The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – February 2015
The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s peak selling season is traditionally the spring. However, the number of contracts signed in December and January this year gave the area a jump start and created a near record number of closed sales in February. In fact, just in the first two months of 2015, we have already hit a sales pace that is better than any of the last 10 years. With a significant number of pending contracts signed in February, well in excess of last month and last year, and the height of our selling season ahead of us, it is no surprise that economists and housing experts are predicting a record year already.
February Market Data
The number of closed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market was impressive. In reviewing Trendgraphix records, from the market low in 2008, sales have recovered almost 50% and are at a 10-year high.
- Total sales in Sarasota Real Estate Market increased 6.3% from February 2014.
- Single-family homes rose 10% over last year and condos fell slightly at 1.2%.
- Florida’s single family home sales were 19% greater than last year and condos increased 7.4% over prior year, creating a total increase of just over 15%.
- Sales in February increased an impressive 12.3% from January, which was the 2nd strongest January in 15 years.
- Nationally, total sales increased 4.7% compared to February 2014 and 1.2% to prior month.
- The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s all-cash transactions consistently exceed average around the country.
- In Sarasota, February’s cash sales were 58% of all transactions.
- The national percentage of all-cash sales for February was 26% in comparison.
- Distressed sales (short sales and bank owned) as a percentage of total sales have continued to fall. In February those sales were about 20% of total sales in Sarasota, considerably below the 50% mark at the bottom of our housing market.
- The national volume of distressed sales was 11% last month.
Pending contracts signed in February were strong. The greatest growth in the Sarasota Real Estate Market occurred in the condominium market. Contracts typically take several weeks to negotiate after buyers make their first offer, so based on the record tourist traffic this winter, I am not surprised to see a robust month of pending sales.
- Sarasota pending sales recorded in February increased 5% over January, and also increased over prior year.
- Of the 1046 pended sales, single family homes actually saw a small decrease in contracts signed compared to prior year. Condominiums going under contract had 14.7% more signed last month when compared to February 2014.
Sarasota Real Estate prices are continuing to grow at a steady pace. The growth in prices is moderate, which leads to sustainability in the marketplace. As we learned in the real estate bubble experience, double-digit price increases, well in excess of GDP, is untenable.
- Prices for Sarasota Real Estate transactions closed in February rose 8% over prior year.
- The median price for single family homes is $196,000, an increase of 6% over a year ago.
- Condominiums median price was $187,500, an increase of 10.3% over a year ago.
- The average sales price for houses was $296,424 in February and sold at 93.3% of the list price.
- With condominiums, the average sales price was $238,334 and sold at 92.7% of list price.
- National sale prices for February increased 7.5% over prior year. Median prices in Florida rose 9%.
As home equity within the Sarasota Real Estate Market improves, more home sellers who had been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the market to recover are now putting their properties on the market. The balance between a sellers and buyers market is considered to be one with six months of supply. Sarasota continues to suffer from too few properties to meet demand, and despite the appearance of many cranes and other signs of new building, the new homes market is not yet great enough to offset the many years of inactivity.
- Total inventory in the area is currently at a 5.6 month supply
- Properties under $500,000 have just 4.5 month’s supply.
- In the category $500,000 – $1 million, inventory is 11 months.
- For properties over $1 million, there is a 26-month supply.
- New listings have increased over the past few months, though the inventory has decreased 10% from a year ago.
- Condominiums have seen the greatest compression of inventory – February units for sale fell 12.9% when compared to February 2014.
The 2015 Sarasota Real Estate Market has all the signs of stability and strength as we enter our peak selling months of spring. With the reported hefty pending sales recorded last month, it appears that March will be another strong month. The other important factors that contribute to our growth – easing of inventory shortages, interest rates remaining low, consumer confidence research showing optimism, and price growth at a measured pace – all indicate that now is a great time to buy a home. And if you are an undecided prospective seller, with the three busiest months of the year upon us, your wisest decision would be to enter the game now.
Whether a buyer or seller, my more than 30 years in the Sarasota Real Estate Market brings an advantage of a depth of knowledge of the many special communities in and around Sarasota, market trends, and even planned transformations that could affect housing. As a seasoned real estate professional, I will work with you to identify your short- and long-term interests, and will help you to achieve your individual objectives. Please call if now is your time to buy or sell a property! It would be my distinct honor to assist you, family, friends or acquaintances with their next Sarasota Real Estate transaction!
The following statistical data is provided through the Sarasota Association of Realtors 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 FEBRUARY 2015