The Sarasota Real Estate Market in September is normally one of our softest activity months with our lowest volume of sales.  However, according to a report by TrendGraphix, September 2014 saw substantial sales activity with 934 closed transactions, which is 14% higher than last September.  The report also presented data that indicated pending sales improved 25% over last year, median prices were almost 11% higher, and inventory has continued to shrink leaving just 3.6 months available for sale, 16% less than last year at this same time.

There are several resources for regional real estate data so variations in expert analysis does vary.  What we all will agree on though, is that the Sarasota Real Estate Market is maintaining a healthy pace of growth.

Using the Sarasota Association of Realtors data and other resources for September statistics, which comprises slightly different market data than TrendGraphix that revealed an even more robust picture, I present the following overview of the Sarasota Real Estate Market:


  • Sarasota’s real estate transactions in September were 14% higher than the same month in 2013, and 41% more than five years ago, which was 35% more than its prior year.
  • Condominium sales dropped slightly while single-family home sales experienced a very strong month.
    • Compared to total sales in August 2014, sales volume was slightly lower, but that is not surprising for the traditionally slower month of September.
    • Nationally, housing transactions fell by 1.7%, quite a contrast to Sarasota’s activity.
    • Florida’s total sales increased over last year by 9%, again, not as strong as we saw here locally.
  • In the first three quarters of 2014, Sarasota real estate sales have increased by 2.6% over the same period last year. 2013 annual sales volume was recorded as the second highest in Sarasota County’s history.  If the pace that we have been experiencing continues, I believe that Sarasota’s total 2014 sales may come very close to hitting the highest annual sales record, which was set in 2004.


  • The median sale price for single-family homes sold in Sarasota in September was $189,000. This is slightly below August’s median of $195,750, but almost identical to last year.
    • In Florida, median prices for single-family homes in September saw gains of 5.9%
  • Condominiums continue to rise at a more rapid pace with median prices at $195,000 in September, an increase of 10% compared to last month and 18% higher than September 2013, which was $165,000.
    • The continued deficiency of new inventory of condominiums entering the market here is keeping the pressure on condominium prices. Until the gap between demand and supply becomes more balanced, I expect that we will see a continuation of the greater monthly price growth in the condo market.
    • Condominium sales throughout the State had a median price increase over last September of 9.8%.
  • Using a rolling 12-month average of the median price in the Sarasota market, a way to look at prices that tends to moderate the monthly swings, single-family homes are pacing 10% higher than the previous 12-month cycle and condominium median prices have grown 12.5%.
  • For the 31st consecutive month, National median sale prices increased in September, growing 5.7% over last year for all transactions.

Pending Transactions:

  • September’s pattern of activity reflects what we have seen all through Sarasota’s normally slower summer months, 840 pending contracts signed was an increase of 12% over last year.
    • In Florida, the pace of pending sales were well behind the Sarasota area with an increase of just 7.1% over last year.
    • Nationally, economists and real estate analysts were somewhat troubled that pending sales in September increased over last year by only 1%. With much of the nation experiencing its peak selling season in the summer, experts were expecting a healthier increase.


  • Sarasota’s housing inventory continues to be in short supply in comparison to demand. In fact, Sarasota total inventory has decreased 751 units or 20% since the beginning of the year.
  • Compared to September 2013, total Sarasota inventory this last month fell 8%.
    • Using the monthly average number of sales as a gauge, the Sarasota supply of properties now sits at just 3.7 months of inventory. When compared to the industry standard of 6-months of supply within all categories and price points representing a balanced market, one can see how important new listings of existing homes and new construction is to our area.
      • Properties in the under $500,000 category have only 3.1 months of inventory.
      • At the $500,000-$1,000,000 level there is 6.7 months of inventory.
      • In the luxury price point above $1,000,000, where a supply in the range of 15-months is considered “normal”, Sarasota has just 9-months of available inventory.
    • S. housing inventory saw an increase of 6% in inventory over the same month last year, and the nation now has a 5.3 month supply of properties for sale.
    • Florida inventory of properties has increased 6.3% since September 2013.

Homebuilders are surveyed on their confidence sentiment each month.  The good news is that they remain convinced that the demand for real estate that we have seen these last two years will continue for the foreseeable future, and record numbers of building permits and housing starts reflect that attitude.

From a financial security perspective, owning property appears to still be a strong investment strategy.  In fact, Gallup released poll results yesterday that revealed, “Americans today are more likely to think real estate is the best option for long-term investments than in the past, ranking it ahead of gold and stocks.” Even the most bearish of the real estate industry forecasters suggest that in the next three years real estate values will grow 12%.  The majority of the experts see the future more bullishly, projecting an 18% increase in housing values by the end of 2018.  Home prices are steadily increasing at a natural pace rather than at an unsustainable acceleration.  With the volatility and instability of global economies and the stock market, real estate remains an attractive means of securing an investment.

The Sarasota tourism industry saw substantial increases in occupancy this summer and the coming “season” is anticipated to be one of the best on record.  Because the majority of buyers, especially at the luxury price point, are coming from outside of this region, for those property owners considering selling this is the time for us to be discussing a listing.  The process of getting a property on the market can take a few weeks, so the sooner we start the more chance we have of introducing your listing to the real estate community in time for season.

If you are a buyer, I am keenly aware of the newest listings, those that are the best values in the best locations, and have studied the Sarasota Real Estate Market for nearly 35 years.  This is a wonderful time to be considering purchasing, as noted above, demand will continue to outpace supply for the short-term, we expect a strong selling season in the months ahead, and prices are only going to go up from here!

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.


Sept 2014 chart for report2


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