The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report January 2021

The Sales Surge and Inventory Scourge

Sarasota Real Estate Market conditions seen during the last half of 2020 continue into 2021 and are being driven by dramatic demand from buyers fleeing their home states, continued low mortgage rates, and an acute inventory shortage of existing homes.

Inventory of existing homes and condominiums at the end of January 2021 fell more than 60% from prior year. At the luxury price point where most of my transactions take place, there are now just 367 properties available to choose from in the entire Sarasota area, compared to more than 650 last year.

It is very common for a property to not even make it into the regional listing system before it has multiple offers, especially in many of the highly coveted waterfront and best-located neighborhoods and condominium developments. In fact, on several of my recent listings, I have had full price cash contracts as well as back-up offers with buyer #2 hoping there will be a contingency or other issue that would put them in the buyer seat.

If you have ever worked with me, especially during a time when our regional inventory is tight, you’ve heard me say, “If you have to sleep on it you won’t be sleeping in it!” That has never been truer than it is now. If you are ready to buy and you find something that checks all your boxes, this is not an environment that allows for indecision.

Having been in the Sarasota Real Estate Market for nearly 40 years, I have witnessed a number of peaks and valleys, but there has never been a sustained surge in demand as we are seeing now. And I believe the strength of this market is here to stay. With Sarasota’s (and Florida’s) open economy, no state income tax, stable politics, housing prices that are well below where most are relocating from, buyers driven to move from their homes due to effects of the pandemic or rethinking their lifestyle priorities will not be waning soon.

Add the great schools, arts and cultural offerings, incredible restaurants, beautiful and active country club options, extraordinary weather and recreational possibilities, great office space, and new interest in remote working, the Sarasota area is unquestionably a sought-after destination for those planning a move.Luxury Portfolio 2021

Luxury Portfolio International, a valued partner of Michael Saunders & Co., just released its “State of Luxury Real Estate” report. I invite you to read through the report to see why they sub-titled their report, “The residential luxury market is poised to have a banner year as demand fuels growth at the top.” Their research on trends in the market and review on what buyers are seeking in their new homes is very interesting, you can also see some spectacular global listings, and read a few of the tips they offer to those of us serving the high-net-worth market.

Home builders continue to voice their confidence that demand for new homes will persist. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders and Census Bureau are projecting more than one million new homes to be built in the US this year. New home sales were up 19% over January 2020. For each of the last eight months, there has been growth in new home permitting. However, even with strong pace of construction, there is a shortage of new inventory to meet demand, so prices are increasing in that segment as well.

While this last year has created unimaginable disruption in our lives, as vaccination rates increase and economies begin to open again, demand for housing in our region is expected to have persistent growth in sales, prices, and pending contracts signed each month, along with constricted inventory.

As you consider your own real estate goals for the year ahead, having valuable insight and guidance from a highly skilled real estate professional is vital. With decades 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 January 2021 Sarasota Real Estate Market activity:


  • Total market dollar volume in January was $572.7 million which increased by $177 million from a year ago.
  • Broken down, single-family sales were $327.5 million (up 41.3% to last year) and condo sales were $245.2 million (up 49.9%) for the month.
  • The number of properties sold this past month was 1,122, which is 213 more than a year ago. The sales total includes 666 houses and 456 condos. The monthly sold properties average was 1,179 in 2020 and 1,074 in 2019.
    • Florida’s single-family sales increased 18% from last year, and condo sales were 24.6% more than last year. Homes sold for in excess of $1 million were 82.7& higher than January 2020 and condos closed at over $1 million increased 24.6%.
    • U.S. single-family sales rose 23% and condos were up 28.8% in January.
  • Of the closed sales in Sarasota in January 98 were for over $1,000,000, 55 were houses and 43 condominiums.
  • In 2020 Sarasota averaged 50 house sales and 23 condo sales per month over a $1 million, though a small portion of our overall sales, it was a measurable increase over prior year.
  • 8% of all Sarasota sales transactions in January were cash. U.S. by comparison saw 16% of its sales as cash transactions.
  • Last month 1,814 listings went pending, an increase of 474 transactions (+35%) from a year ago. For 2020 the monthly average for pending sales was 1,264.
    • Florida’s single-family pending sales increased 16.9% and condos rose 32% compared to last year.
    • U.S. pending sales for combined homes and condos in January were 16% ahead of a year ago.


  • Single-family homes in Sarasota were sold at a median price of $340,004. The 2020 monthly median price for houses sold was $321,000.
    • In January, Florida median price for single-family homes was $305,000, a 15% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for existing homes grew 14.8% to $308,300.
  • The Sarasota condo median sale price was $302,250. The 2020 monthly median price was $255,000.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $230,000, a 15% increase over January 2020.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 8.6% to $269,600.
  • Sarasota houses sold on average for $491,760 where the 2020 monthly average was $455,000.
  • Condos sold for an average price of $537,760 last month. The condo monthly average sale price in 2020 was $382,000.
    • This significant increase is the result of Michael Saunders & Co., the exclusive sales agent for the new Ritz Carlton Residences project, in the process of closing the sales there.


  • Currently there are 1,836 properties for sale in Sarasota. This is a decrease of 436 listings from the month before. There were 2,272 at the end of 2020, 4,086 listings at the end of 2019 and 5,401 listings at the end of 2018. This explains the seller’s market we are in locally.
  • Of the available inventory for sale, 367 properties are listed for over $1 million or only 20%. Of the active listings over $1,000,000, 235 are houses and 132 are condos.
  • The Sarasota market had 1,508 new listings the past month, an 18% decrease from last January’s new listings.
  • The market averaged 1,307 new listings in 2020, and 1,040 new listings in 2019. Of the new listings the past month 192 properties were listed over $1,000,000.
  • Current inventory results in 1.2 months of single-family homes for sale in Sarasota and 2.1 month’s supply of condominiums. This has us well into a “seller’s” market when compared to a “balanced” market at 6 months of supply.
    • Florida currently has 1.6 months of single-family inventory and 3.9 month’s supply of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of existing homes and condos is currently at a 1.9 month’s supply.

Stay informed on Sarasota’s Real Estate Business Environment and Sarasota’s Finest Properties events by joining Michael’s Subscriber List.