Today “Home” is More Important Than Ever.
In light of the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 by implementing a “shelter-at-home” policy, we have all had ample time to think about what is important to us in our residences, the outdoor spaces around us, and the communities we live in.
For my wife Katie and I, we are so very grateful to have chosen to live in a condominium filled with light, spacious and with beautiful views of our many Sarasota assets including Sarasota Bay and The Gulf, and large terraces to watch sunrises and sunsets.
Even in this quiet environment, downtown Sarasota offers its condominium and single-family home residents easy access to great walking routes some with spectacular outdoor art installations or gorgeous views and charming neighborhoods, amazing restaurants that have been preparing fabulous take-out dining, excellent and safe options for groceries when we need them – and wonderful people.
In reaching out to my current and past clients, close friends, or chatting (at a distance) with my golf mates I have heard a common refrain – how comfortable they are in their “shelter” environment – or not. This situation has prompted several to question if they have too much space, too little property, they wish they were in a better climate if their primary residence is elsewhere, or were closer to family.
While the Sarasota Real Estate Market continued to show a healthy pace of sales and price growth in March, the number of contracts signed for future closings and number of new listings fell considerably. Yet, even though those statistics were down about 30% from March 2019, the activity was still pretty solid and more like a typical September level of business than our normal high-pace spring activity.
Yes, when the data from April comes out, it also will be expected to show considerable declines from previous years. But I do believe that the demand for Sarasota Real Estate will be even greater as the market recovers. Though consumers at all levels have slashed spending on non-essential goods, when it comes to real estate investment, especially at the higher price points, activity is expected to recover rather quickly.
And again, based on my conversations with past and current clients and general conversation with real estate savvy acquaintances, they are already viewing properties online, thinking about how to prepare their current residence for sale, and reviewing all options for moving their primary residence to our beautiful community.
A month ago it seemed impossible for most of us to imagine how much we could accomplish working from home. Now with remote working tested and many finding how much both online meetings and tech tools can assist us, and in some cases brought us even closer together, I expect those who were previously on the fence about relocating their business to our region will consider the option more seriously.
As always, I have reviewed the many resources available to us for both data and expert forecasts. The data is below. My analysis of the indications and projections is that we have another 30-60 days of softer sales activity, lower available inventory and fewer properties going under contract, and a continuing moderate increase in prices.
Based on prior economic downturns, which were not attributed to the housing industry as in 2008, real estate becomes the spur that helps the overall economic recovery. As an optimist, I believe that the recovery curve will ease upward in 60-90 days and within months our Sarasota Real Estate Market activity will be on the move towards pre-crisis levels.
Consumer confidence in real estate has not waned during this crisis, and we have been reminded how very important our homes are to our safety, health and well-being…now more than ever.
To all those who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus, I send my sincerest wishes for your comfort. To our front-line workers supporting both the health and safety of our communities and residents, and the amazing service professionals coming to work every day to provide us with necessary supplies, and the immense caring and generosity of so many Americans, THANK YOU!
Sarasota Real Estate Market Statistics:
- Total market dollar volume this past month was $516.4 million which increased by $81.2 million from a year ago.
- Broken down, single-family sales were $345.6 million and condo sales were $170.8 million for the month.
- The volume in single-family was up $38 million from last year while condo volume was up $43.2 million.
- The number of properties sold this past month was 1,288, 121 more than a year ago. The sales total includes 834 houses (+7.2%) and 454 condos (+15.5%.) The monthly sold properties average was 1,074 in 2019 and in 2018 it was 1,001.
- Florida’s single-family sales increased 6.4% from last year, and condo sales were 4.7% above last year. Homes sold for in excess of $1 million were 26.1% higher than March 2018 and condos closed at over $1 million were up 25.3%.
- U.S. sales with single-family sales increased just 1.3% in March and condo sales were down 3.6%.
- Of the closed sales in Sarasota in March, 67 were for over $1,000,000, 38 were houses and 29 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 896 a decrease of 513 transactions from a year ago. For 2019 the monthly average for pending sales was 1,121.
- Florida’s single-family pending sales fell 22.6% and condos down 35% compared to last year.
- Single-family homes were sold at a median price of $315,000. The 2019 monthly median price for houses sold was $288,325.
- In March, Florida median price for single-family homes was $275,000, a 7.4% increase over last year.
- The national median price for existing homes grew 8% to $282,500.
- Sarasota’s median condo sale price was $245,000. The 2019 monthly median price was $236,797.
- Median price for a Florida condo last month was $210,000, a 10.8% increase over March 2018.
- U.S. median condo price grew to $263,400, a 7.9% increase.
- Sarasota houses sold on average for $414,374 where the 2019 monthly average was $393,418.
- Condos sold for an average price of $376,162 last month. The condo monthly average sale price in 2019 was $346,755.
- Currently there are 4,457 properties for sale in Sarasota. This is an increase of 164 listings from the month before. 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, 656 properties are listed for over $1 million or only 15%. Of the active listings over $1,000,000, 471 are houses and 185 are condos.
- The Sarasota market had 1,388 new listings the past month. The market averaged 1,040 new listings in 2019. Of the new listings the past month 89 properties were listed over $1,000,000.
- Current inventory results in 3.7 months of single-family homes for sale in Sarasota and 4.6 month’s supply of condominiums.
- Florida currently has 3.4 months of single-family inventory and 5.5 month’s supply of condominiums. Inventory of properties selling for over $1 million have decreased about 10% from last year.
- Total U.S. inventory of properties for sale is 3.4 months of supply, a 10.2% decrease from March 2019.
As most of our region’s businesses remain on pause, so many in our community are suffering. I encourage you to participate in the 2020 Giving Challenge. The Giving Challenge is a 24-hour giving event that allows participants to support nearly 700 nonprofit organizations within Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto Counties, many of which have matching grants already committed. Whether your passion is support for our children, healthcare, the arts, homelessness, feeding the hungry, or so many others, during this battle with COVID-19 and in the months of recovery these organizations are more essential than ever. Be kind…be generous…be well.
Michael’s Featured Listing
View All of Michael’s Listings HERE