The Sarasota Real Estate Market activity has long been known to swell with the arrival of our tourist season. 2015 is reported to be a banner year for tourism – more than 67 million domestic visitors and nearly 12 million from other nations journeyed to Florida, with more than 1 million coming to the Sarasota area. And it should come as no surprise that a large number of those made a decision to find a new home. Tourism continues to be one of the largest industries in Florida and the key driver of our new residents.
The peak tourist season is just beginning and we are thankful to be one of the most desirable destinations in the state to visit, and better yet…to live! Sarasota is not only a magnificent city brimming with fine cultural activities, abundant award-winning dining and shopping, beautiful beaches and myriad other recreational offerings, it also still provides one of the best real estate values compared to other waterfront communities in the state.
Sarasota Real Estate median values hover in the $215,000 range, and average housing prices are under $300,000. The Naples area, our closest rival in the state, has a median price in excess of $300,000 and average prices at $425,000. Our competitors on the east coast of Florida have median prices ranging from the $265,000-300,000. With our regional tourist boards projecting that hotel booking pace and new properties coming on line will push the number of visitors well above this year’s record numbers, our Sarasota Real Estate Market will be effected in many ways – most notably, demand will remain above supply and prices will continue to be pushed higher.
Though inventory climbed some in October, in the luxury market where the majority of my transactions take place, prime Sarasota Real Estate is still very limited, which will keep upward pressure on prices. Home prices have been reported to be growing at twice the pace of inflation. October’s median price of a single-family home in Sarasota rose 18% over prior year, and condos increased almost 6%.
The following data reflects reporting through the local, state and national realtor associations, as well as a number of other statistical providers nationwide. In the real estate industry, there is no shortage of analysts and resources to be sure! As one of the nation’s most important economic indicators, everyone like to keep their eye the housing market!
October Market Data
Total sales in October in the Sarasota Real Estate Market were down 13% from the same month a year ago, which recorded the highest ever number of sales for any October. The year has been strong and sales have grown 6% year to date from 2014. The calmed sales pace in Sarasota was reflected throughout the state. The last two-months of slight moderation in sales is not something I see as a negative trend, rather further evidence of our generally healthy conditions in the Sarasota Real Estate Market.
- Sales in the U.S. fell 3.4% from September but grew 3.9% compared to last year.
- In Florida, condo sales rose just under 1% over the prior year and single-family home sales increased 1.2%.
- October was the second month in a row where monthly sales did not surpass 1,000 closings after a run of six months with closed sales activity surpassing 1,000 closings. Though it is noteworthy that a six month run in excess of 1,000 transactions has never happened before in Sarasota.
The pace of contract signings was nearly equal in October with previous year, with similar reports for both national and statewide pending sales. This is in part due to the continued tight inventory, especially move-in condition, well-located properties. As noted earlier, with our annual sales already 6% ahead of the 2014 pace, even if we have months equal to or slightly less active than in 2014, we are set to reach a record number of Sarasota Real Estate transactions by the end of 2015.
With a declining inventory in the distressed and lower priced categories, and moderated sales has come a market populated with more higher quality inventory, which is putting upward pressure on median and average prices. Despite reports of records in new home sales, the number coming to market is still well below demand. Given that relief in the inventory deficiency is still sometime away, prices are expected to continue their ascent.
- Sarasota’s condominium median sales price for the month was $185,000 vs. last year’s $175,000. Single-family homes saw a median price of $230,000 vs. $195,000 a year ago, an increase of 18%.
- The median price of U.S. closed sales last month was $221,200, an increase of 5.8% over previous year, with home prices at $230,200 (up 5.1%) and condos $209,200 (up 1.6%.)
- For the 47th month in a row, Florida’s statewide home prices increased in October. Single-family homes had a median price of $199,900 (up 12.4%) and condos were $150,000 (up 7.2%.)
- The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $319,377 in October vs. $305,661 a year ago, and they were sold at 95.6% of the list price.
- With condominiums, the average sale price was $249,196 vs. $300,885 a year ago and they sold at 94.5% of list price. The reason for the price falloff was that many more higher priced condo sales closed in October 2014.
- 49% of the closed sales were paid in cash, broken down it was 62% of condos and 43% of single-family homes.
- In comparison, nationally 24% of all sales in October were cash transactions.
In October, Sarasota Real Estate inventory increased by 196 properties from month-end September. It is typical this time of year to see increasing available inventory for the winter selling season, but our inventory totals are still 11% below the end of 2014.
- Total inventory in the area is currently at a 3.4 month supply, well below a balanced market, which is defined by a 6-month supply of inventory.
- Properties under $500,000 have just 2.7 month’s supply.
- In the category $500,000 – $1 million, inventory is 6.9 months.
- For properties over $1 million, there is a 13-month supply.
- On a national scale, supply fell 4.5% from October 2014.
- In Florida, single-family home inventory is 4.4 months of supply and condominiums are sitting at a 5.3 month supply.
Sarasota, with its enviable location and weather, understated sophistication, lively downtown, rich cultural offerings, safe and varied communities, engaged residents, and as noted earlier the comparatively moderate price of housing will continue to drive new residents to the area. With our peak selling season in front of us, I remain extremely bullish on the Sarasota Real Estate Market through the end of this year and 2016.
With limited properties available and a record tourist season expected, perhaps it’s time for you to take action on your real estate plans – are you wanting to purchase a retirement or investment property? Is it time to move into the “lock-n-leave” condominium you’ve been thinking about? Ready to up-size or down-size? How about that neighborhood you’ve been longing for? Whether your plans call for buying and/or selling, after almost 35 years in Sarasota specializing in luxury real estate, it would be my pleasure to share my experience, knowledge and understanding of our unique market to help you meet your special needs.
The following statistical data is provided through the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee 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 October 2015