The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s 2020 year-end statistics were released two weeks ago, and I thought focusing on those results this month would be of most interest to my subscribers.

There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of great personal and professional challenges in every corner of the globe. Many of our months were simply a blur – especially with the impact of the initial discovery and rampant spread of the COVID-19 virus in the spring. While the global economy was essentially on pause and we were forced into quarantine there were very few facets of our lives that were not disrupted.

My greatest hope is that my network of colleagues, clients, and friends and family have come through to this encouraging time of vaccination distribution with their health and optimism intact.

While the world was sequestered in their homes or adopted home for weeks and months, there was one very bright spot that emerged – an awakening in early summer for the housing market, which has since become a great National economic stabilizer.

Much has been written in the last half of 2020 about the homeowner and rental markets benefitting from the work-from-home impact. The pandemic and related recession has caused people to reconsider what “home” means to them.

The primary discovery with couples, family and even multi-generations and friends sheltering together was one thing everyone craved – space. Priorities shifted and, in many cases, with extra time on their hands, people began to think…dream…about what was more/most important to them.

The result has been a surge in buyer activity. The 2020 Sarasota Real Estate Market was off to a great start and then 2nd quarter 2020 saw sales and pending contracts signed fall to their lowest level in five years. Then is 3rd and 4th quarters both closed and pending sales exploded breaking five-year records by pretty wide margins.

Below is a graph from Trendgraphix that compares existing single-family and condominium activity in the Sarasota Real Estate Market over the last 15 years.

Here are just some of the remarkable statistics shown in the year-end 2020 report:

  • Lowest inventory of existing homes and condos in 15 years
  • Lowest new listing volume in 6 years
  • Highest volume of sales in 15 years
  • Highest average listing and sold prices in 15 years
  • Highest median sold price in 15 years
  • Highest number of pending contracts signed in 15 years
  • Tied for narrowest margin between list and sale price in 15 years
  • 2nd lowest average days on market in 15 years


Demand for new homes has also skyrocketed in our region, and around the country. Home builders continue to have extremely high confidence in the persistence of buyer interest. In fact, US permits issued in December 2020 were 30.4% higher than last year. And in December, new home sales were 15.2% higher than 2019.

In 2020 total housing starts around the US rose 7% reaching the highest number since 2006. With current prices for lumber and steel up 35% over last year, the only downside ahead for builders is increased costs, which will ultimately be passed on to buyers. Though skilled labor is still in short supply, builders sentiment is that the workforce pipeline is improving.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released data from a recent survey which revealed more Millennial and the GenX generations plan to buy homes this year than in any prior period the data has been collected.

Feedback from the NAHB participants were that after being locked down in their homes and with the technology enhancements there was a major shift in what, when and where to relocate. Statewide economists have noted that there is a trend of entrepreneurs, private wealth and other financial services moving to Florida, especially from the Northeast and West coast. It has been said that the concentration of these new professionals in the region will help both residential and commercial real estate in the year ahead.

Preliminary data on January 2021 Sarasota market sales are as impressive as the last half of 2020. Though actual results from MLS will not be released until later this month, some of the predictors are suggesting sales increased over 17% from prior year, pending sales were up more than 50%, and inventory down more than 60% compared to the same time last year. With pending sales continuing to show significant growth, I am optimistic that the months ahead can be expected to see more record-setting activity.

As you consider your own real estate goals for the year ahead, having valuable insight and guidance from a real estate professional is vital. With nearly 40 years of experience managing hundreds of buying and selling transactions, analyzing and experiencing the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s variability, my knowledge throughout the region can help.

Whether seeking to relocate to a new neighborhood, considering upsizing or downsizing, or adding to your real estate portfolio, it would be my pleasure to discuss your next steps.


And now for my statistical report on the December and Year End Sarasota Real Estate Market activity:

  • Total market dollar volume in December was $747 million, which increased by $278 million or almost a 60% from a year ago.
    • Total sales for 2020 were $6.179 billion, in 2019 it was $4.881 billion, a 27% increase in 2020. In 2018 sales were $4.515 billion.
  • Broken down, December’s single-family sales were $545.3 million and condo sales were $201.7 million for the month. The volume in single-family was up $218.4 million from last year while condo volume was up $59.4 million.
  • The number of properties sold this past month was 1,536, which was 373 more than a year ago. The sales total includes 853 houses and 310 condos.
  • The monthly sold properties average in 2020 was 1,179 and in 2019 it was 1,074.
  • The total # of properties sold in 2020 was 14,146 and in 2019 it was 12,888.
    • Florida’s single-family sales increased 21% from last year, and condo sales were 27.7% above last year. Homes sold for in excess of $1 million were more than double December 2019 and condos closed at over $1 million rose 80%.
    • U.S. single-family sales rose 22.8% and condos were up 17.7%.
  • Of the closed sales in December 116 were for over $1,000,000, 94 were houses and 22 were condominiums, a very strong month for luxury sales and far exceeding last December’s luxury transactions.
  • Listings that went pending last month were 1,117 an increase of 77 transactions from a year ago. For 2020 the monthly average for pending sales was 1,264 and in 2019 1,121.
    • Florida’s single-family pending sales increased 30.7% and condos rose 42.6% compared to last year.
    • U.S. pending sales in December were more than 30% ahead of a year ago.
  • Single-family homes were sold at a monthly median price of $321,000 in 2020 and in 2019 it was $288,325.
    • In December, Florida median price for single-family homes was $309,000, a 14.4% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew 13.5% to $314,300.
  • The Sarasota area condo median sale price was $255,000 and in 2019 it was $236,797.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $230,000, a 13.7% increase over December 2019.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 6.9% to $272,200.
  • Sarasota houses sold on average for $454,830 in 2020 where the 2019 monthly average was $393,418.
  • Condos sold for an average price of $382,564 in 2020 and in 2019 it was $346,755.
  • Currently there are 2,272 properties for sale in Sarasota. This is a decrease of 195 listings from the month before and a decrease of 1,814 listings or 44% less than the end of 2019.
    • By comparison, there were 4,086 listings at the end of 2019 and 5,401 listings at the end of 2018.
  • The Sarasota market had 1,117 new listings the past month. The market averaged 1,307 new listings per month in 2020 and averaged 1,302 new listings in 2019.
  • Current inventory results in 1.6 months of single-family homes for sale in Sarasota and 2.6 month’s supply of condominiums. I think these are the lowest months of supply in my extended career.
    • Florida currently has 1.8 month of single-family inventory and 4.2 month’s supply of condominiums. Inventory of properties selling for over $1 million have decreased more than 20% over last year.
    • U.S. inventory of existing single-family homes fallen 23% and condo inventory is down 26.4%.

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