Just when you thought “season” was over in Sarasota, signs of a continued active real estate market are announced! The late spring/early summer is normally a relatively neutral period for Sarasota real estate however, this year is appearing to look anything but humdrum. The Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) along with the National Association (NAR) and several other analytical sources have just released the latest statistics on our “micro” market as well as on a broader scale, and there is little news of anything dispiriting.
On a national basis it is reported that homes are selling 20% faster than last year, and sellers are getting contracts signed at prices closer to their listing price than has been seen for many years. Curtailed home building over the last five years has clearly contributed to the inventory drain and resulted in a 15th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases in properties for sale across the nation. In Florida, the number of homes for sale has dropped a remarkable 34% from last year and currently sits at just a 5.5 month supply. The good news is that homebuilders’ confidence is rising and strong applications for building permits are being seen here and around the country. Permits issued in the southern region of the US were up 11.1% in May, a notable indicator from our builders of a commitment to bring new product to the marketplace.
May home sales, as referred to earlier, contributed to yet more momentum in our recovery. Nationally, home sales were up 9.6% over last year and prices continued their climb with an 8% increase. In Florida, prices experienced a 9% lift over last year. Pending home sales once again hit enormous numbers with Florida contracts in the works recorded at a 43% increase in single family homes and 33% more for townhomes and condos.
The luxury market is seeing some strong interest locally, regionally and around the country with some record-setting super-luxury properties changing hands and noticeable increased activity in the $1 million and over category. US home sales over $1 million rose 24% in May over last year and that follows a year-over-year increase in April of another 13.4%. The world’s wealthy see value in the Sarasota and other most desirable real estate markets and buyers want to strike before values begin to rise in earnest.
Until we see more inventory, sales will not reach their full potential, prices will continue advancing upward and listing-to-sale periods will compress. Hence the new “four-letter mantra” our firm is embracing – LIST! If there was ever a time to consider getting your property on the market, now is ideal for those looking to move a slightly underwater property, anyone planning to down- or up-size, investors considering second homes, or early retirees looking to take advantage of great prices here in preparation for a move in the next few years.