August 2010 Sales Up; Prices Remain Stable

By | November 8, 2010

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The Sarasota real estate market rebounded in August 2010 after an expected slower July, following the expiration of the federal $8,000 homebuyer incentive. Sales were up 8 percent over July 2010, and up 14.3 percent over August 2009.

Property sales in August 2010 stood at 567 total sales. This compared to 525 sales in July 2010 and 496 sales in August 2009.

There were 408 single family home sales in August, with the median price at $154,500, almost identical to last month’s figure of $155,000. The median price was also $155,000 in August 2009, and has been steady throughout the last 12 months ($161,000), fluctuating between a high of $170,000 and a low of $150,000.

Condos saw 159 sales in August, with the median price rising by 22 percent to $155,000 from last month’s figure of $127,000.¬† For the last 12 months combined, the median sale price for condos was $169,900. Distressed condo sales have dragged the overall median price down substantially, with normal arm’s length sales garnering three-times as much as bank-owned properties, and twice as much as short sales on average.

Pending sales also rose in August to 816, from last month’s figure of 653, for a 25 percent increase. The rise bodes well for the closings in the early fall months.

“It was very encouraging to see that the market recovered nicely after a drop in sales from June to July,” said 2010 SAR President Erick Shumway. “After experiencing a five-year high in sales for the second quarter, everyone knew the loss of the homebuyer tax credit would have a negative impact. But we saw a big jump in sales for August, and prices held steady, so this market still has legs and the recovery appears to be a healthy one.”

The level of sales of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) dropped in August 2010 to 47 percent from last month’s figure of 48.7 percent of the overall market. Distressed market sales were at a high in late 2009, and have hovered in the range between 44 and 48 percent since that time.

The property inventory level remained fairly consistent, remaining just over the 6,000 level in August 2010, which remains one of the lowest monthly levels since late summer of 2005.

The months of inventory for single family homes in August 2010 dropped to 9.5 months from 10.4 months in July. The figure was 10.3 months in August 2009. This figure represents the number of months it would take to sell all available homes at the current pace. For condos, the figure dropped to 13.5 months from 14.4 months in July 2010. It was substantially lower than the August 2009 figure of 20.5 months. Once the market reaches the 6 month level it is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market.
Click HERE for the complete PDF version of the press release, along with two pages of statistical charts.


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