Prepared by Michael Moulton, CRS, Broker-Associate
Michael Saunders & Co

The sustained decline in the overall listed inventory of residential properties for sale locally, as has been reported in my last several Monthly Real Estate Reports, is on a steady path toward the equilibrium level of six months, considered neither a Buyers nor Seller’s market. Our monthly average this year of 676 closed properties indicates that we currently have just over six months of inventory, a good sign that the marketplace is on a positive and stable course. The overall inventory has declined 25% since the end of 2010, 1,439 less listed properties, and 1,812 properties less than the end of 2009. Shrinking inventory is seen as a positive sign for our local housing market.

During July, 576 properties sold compared to 517 in the same month last year. There are 653 pending sales from July versus 386 pending sales at this same month-end in 2010. As a result of the past month’s closings activity, there is just a 5 month inventory for properties listed under $500,000, compared with 7 months at the beginning of the year and 11 months at the beginning of 2010. In the segment between $500,000 and $1,000,000, there is a 16 month inventory vs. 19 months at the end of 2010. For inventory over $1,000,000, there is 36 months of inventory.

Concern lingers for how the distressed home market, which are either bank owned or a short sale, will affect pricing locally for the short-term. With the considerable downward trend in the distressed classification, significantly fewer than 2010, the consequences are expected to be less imposing. Studies show that our micro-market of Sarasota is below both Florida and the US in terms of foreclosure activity. The majority of these are under a $500,000 list price. Of the listings in our market at that price point, 19% are distressed sales. Listings priced from $500,000 to $1,000,000 only have 8.5% as distressed sale listings, and over $1,000,000 there are only 19 or 3% of the listings. Of the approximately 2000 distressed homes sold year to date, all but 75 of these were under $500,000 and only 13 were over $1,000,000.

Interestingly, the markets likely to be the most affected by inventory of distressed properties are already showing promise in the Sarasota Real Estate arena. Recent news of considerable international investment at all levels of the Sarasota market, and more demand for rental property investment as emerging classifications, offers hope for a reduced impact of the distressed market on our local recovery.

The following statistical data is provided through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of the Sarasota Association of Realtors. The table summarizes what happened in each price segment. The Sold (Closed), Pending and Listings columns are sales and listings for the month of the report, and the Pending and Listed are the current totals of each in the MLS system. The Sold YTD column is the total sales for 2011 and 2010 Year-to-Date. The Listed YE ’10 (Year-End) column shows the listing inventory at the end of 2010.

This pdf report contains statistical data is from information provided through the Multiple Listing Service of the Sarasota Association of Realtors.

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