October’s Sarasota Real Estate Market and most of Florida recovered from the remaining effects of September’s Hurricane Irma.  Most notable were the growth of new pending contracts written in the month and inventory added.  Both areas that had experienced significant declines in September.

New contracts signed for all property types in Sarasota were more than 50% higher than September.  New listings rose nearly 90% when compared to September.

As I wrote about in last month’s Sarasota Real Estate Report, sales lagged in September both as a result of the storm disruption, as well as it being a naturally slow time in our market here.  Total sales in October were more than 11% higher than they were in September.

I have seen no lingering negative effects of September’s business interruption and feel confident that our region has returned to “normal.”  This past month saw exceptional activity in buyer interest and homeowners seeking to list their properties, and with reported high consumer confidence in the economy, I believe that in the months ahead the Sarasota Real Estate Market will continue its upward track.

Home builder confidence as reported by the National Homebuilder Association was at its second highest level since July of 2005.  A variety of financial industry and government reports released these last few weeks have shown that consumers believe that the country’s steady job growth, wage increases, continuing historically low interest rates, and especially gains in home equity will allow the housing market to continue its positive path.

One of the challenges that will keep the growth in our area on a slightly less robust sales pace when compared to prior year is undersupply of properties in certain popular locations, and most especially in specific price points such as single-family homes priced under $250,000 and condominiums over $600,000.  Both categories have seen little growth in available properties for sale.

On the other hand, as noted earlier, home builder confidence remains strong, and as long as issues of limited workforce and rising prices for construction materials do not become even greater burdens than they are now, experts are projecting the delivery of new homes to market to remain strong.

The Sarasota County Office of Financial Management has reported that permits for new homes have grown 12.7% year-to-date compared to 2016.  These new homes are helping our region maintain stability, as it allows for current homeowners who have enjoyed home equity growth to trade-up to a new home.  In turn, additional existing homes will be added to our available inventory.  Many would-be homeowners had been holding back on buying a new home due to concern they may not find something suitable.

Looking at the whole of The Sarasota Real Estate Market and comparing to national and state data, the following are some of the key points that I assimilated from the many resources I review monthly.


  • Total dollar volume of $314.2 million in October increased $45.4 million from prior year and increased $51.6 million over the prior month.
  • Single-family home sales in October of 611 were 19 more than a year ago and increased by 82 sales from September.
    • Florida’s single-family sales rose 2% compared to last year.
    • U.S. sales were 1% below prior year.
  • Total number of condominium sold of 243 in Sarasota in October was 33 lower than a year ago, and increased by only 3 sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 2.2% greater than October 2016.
    • Condo sales nationally were virtually equal to the same month last year.
  • The 2017 monthly average of single family sales is 672 vs last year the monthly average was 664, a similar monthly pace.  For condos, the average monthly sales are 317 vs. 305 in 2016.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 37% of single-family and 52% of condo sales closed without a mortgage.  This percentage consistently exceeds Florida and national cash sales trends.
  • Pending sales of 646 homes that went under contract during October increased by 19 from the same month last year.
  • Condominium pending sales were down by 31 sales going under contract in October compared to prior year.
    • U.S. pended sales for all housing types fell .6% compared to prior year.
    • Florida’s total pending sales were 11% higher than last year.
  • The monthly average of pending sales this year is 672 for houses vs. 664 in 2016, and 317 for condos vs. 305 in 2016.


  • In October, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $279,000 vs. $236,313 a year ago, 18% higher.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $235,558, a 7.1% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes grew by 5.4% to $248,300.
    • The median price in October for a NEW home in the U.S. was $312,800.
  • The 2017 monthly median price average for houses sold in Sarasota was $264,452 vs. $249,943 last year.
  • Condominium median sale price was $224.000 in October and the 2017 monthly average is $221,702 vs. $208,539 in 2016.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $170,000 an 5.2% increase over October 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price grew 6.9% in October to $236,800.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $381,268 in October vs. $319,350 a year ago.
    • U.S. average sale price for a NEW home topped $400,000 in October.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold is $365,153 vs. $346,232 last year.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in October of $314,206 vs. $290,697 a year ago.
  • The 2017 monthly average price for sold condominiums is $337,517 vs. $325,802 last year.
  • Single-family homes sold at 95.4% of list price, and condominiums sold at 95.1% of the list price. The year to date average for all properties sold is 94.7%.


  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has increased by 235 listed properties from September, as there typically is an increase as fall approaches, and as a result of come delayed listings from the September storm.
  • Since January 1, 2017, inventory has fallen by 536 properties or 12%.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 3.9 months of single-family homes inventory and 4.9 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 5.6 months of condominiums.
    • U.S. inventory of all housing types is reported to be at 3.9 months, 10.4% less than a year ago.
  • Sarasota County is averaging 1,241 new listings per month and in 2016 it was 1,259.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 4,059 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.

A bright spot in the Sarasota Real Estate Market is the attractiveness of our region to international buyers.  Michael Saunders & Company has forged extraordinary partnerships with the world’s leading luxury real estate consortiums, and those relationships will continue to benefit our clients.

A recent report from the Florida Association of Realtors stated that Florida is the #1 state in the country for foreign investment in real estate.  21% of all Florida’s residential sales in the last year were to foreign buyers, compared to just 10% of sales nationally.  The median price paid by international buyers is 18% above that paid by US buyers, and 72% of all foreign purchases were all cash transactions.

Canada continues to be the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s primary source of international buyers.  With the Canadian dollar stabilizing against the US dollar, and skyrocketing average prices for real estate in our key feeder cities in Canada compared to our modest price growth, I am of the belief our friends to the north will remain active in our market.

The U.K., our other top feeder market, has faced considerable economic change this past year.  Despite the potential challenges ahead, experts believe that the thirst for properties in Florida will keep investment in Florida strong in the year ahead.

The Sarasota Real Estate Market is positioned well for an active peak season and I eagerly look forward to assisting clients either looking to list or purchase a prized property refine their goals and achieve their objectives!

Wishing all my subscribers the happiest of holiday seasons!

This Month’s Featured Listings

Elden Bayshore collage

Longboat Key Waterfront



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