You, my valued clients, friends, colleagues and industry partners are always on my mind. Though I know it is difficult to think about buying or selling a home or any other major decision during this anxiety filled and constantly changing world as we monitor COVID-19, it’s important to know that you are not alone in your distress. We are all experiencing emotional turmoil and considerable life disruption – but this won’t last forever.
In the coming weeks we will all learn a “new normal” – there will be advances in medical research and treatments, not just for the coronavirus, but others as well. We will learn more about ourselves and our friends and family and what is most important to us, innovations in communications and technology will change the way we do business and connect with one another, and my greatest hope is that our world becomes kinder and gentler on the other side of this event.
The thought of buying or selling a property may be a low priority for many during this tumultuous time, but it has actually been uplifting to hear from my clients that they want to continue to pursue their goals to either move from their current residence or seek a new one to move into soon after this pandemic is behind us.
With nearly four decades of experience in The Sarasota Real Estate Market and multiple economic, political and global events creating a number of roller coaster rides during my career, though we are living in a frightening reality today, I believe that in the months ahead we will see the industry return to its pre-virus level of activity.
Consumer belief in the stability and safety of home ownership, equity gains that have been experienced in owning real estate, and a sense of comfort in finding your special place to call home being a priority for all of us will fuel continued positive energy for our market.
February’s Sarasota Real Estate Market was very strong with sales outpacing prior year by a considerable margin and prices continuing to climb. Pending sales also grew markedly, which will help to soften the expected retreating buying pace for the next couple of months.
The reasons we move – marriage, children, job changes, retirement, quality of life, etc. do not change. While mid- and lower price tiers will be expected to suffer from the rising unemployment environment, I believe the luxury market will remain more stable, as these high net worth buyers are looking for a secure place for their wealth…in a most desirable location. These buyers tend to focus on long-term goals, and I am optimistic that real estate will remain an important part of their strategy.
My wish for all my subscribers is that you take care of yourselves and those you are close to, be vigilant in your knowledge of advisories, restrictions and updates from the CDC, WHO and your local authorities, be kind to all those you see, be generous in your communities where the needs are greatest, offer prayers and comfort for those suffering from effects of COVID-19 or other illnesses and disorders – as well as their caregivers – and be well.
And since most of us have a little time on our hands, here is my statistical report on the February Sarasota Real Estate Market activity:
- Total market dollar volume this past month was $423.1 million which increased by $83.8 million or 25% from a year ago.
- Broken down, single-family sales were $260.1 million and condo sales were $163 million for the month.
- The number of properties sold this past month was 994, 124 more than a year ago. The sales total includes 618 houses and 376 condos. The monthly 1,074 in 2019 and in 2018 it was 1,001.
- Florida’s single-family sales increased by 9.1% over last year, and condo sales were 10.8% above last year. Homes sold for in excess of $1 million were 26.3% higher than February 2019 and condos closed at over $1 million rose 13.7%.
- U.S. single-family sales rose 7.3% and condos were up 7.1%.
- Of the closed sales in Sarasota this past month, 61 were sold for over $1,000,000, 31 were houses and 30 were condominiums.
- In 2019 Sarasota averaged 32 house sales and 14 condo sales per month over a $1 million, a small portion of our overall sales.
- Listings that went pending last month were 1,446 an increase of 258 transactions from a year ago. For 2019 the monthly pending sales average was 1,121.
- Florida’s single-family pending sales increased 12.5% and condos rose 13.9% compared to last year.
- Single-family homes last month were sold at a median price of $304,000, and in 2019 monthly median price for houses sold was $288,325.
- In February, Florida median price for single-family homes was $270,000, an 8% increase over last year.
- The national median price for existing homes grew 8.1% to $272,400.
- The Sarasota condo median sale price was $260,000. The 2019 monthly median price was $236,797.
- Median price for a Florida condo last month was $200,000, a 6.7% increase over February 2018.
- U.S. median condo price grew to $249,900, a 7% increase.
- Sarasota houses sold on average for $420,802, compared to the 2019 monthly average of $393,418.
- Condos sold for an average price of $433,473 last month. The condo monthly average sale price in 2019 was $346,755.
- Currently there are 4,293 properties for sale in Sarasota, 85 less than the end of January. There were 4,086 listings at the end of 2019 and 5,401 listings at the end of 2018.
- Of the available inventory for sale, 665 properties are listed for over $1 million or only 15%.
- The Sarasota market had 1,513 new listings the past month. The market averaged 1,040 new listings per month in 2019. Of the new listings the past month 122 properties were listed over $1,000,000.
- Current inventory results in 3.6 months of single-family homes for sale in Sarasota and 4.5 month’s supply of condominiums.
- Florida currently has 3.3 months of single-family inventory and 5.4 month’s supply of condominiums. Inventory of properties selling for over $1 million have decreased about 7% from last year.
- U.S. inventory of existing single-family homes and condos is currently 3.1 months of supply – 9.8% lower than a year ago.
I was fortunate to have participated in the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Luxury Real Estate Summit in Las Vegas earlier this month. Some of the industry’s most respected economists and brokers were in attendance. There was unanimous confidence in a negligible long-term effect of the current economic affairs and the pandemic on the global real estate industry. Please view this LINK to hear Chief Economist Marci Rossell’s insights and perspectives.
The real estate market is expected to remain stable when the country gets back to business with prices, especially in the upper tiers of the market, returning to a modest pace of growth, sales activity expanding and new home building continuing to try to reach a level to meet demand.
Recovery will likely take months, but when we all emerge from this dark cloud, we will work together to lift our communities and one another and embrace and thrive in an age of a “new normal.”
Though we are all focused on the global effects of COVID-19, should you be considering a move in the months ahead, now is a good time to start your research. I would be happy to schedule a call to discuss your plans to buy or sell.