There has not been a media report on the real estate market for some time that hasn’t mentioned “inventory” as a critical issue. Listed homes in the Sarasota region have dropped by more 25% in this last year. Levels of available properties are nearing a point similar to the height of the boom in 2005 and are 70% less than five years ago.
The market change is made even more remarkable in that there is still minimal new building taking place, the expected effects of the “glut” of distressed properties that were supposed to upend the market have not occurred, and traffic from interested buyers is higher than we recall it being for quite a while, especially for this time of year.
Sarasota County now has just a 4.1-month supply of properties for sale according to Trendgraphix (report attached HERE). This indicates that we have fallen below the level market analysts consider a “balanced” market – meaning neither favoring buyers or sellers, suggesting that pressure on prices is underway and we should begin to see them inching up. At the end of the market in which the largest share of my business takes place, the $1 million and over range, the available inventory has fallen to one of the lowest marks since 2002.
The Sarasota area continues to be high on the list of places in the U.S. attracting international buyers, and given foreign spending on property tends to be nearly double that of a typical American, our area seems to be at a critical period where we have extraordinary opportunity but little to offer. We are at the height of the year when we welcome our global visitors and I am hopeful that as the inquiries come in, we have some new properties coming online to show. The National Association of Realtors reported that more than $82 million was spent by foreigners on properties last year, a 24% increase in just one year, and almost 9% of all sales in the U.S.
Sarasota’s wealth of cultural, recreation, dining and shopping, along with our spectacular setting, exceptional housing values and welcoming residents make our region the ideal choice for the transnationals. The majority of our European buyers, an incredible two-thirds, are paying cash for their properties, something that puts them in an even more powerful position in negotiating a purchase.
Along with the May Trendgraphix report, I have also attached a recent posting by Michael Saunders highlighting why our firm offers the greatest possible opportunity to market properties to the robust international market. In addition to closing more than twice the number of Sarasota real estate transactions compared to our company’s regional competitors, the firm offers partnerships and relationships with the world’s finest agents in 52 countries, giving our clients the greatest marketing visibility.
So if there ever was a time to bring your property onto the listed property rolls, it would be now. Reduced days on market, sale prices and list price gaps narrowing, and Sarasota area average sale prices inching upwards are all signs of a stabilized and improving market. I encourage you to take advantage of my proprietary “Comparative Market Analysis” – a free assessment of your property’s value. Now might not be the exact time you planned to make a move from your current residence to a new property or sell an investment home but, having a strategy in place for the time when you are ready is a solid asset management tool.