The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – March 2018
Sarasota Real Estate Market Scores with Solid Spring
The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s spring selling season is winding down, but some of our strongest months are still ahead. Traditionally, May, June and July are when buyers who viewed properties in our peak season make their offers and close on their new properties. So far this year, sales have been 8.7% higher than 2017’s first quarter, and based on the traffic that I have seen, I believe our market will not only maintain its energy and continue to produce growth in sales and prices, but also retain our balanced conditions.
As stated in past reports, I keep a close eye on the luxury market, which is defined as properties above the $1 million mark. In March, the Sarasota Real Estate Market saw 42 single-family homes and 38 condos change hands in the luxury price tier. 67 homes and 26 condos at the price point came to market, essentially maintaining status quo as far as available properties are concerned. In the first quarter of 2018, million dollar transactions were about 6.7% of total sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. It is important to note that the luxury market tends to have less peaks and valleys of seasonal demand when compared to lower and mid-market tiers.
Much of the country is facing severe shortages of inventory, and despite last month’s slide in new listings in all price points in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, the region is still in a stable position with more than four-months of single-family homes and nearly five-months of condos available for sale. It is not entirely unusual to see a softening of new inventory coming to market at the end of season, as sellers often take their properties off the market to reassess pricing, make repairs that were obstacles to buyers, to hold through the summer and await the next peak tourist season, or because they themselves were not able to find the “move-up” or “move-on” property they were seeking.
Because the Sarasota Real Estate Market remains a seller’s market, meaning having less than six-months of available inventory which is the presumed balance point between buyers and sellers, prices continue to grow. Single-family prices increased 9.3% and condos 4.3% from prior year, and while that sounds like fairly hefty growth, prices are still within range of the pace of growth that Florida and the rest of country are experiencing. In addition, though we are closing in on pre-recession home price levels, there is no need for alarm. This region experienced such dramatic loss of housing values that I believe there is still plenty of room for prices to grow before any concern is warranted.
The pace of new pending contracts signed last month leveled off compared to prior year, but for the quarter is still nearly 5% ahead of 2017. This should help to keep the pace of sales in the next couple of months on track for market growth compared to prior year through the summer.
For a snapshot of data from the Sarasota Real Estate Market as it compares to previous year and also state and national statistics, see below:
- Total Sarasota Real Estate Market dollar volume of $500.5 million in March increased by $85.1 million from the prior year, and increased $132.2 million over the prior month.
- Broken down, single-family dollar volume increased $41.9 million or 15% compared to the prior year and condo sales dollar volume was up $43.2 million or 30% from the prior year.
- The number of properties sold in March including both single family and condominiums was 1,220, which was 336 more than February and 23 more than a year ago, representing a modest 2% growth in number of closings in the month over last March.
- Florida’s single-family sales decreased 3.5% and condo sales were down 1.8% compared to prior year.
- U.S. single-family sales declined 1% and condo sales fell 3.2%.
- The 2017 monthly average of total sales in Sarasota was 978 and in 2016 the monthly average was 952.
- Of the closed sales in Sarasota last month 80 were for over $1,000,000 or 6.6% of total sales – 42 were houses and 38 were condominiums.
- Florida and U.S. $1 million sales were about 3% of total sales in comparison.
- All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 38% of single-family and 65% of condo sales closed without a mortgage. By comparison, national all cash transactions were 20% of total sales.
- Total pending sales of 1,379 properties that went under contract during March increased by 8 transactions from the same month last year.
- U.S. pended sales for all housing types fell by 3% compared to prior year.
- Florida’s total pending also dropped about 3%.
- The monthly average of new pending sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in 2017 was 1,043 vs. 1,005 in 2016. For the first three months of 2018 we have averaged 1,298 pending contracts signed.
- In March, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $287,053 vs. $262,621 a year ago, a 9% increase.
- The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $267,043 and $249,943 in 2016.
- Florida median price for single-family homes was $250,800, an 8.2% increase over last year.
- The national median price for existing homes grew by 5.8% to $250,400.
- Condominium median sale price was $240,000 in March vs. $230,000 in March 2017.
- The 2017 monthly condominium median average is $225,585 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
- Median price for a Florida condo last month was $183,000 a 7% increase over March 2017.
- U.S. median condo price grew 4.8% in March to $236,100.
- The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $412,904 in March vs. $350,055 a year ago.
- The past year’s monthly average price for houses sold was $370,708 vs. $346,232 in 2016.
- Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in March of $405,745 vs. $341,458 a year ago.
- The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $362,378 vs. $325,802 in 2016.
- Overall properties sold for at 94.9% of the list price. The 2017 average for all properties sold was 95.6% of list price at the time of contract vs. the original list price.
- Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has decreased by 646 properties from February, 778 less properties than in March 2017, and 968 more than the end of 2017.
- Currently there is available inventory of 4,369 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.
- The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 4.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 4.8 month’s supply of condominiums, both under the 6-month level considered a balanced market.
- Florida currently has 3.8 months of single-family inventory and 5.9 months of condominiums.
- U.S. inventory of all housing types is sitting at just 3.6 months of supply.
- Sarasota County had 1,359 new listed properties in March, the local market averaged 1,147 new listings per month in 2017, and in 2016 it was 1,005.
- Of the total new listings the past month, 93 properties were listed over $1,000,000.
The Mortgage Bankers Association recently reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was at its highest since August of 2013. However, even at 4.58% they said that mortgage applications were up 11% compared to last year at this time. The generally solid economic news, growth of homeowner equity resulting from prices rising across the country and steady investment growth, leads experts to opine that they do not anticipate the rising interest rates to diminish demand for housing.
Last month’s survey of home builders once again showed confidence in continuing a steady pace of both new multi-family and single-family development. With a steady in-flow of new product in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, price growth will remain moderate as demand still exceeds both existing available inventory and pace of new housing completions. In fact, the pace of home price increases is reported to be back on a similar track as was seen for the 15-year period preceding the financial crisis, when annual growth averaged 6.1%.
As the traffic and high-season pace of activity in the Sarasota area begins to ebb, I want to remind all of my non-resident readers that this area has so very much to offer in the “softer” shoulder and summer seasons. The wide variety of performing arts, stunning exhibits at our galleries and facilities such as Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Andy Warhol feature and the ever-thought provoking Embracing our Differences on the downtown Bayfront, endless activities on the water and at the beaches, beautiful golf courses and so much more make this one of my favorite times of year. Consider coming to see for yourself why investing in the lifestyle that is Sarasota is something truly like none other – every season of the year!
Having assisted clients in the region for more than 35 years, I have the knowledge and experience to guide my customers through the labyrinth of searching for or marketing and selling a property in a relaxed and rewarding manner.
As always, I look forward to serving you, your family and friends with their real estate needs.
This Month’s Featured Listing from Michael’s Portfolio:
View all of Michael’s Listings HERE