Sarasota Housing Market Has Horsepower

The Sarasota Real Estate Market’s March results have revealed that the region continues to see healthy advances in sales and prices, despite an ever-growing inventory of properties for sale.  With pending sales activity in March also showing strong increases over prior year, it is expected that closed sales in April will show growth over prior year, as well.

Based on the activity from buyers in the market last month, and the traditional flow of “serious” buyers that tend to take action in our late spring months, I feel that there is potential for several more solid months ahead.  For those who question whether the housing market might be reaching levels of sales that are unsustainable, I recently found the following graph showing sales between 1990 and today.  It indicates that existing U.S. home sales are growing at a measured pace, we are not seeing erratic patterns, and sales have only just started to surpass 2002 activity.  When analyzing only The Sarasota Real Estate Market, similar sales growth patterns are seen.

Despite the continued increase in new listings of existing homes and condos, the tight supply of quality product in prime locations has generated high demand for new construction, buoying homebuilders high level of confidence.  If access to labor, and pricing and availability of building supplies is able to keep pace, new construction may soon begin to close in on matching buyer demand.  If so, this may bring some of those buyers back into the existing home market and help to ease the over-supply of inventory in some price points.

Based on the many resources that I review prior to publishing my monthly Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report, I have great confidence in our region’s ability to maintain healthy sales and price growth, while at the same time absorbing more inventory.

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 on a monthly basis:


  • Total sales in The Sarasota Real Estate Market in March improved by 6% over prior year and 44% over February, with total dollar volume rising by $1,007,000 over February and $32,000,000 over March 2016, with the majority of growth occurring in the condominium segment.
  • Single-family home sales in March of 784 were 20 more than a year ago, and increased 51% compared to February.
    • Florida’s single-family sales grew 9.3%.
    • U.S. sales were up 6.1%
  • Total number of condominium units sold of 413 in Sarasota in March increased by 14% from a year ago, and increased by 137 or 49% sold properties from the prior month.
    • Florida condo sales were 11.4% higher in March 2017 over prior year.
    • Condo sales nationally grew 5% over March 2016.
  • The 2016 monthly average of single family sales was 653, and for this year the monthly average is 592, and for condos the average monthly sales in 2016 were 301, and this year it is 312.
  • All cash sales in Sarasota continue to be strong with 40% of single-family and 69% of condos sales were closed without a mortgage.
  • Distressed sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market in March were only 5% of total sales.
  • Pending sales of 880 homes that went under contract during March, increased by 62 sales over the same month last year and were the highest in the last 12 months.  Condominium pending sales of 413 increased by 49 sales from a year ago, a nearly 22% increase.
    • Nationally, pending sales improvement over prior year was much more tempered, growing my less than 1%.


  • In March, Sarasota’s single-family homes were sold at a median price of $262,621 vs. $244,000 a year ago.
    • Florida median price for single-family homes was $231,900, a 10.4% increase over last year.
    • The national median price for homes was $237,800, a 6.6% increase over prior year.
  • The 2016 monthly median price average for houses sold was $249,867 vs. this year it is $256,707.
  • Condominium median sale price was $230,000 in March vs. $196,000 in March 2016, a 17% increase.
    • Median price for a Florida condo last month was $171,000, a 9.4% increase over March 2016.
    • U.S. median condo price in March was $224,700, an 8% increase.
  • The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $350,055 in March vs. $356,767 a year ago.
  • The year’s monthly average price for houses sold in 2016 is $345,918 vs. $363,858 this year to date, a 5% increase.
  • Sarasota’s condominiums sold for an average price in March 2017 of $341,458 vs. $302,692 a year ago.
  • The 2016 monthly average price for sold condominiums was $325,232 vs. $359,066 this year.
  • Sarasota properties sold at 95% of the list price, which mirrors the rest of the U.S.
  • Of the 28 MSA’s in Florida, 22 regions had higher price growth than the North Port-Sarasota MSA, however, Sarasota remains one of the costliest areas in the state, though our number three spot is quite a difference from the front-runners. The Naples area has a median price of $450,000, and Miami has a median of $326,000, both considerably higher than Sarasota’s prices.


  • Total available inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market decreased slightly by 37 properties from February and grew by 661 properties or 15% from a year ago and 12% since January 1st.
  • For single-family homes, inventory has grown by 316 properties since the beginning of 2017.
  • Condominium inventory in Sarasota has grown by 191 properties since the beginning of the year.
  • The Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee reports that there are 5.1 months of single-family homes inventory and 6 month’s supply of condominiums, basically a balanced market.
  • Sarasota County averaged 1,274 new listings per month in 2016, about the same monthly average as 2015 and this year the three-month average is 1,553. In March 1,534 listings came on the market.
  • Currently there is available inventory of 5,147 properties for sale vs. 4,595 at the end of 2016 and 3,598 at the end of 2015.
  • The higher inventory in The Sarasota Real Estate Market has been affecting list-to-contract periods, further reflecting that we are moving closer to a market that favors neither sellers nor buyers.

As we approach June and July, often some of our strongest selling periods of the year, the signals reflected in the data reported from March supports continued Sarasota Real Estate Market growth, hence my sense that our region’s housing market has the right “horsepower” to allow us to maintain our pattern of sales and price growth.

If you have interest in listing your property, please ask me for my proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” which enables me to analyze your home or property along with recent area sales, other homes on the market, and current overall market performance for your neighborhood and price points.  With this data I am able to help you to determine the current value of your home, what key factors might be most important to consider when pricing, and in what general time frame you can expect a sale based on today’s market conditions.

On the other hand, if your interest is in buying, I would be pleased to work with you in establishing the areas within the Sarasota region that most interest you, develop your key purchasing criteria, share with you my knowledge of the community that will be helpful in narrowing your focus, and help you find that dream home or condominium!

It is always my pleasure to work with friends and family of my valued newsletter subscribers.  Please let me know if you hear of someone seeking to buy or sell a property in our community, you can count on me!

Sarasota Real Estate


Stay informed on Sarasota’s Real Estate Business Environment and Sarasota’s Finest Properties events by joining Michael’s Subscriber List.