The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – August 2018

It’s Still a Seller’s Market – Get in on it!

For months now the Sarasota Real Estate Market has favored sellers. What does this mean and why is it important to bring into focus for my readers? As we near the start of our busier season – both from regional and out-of-town buyer prospects – the market is favoring sellers. With property sellers in the driver seat, especially in the luxury market, unless there is a considerable increase in listings, we expect to see a narrowing of list-to-sale price gaps, and also likely buyers who have been looking for some time move more swiftly on the best new listings that come online.

If you are a would-be seller, now is the time to get started. It can take weeks and even months to bring a property to market, as often some repairs and refreshing may be necessary, and with tight labor conditions there may be a delay in preparing your home to show at its very best. Our busiest showing months coincide with higher tourist seasons. And it is very common in the early fall months to have all-cash buyers in the market looking to make a purchase and close before the end of the year.

In reviewing last month’s Sarasota Real Estate sales reports, condominiums once again showed strong growth. However, for the first month in some time, pending sales (contracts signed but not closed) fell slightly against contracts signed the same month last year. In the single-family segment, pending sales fell more significantly. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention red tide and its possible effect on recent contract signing activity. Though red tide is not new, the media attention during this year’s event has reached the global marketplace, and may have a softening effect on our market for a few months.

Inventory, regardless of outside influencers such as red tide, the economy and politics, needs to grow to maintain our longtime growth trend. Unless our region sees meaningful increases in properties for sale, buyers may find little to choose from during our busiest time of year. There are ample ready, willing and able buyers seeking properties to absorb an increased inventory of homes for sale, and certainly strong consumer confidence that real estate is the best investment in the years ahead. Again, I remind any of my readers considering putting their properties on the market, now is a prime time to make this important decision.

Many of my subscribers are outside the Sarasota area. With decades of experience assisting clients from across North America, I have developed a great network of some of the best realtors. Let me know if you’re contemplating selling and I’ll help you find a professional to work with in your community.

And now for my report on August Sarasota Real Estate Market activity:


While single-family home sales softened in comparison to last year, condominium activity remained robust. With the addition of a number of high quality projects brought to market this year and selling at quick pace, it is clear that this segment has strong demand. My experience is that the buyers are in many cases moving from the keys, and also snowbirds making their first foray into semi-retirement with an eye on permanent residency here in the nest 5-10 years. The new 73-unit ultra-luxury Ritz Carlton Residences has just broken ground. I expect these stunning condominiums to sell quickly – should you have an interest in taking a look at the project before it is fully reserved/sold out, please let me know.

  • Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $376.4 million in August increased by $24.5 million from the prior year and increased $14 million from July.
    • Broken down, single-family sales were $274.5 million and condominium sales were $102 million.
    • Single family sales increased $11 million compared to the prior year, and condo sales were up $13.6 million from the prior year.
    • Florida’s single family sales volume grew 8.9% and condo volume was up 17.4%.
  • The number of properties sold in August was 1,031, which was 14 less than July and 38 more than a year ago. The sales total included 716 houses and 315 condos.
    • Florida’s single-family sales increased 4.2% and condo sales were up 6.6% compared to prior year.
    • U.S. single-family sales declined 1.0% and condo sales fell 4.8%.
  • The 2018 monthly year-to-date average for sold properties is 1,086 whereas the 2017 monthly average was 966, a nice average monthly increase.
  • Of the closed sales in Sarasota last month 42 were for over $1,000,000, 4% of the total sales, 31 were houses and 11 were condominiums.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 34% of single-family and 53% of condo sales closed without a mortgage. By comparison, national all cash transactions were about 20% of total sales.
  • Listings that went pending the past month were 899 and decreased by 122 transactions from the same month last year. The majority of reduction occurred in the single-family segment, with just six fewer condo contracts signed.
    • Florida’s single-family pending sales fell 2.6% and condo contracts written dropped 8.9% compared to last year.
  • For the first eight months of 2018 Sarasota has averaged 1,141 pending sales. The monthly average of pending sales in 2017 was 1,043 and in 2016 it was 1,005. This trend is important to watch as it tends to forecast sales activity in the 30-90 days ahead.


Median prices for all segments have grown near 10% over prior year and average prices are up more than 5% in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. With inventory remaining tight, this trend is expected to continue.

  • In August, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $283,488. The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $267,043, about a 6% increase.
    • In August, Florida median price for single-family homes was $254,290, a 6% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew by 4.9% to $267,300 – this was the 78th consecutive month of year-over-year price appreciation.
  • The condominium median sale price was $232,950 in August vs. $213,500 a year ago. The 2017 monthly median average was $225,585.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $185,000, an 8.8% increase over August 2017.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 2% in August to $244,500.
  • The average sale price for houses sold in Sarasota was $383,488. The past year’s monthly average price for houses sold was $370,708.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in August of $323,255. The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $362,378.
  • Overall properties sold for 95% of the list price, a consistent ratio on a regular basis. The 2017 average for all properties sold was 95.6% of list price at the time of contract vs. the original list price.


As noted earlier in this report, we remain in a seller’s market. Inventory is just above last year’s level in both single-family and condominium segments. However in the luxury tier (above $1 million,) where the majority of my activity is, inventory is near its lowest level recorded in the last five years, dropping from a high of 30-months of inventory to today’s just 10-months, according to data tracker Trendgraphics. Again, this statistic should be an encouragement to would-be sellers as we enter our busier seasons ahead.

  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,020 properties for sale in Sarasota County, there were 4,401 at the end of 2017, 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has decreased by 16 listed properties from August and 149 more properties than a year ago.
  • Of the available inventory for sale, 499 properties are listed for over $1 million or only 12%. 376 of the active listing are houses and 123 are condominiums.
  • Sarasota County had 1,141 new listed properties in August. The local market averaged 1,147 new listings per month in 2017. Of the total new listings the past month, 45 properties were listed over $1,000,000, a small amount of the overall available inventory for sale.
  • Inventory of properties over $1 million has fallen in the last year with 6.5% fewer single-family homes and 12.1% less condos on the market.
  • As mentioned, inventories in The Sarasota Real Estate Market have fallen this year and are now just 3.9 months of single-family homes and 4.1 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market. The single-family months of inventory has been consistent all year while the condominiums months of inventory continues to have a slight decrease each month.
    • Florida currently has 4.0 months of single-family inventory, up 4.5% compared to last year, and 5.3 month’s supply of condominiums, close to the same as last year and also close to a balanced market.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is sitting at 4.3 months of supply, up from 4.1 months at this time last year.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market is on track for another healthy selling season. New building continues to help to ease the inventory shortage of high quality well-located existing homes and condominiums. Surveys of home builders suggest that their confidence in the market is strong and that the pace of new product that we’ve seen over the last year will continue.

In general, it’s hard to ignore the creeping up of interest rates and expectation of an acrimonious mid-term election ahead, which could cause some national real estate and investment market disruptions, but I feel that neither will have much effect on our local area’s housing industry. The positive GDP growth, low unemployment, small business optimism, consumer confidence and rise in household net worth all create a confluence of healthy factors allowing for real estate market stability in the months ahead.

As always, I look forward to serving you, your family and friends with their real estate needs.



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