The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – September 2015
Strong Results Are a Positive Presage for Fall Activity
Welcome home! I hope that you all had fun and fabulous summer sojourns filled with magical moments and memories!
While the summer months in the Sarasota Real Estate Market tend to produce softer activity than our traditionally higher seasons of winter and spring, the summer real estate market here clearly didn’t take a break from its record setting pace! Third quarter sales were 10% higher than last year and 44% improved over five years ago! Pending sales increased 6% for the quarter over 2014 and were 36% higher than the same quarter five years ago. And with tight inventories and fewer distressed properties for sale, median prices were 12% higher than last September and 42% greater than they were in 2010.
Given the healthy pace of pending contracts signed over the last few months, it is a great presage as we enter the final quarter of 2015. Economists and real estate experts are projecting that by year’s end, Sarasota Real Estate will see a 10-year record of activity.
The following data reflects reporting through the local, state and national realtor associations, as well as a number of other statistical providers nationwide. In the real estate industry, there is no shortage of analysts and resources to be sure! As one of the nation’s most important economic indicators, everyone like to keep their eye the housing market!
September Market Data
Nationwide the real estate market is outpacing inflation by almost three times. Some economists call it the “silver lining” in the economy. As sellers have recovered equity in their homes and real estate continues to be the #1 choice for building wealth, the market is expected to continue its healthy growth. While the last few years have seen remarkable increases in pace of sales and prices, looking forward I believe the Sarasota Real Estate market will likely hit the record sales pace projected for 2015, and also see continued modest growth through 2016.
- Total sales in September in the Sarasota Real Estate Market were consistent with the same month a year ago but have increased 8% year to date from 2014.
- Sales in the U.S. were 8.8% more than last year, the highest number since 2007.
- In Florida, condo sales rose 8.4% over the prior year and single-family home sales increased 13.4%.
- September was the first month in the past six months where the closed sales activity did not surpass 1,000 closings. Though it is noteworthy that a six month run in excess of 1,000 transactions has never happened before in Sarasota.
- Distressed sales (short sales and bank owned) as a percentage of total sales have continued to fall. In September those sales were 12% of total sales in Sarasota, considerably below the 50% mark at the bottom of our housing market, and 20% of sales a year ago. Most of the sales of distressed properties are in price points below $500,000.
- Nationally, 7% of all closed transactions in September were considered distressed properties.
As noted previously, pending contracts are an excellent predictor to activity in the months ahead. The pace was nearly equal in September with previous year. With many of these contracts set to close in October, it appears that The Sarasota Real Estate Market is primed to achieve similar sales to last year’s record-setting month.
The distressed portion of the Sarasota Real Estate Market has fallen considerably in the last few years. With this decline has come a market populated with higher quality inventory, which has put upward pressure on prices. Given that relief in the inventory deficiency is still sometime away, prices are expected to continue their ascent.
- Sarasota’s condominium median price was $192,500 vs. last year’s $195,000. Single-family homes saw a median price of $223,500, an increase of 18.3%.
- The median price of U.S. closed sales last month was $221,900, an increase of 6.1% over previous year, with home prices at $230,200 (up 5.1%) and condos $217,400.
- For the 46th month in a row, Florida’s statewide home prices increased in September. Single-family homes had a median price of $199,900 and condos were $150,000.
- The average sale price for houses in Sarasota was $341,376 in September vs. $299,289 a year ago, and they were sold at 95.6% of the list price.
- With condominiums, the average sale price was $319,365 vs. $278,918 a year ago and they sold at 93.8% of list price.
- 46% of the closed sales were paid in cash, broken down it was 58% of condos and 42% of single-family homes.
- In comparison, nationally 24% of all sales in September were cash transactions.
The National Homebuilders Association released their recent survey of their members. In it they stated that homebuilder confidence has reached a 10-year high! They also went on to report that due to tight labor there has been a slowdown in production time and delays in completions. As the new home market gains momentum and housing supply is replenished, the inventory inversion will soften. I encourage my selling clients that are still on the fence about listing their properties, to strike while the market is still in their favor.
- In September, Sarasota Real Estate inventory increased by only 34 properties from month-end August, but is a 9% drop from a year ago and 16% less than at the end of 2014.
- Total inventory in the area is currently at a 3.2 month supply, well below a balanced market, which is defined by a 6-month supply of inventory.
- Properties under $500,000 have just 2.5 month’s supply.
- In the category $500,000 – $1 million, inventory is 6 months.
- For properties over $1 million, there is a 12-month supply.
- On a national scale, supply fell 3.1% from September 2014, leaving a 4.8% month supply.
- In Florida, single-family home inventory is 4.4 months of supply and condominiums are sitting at a 5.2 month supply.
- In the Sarasota Real Estate Market, distressed inventory is only 4% of the total available inventory, compared to 17% last year and 50% in 2011.
- When the market last reached the six month equilibrium between buyers and sellers in 2013 there were approximately 5,500 properties for sale vs. 3,300 currently.
Though inventory is still painfully low, the pace of new homes coming to market is still not able to keep pace, and would-be sellers are hesitant to put their properties on the market for fear they might not find a suitable home to transition to, demand remains extremely high.
As Sarasota finds itself at or near the top of every “best places to retire” lists, I see the baby boomer age group assiduously seeking their vacation and/or retirement homes here. The younger generation has seen skyrocketing rents, making home ownership a more affordable choice for them. In addition, in studies millennials have been found to consider home ownership one of the most desired forms of equity. Though the majority of my business is in the baby boomer age group, I am seeing more and more young professionals coming to me looking for homes to settle their families into.
During these last few months I have made it a mission to seek out the very best properties that are available in the Sarasota Real Estate Market. Visiting the listings, studying the neighborhoods they are in, and researching competitive homes for sale has given me a keen familiarity with our best located, finest quality and condition properties.
Years of working with buyers has provided me practical, comprehensive and experienced intel on Sarasota’s best locales. If you are in the market to buy, give me a call and we can discuss your needs and intentions and find your new home or investment property before someone else does!
Yes, Sarasota is definitely growing. And to some I understand growth is something to fear. From my perspective all that makes Sarasota one of the finest cities in which to live, work and play can only get better as more and more passionate new neighbors join us on this great evolutionary journey our community is experiencing!
The following statistical data is provided through the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee for properties throughout Sarasota County. The table summarizes what happened in each price segment. The Sold, Pending and Listed columns are sales and new listings for the month of the report, and the Pending Total and Listed Total are the current totals of each at the report’s month end.