By Bob Henley | August 24, 2013
Perceptions matter. Across the country, consumer confidence has improved dramatically of late. It’s now at 81.4, up 18.7 points in the past year. When people feel that things are going in a positive direction, they are more willing to spend and invest. Reflecting the public’s perception that the economy is on the mend, the National Association of Realtors® reported that closed sales and pending sales indices are at their highest level since 2006. United States and foreign investors have both decided to stop “sitting on the fence” and are investing in one of the Sarasota, Osprey or Venice homes or condos they looked at for the past few years, but never had quite enough confidence to make the decision to buy.
Sarasota, Osprey and Venice Florida home and condo sales in the first half of 2013 are higher than at this time last year by 13.8%. If homes continue to sell at the current rate, 2013 will be recorded as the second highest sales year in the 90-year history of the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) surpassed only in 2004. “The strong Spring surge before the snowbirds leave is still in place, but for the past two years, we’ve also seen a second buying season in the Summer that includes not only those who typically relocate in the Summer before school starts, but also snowbirds who didn’t buy while they were here last Winter. They’re buying now before prices rise even more,” he added.
As more people have been deciding to buy homes and condos in the Sarasota Florida area, the inventory of properties available on the market has fallen. The inventory of available homes in the Sarasota, Osprey and Venice area has now fallen to the lowest level in nearly a decade. There is only a 3.2 month supply of single family and 4.3 month supply of condos available.
Distressed property sales now represent roughly 12% of total sales, much lower than the 51% figure experienced in the 4th quarter of 2010 so those properties are also now becoming a scarce commodity.
Responding to this supply/demand imbalance, Sarasota area home prices have begun to rise and that trend of increasing home prices shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
“Sarasota is blessed with incredible natural beauty, great cultural assets and tremendous amenities that families enjoy year round,” said Roger Piro, SAR President. Mr. Henley added his own observation that “more and more people are learning about the SarasotaFlorida metropolitan area, loving it, and deciding to invest in homes and condos here.” With the improved consumer confidence level, there is little chance we’ll see anything other than a continuation of the positive trend in Sarasota real estate sales and prices we’ve seen so far in 2013.