,100, an 8.2% increase.
- The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $389,011 in February vs. $376,318 a year ago, a 3.3% increase.
- The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $345,918 vs. $321,651 in 2015, another strong 7.5% increase.
- Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in February 2017 of $296,029 vs. $310,252 year ago.
- The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $325,232 vs. $284,361 in 2015.
- Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of the U.S.
- Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 136 properties from January or 3%, and grew 18% from a year ago.
- Since the beginning of last year the available inventory has increased by almost 1,600 properties or 44%, which will affect prices. The greater the inventory, the more downward pressure there is on list and sale prices.
- For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 914 properties since the beginning of 2016 or 38% and continues to climb each month.
- Florida single-family inventory is at a 4.2 month supply and condos at a 6.4 month supply.
- Inventory on a national scale has fallen more than 6% since last year and is at just a 3.8 month supply.
- Condominium inventory in Sarasota has grown by 672 properties since the beginning of last year or 56%.
- The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 6.2 month’s supply of condominiums. The number has been steadily increasing each month the past year. This is the first time in many years that we have crossed the 6 months of supply, the line that is believed to signal a balanced market.
- Sarasota County averaged 1,274 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015. In February 1,459 listings came on the market.
- Currently there is available inventory of 5,184 properties for sale vs. 3,598 at the end of 2015.
The recent reports of strong consumer confidence, along with homebuilder sentiment reaching record high levels, signal a lasting growth pattern for the real estate market. Though there are likely to be financial and political pressures that affect many areas of the economy, analysts and experts believe the housing market is positioned to be resilient to these forces and will continue its moderate expansion.
Florida was recently cited as being the #1 state in the country for inbound new residents. Interestingly, some of our key feeder markets – New York, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey – had the highest number of residents moving out. Our next highest competitors for these relocations are Texas and Arizona (a distant 3rd.) With the pace of new residents expected to maintain for the foreseeable future, it is not at all unreasonable for us to feel very confident in The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s ability to continue its momentum.
Despite the considerable increase in inventory that has been reported, we are at the height of The Sarasota Real Estate Market season, and the interest from buyers is stronger than I have seen it in years. I believe that for quality properties, in the most desirable locations, with limited repairs or renovations necessary, and sellers who are prepared to “right price” their properties and ready to move quickly if a reasonable offer is proffered , this is an excellent time to take action. Buyers, especially at the luxury level have the available resources to close quickly, but are also prepared to wait for just the right home. Maybe yours is the one they’re looking for!
If you have interest in listing your property, please ask me for my proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” which enables me to analyze your home or property along with recent area sales, other homes on the market, and current overall market performance for your neighborhood and price points. With this data I am able to help you to determine the current value of your home, what key factors might be most important to consider when pricing, and in what general time frame you can expect a sale based on today’s market conditions.
On the other hand, if your interest is in buying, I would be pleased to work with you in establishing the areas within the Sarasota region that most interest you, develop your key purchasing criteria, share with you my knowledge of the community that will be helpful in narrowing your focus, and help you find that dream home or condominium!
It is always my pleasure to work with friends and family of my valued newsletter subscribers. Please let me know if you hear of someone seeking to buy or sell a property in our community, you can count on me!
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