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Has The Sarasota Real Estate Market Bottomed Out?

By | July 7, 2011

I Wear My Thinking Cap On Thursdays.

I Wear My Thinking Cap On Thursdays.

Well, it’s raining outside, which means I’m probably not going to get a whole lot of phone calls today. That’s OK – it gives me time to address some of those burning questions that have been keeping me up at night: is tau really more accurate than pi? What’s that weird smell coming from my closet? … and, perhaps most importantly, has the Sarasota real estate market bottomed out or is everyone just faking it?

Oops, just got a phone call. Looks like I only have time to answer one burning question – I guess I’ll look into the Sarasota real estate market.

A Quick Look At The Numbers

In order to get a better feel for what the market is for most people, we’re only going to look at key markers for homes priced $80,000 – $800,000. That should leave off all the garbage at the bottom end of the spectrum (which follows the ‘someone-will-buy-it-if-it’s-cheap-enough’ rule) and also the really high-end stuff (which follows the ‘I’ve-got-so-much-dough-I-can’t-ever-blow-through-it’ rule.) We’re also going to look back at only sales that have closed in the last 12 months, and we’ll compare today’s numbers to numbers from the same month range in 2005-2006, which is widely recognized as the historical height of our market. We’ll also look 10 years back – remember what THAT was like? (Hint: the Rams beat the Titans in the Super Bowl. WOW.)

Single Family Homes

Year Avg. List Price Avg. Sale Price Avg. LP/SP Ratio Avg. Days On Market Total # of Sales
’10-’11 $256,675 $237,777 93% 181 2,302
’05-’06 $366,988 $354,385 97% 71 2,583
’00-’01 $220,324 $212,673 97 70 594

 

Condos (includes apartment-style, townhouses, and villas)

Year Avg. List Price Avg. Sale Price Avg. LP/SP Ratio Avg. Days On Market Total # of Sales
’10-’11 $243,121 $223,629 92% 149 1,451
’05-’06 $334,886 $325,750 97% 66 1,782
’00-’01 $216,540 $207,562 96% 72 256

** Source: My Florida Regional MLS. All dates July 8 – July 7 of the specified years.

… So What’s It All Mean?

At first glance, we notice that the sale price/list price ratio for the past year is lower than the other two periods and the average days-on-market are much higher. That’s OK – historically, our sale price/list price ratio hovers right around 93%, so we’re actually right on par for where real estate has been locally for the past 50 years.

And the days-on-market number is a simple function of supply-and-demand – there weren’t a whole lot of sales from 2007-2008, and a ton of properties have come on the market as short sales and foreclosures, which led to an oversupply of housing. We’re through a lot of that now (no, really. Check out what Inman News says about it – over 50% of experts agree that home prices have bottomed out.) In fact, our inventory is lower than it has been since the boom. And check out the sales activity – houses are flying off the market just as quickly as they did at the absolute height of the market, and we’re not seeing any slowdown at all.

But, really, it all means nothing. If you need a house, you should buy one. Period. It’s the same now as it’s always been – real estate is real-life purchase and housing is just a basic necessity of life. Sure, there’s a ton of money to be made in it, and people will ALWAYS need a place to live. The population is still growing exponentially. Contrary to popular belief, the country isn’t about to fall of its rocker. Things are getting better again – and that makes it a prime time to buy.

Now to figure out what’s going on in my closet …

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AMERICAN STYLE MAGAZINE RATES TOP 25 SMALL CITIES FOR ART…

By | June 7, 2011

Lifestyle Magazine features contemporary art, artists, galleries and art festivals. In the May (Summer Issue) just released the top 25 small artistic cities were revealed.

Sarasota FL, having long been known as a cultural destination, has climbed from the 2010 No.11 position to the No.5 spot this year!

Just another “great” reason to call Sarasota, FL home.

For more information and to sign up for a “Free” American Style Newsletter visit:
American Style Magazine

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Housing Shortage on the Horizon?

By | May 23, 2011

Mike Castleman, founder and CEO of Metrostudy, which tracks real-time data of the country’s inventory of new homes, says a housing shortage is looming that will soon will create a huge surge in demand for new homes. As such, now is the time to buy, he says.

In the 41 cities Metrostudy covers, 78,000 houses are either vacant and for sale, or under construction that is less than a quarter of the new homes that fell in that category during the housing boom in 2006 and way below the level of a decade ago.

“If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months,” says Castleman. “We’d see an incredible shortage. And that’s where we’re heading.”

The historic drop in new construction mixed with the decline in housing prices is laying the foundation for a dramatic recovery in residential real estate, Castleman told CNN. Castleman expects home owners soon will start returning, which will drive up prices in many markets later this year.

While demand remains low for new construction, he expects that to change. He foresees the recovery following a similar path as previous ones: A severe housing shortage will drive a big increase in demand.

“We’ll get a big surge in demand and the drywall companies will take a long time to ramp up, and it will take years to get new lots approved,” he predicts. “Buyers will show up looking for a house in a subdivision, and all the houses will be sold. The builders will tell them it will take six months to deliver a house.” But they’ll want the house so bad that they’ll “bid the prices up.”

Source: “Real Estate: It’s Time to Buy Again,” CNN (March 28, 2011)

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Siesta Key Beach

By | May 8, 2011

Crescent Beach on Siesta Key

The great Dr. Beach has spoken…and do we have news for you..  Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach now holds 2010’s Number 2 spot in the Nation for ‘Top Ten Beaches’!

Of course it’s still Number 1 for those of us who have chosen to live here and are we ever lucky! It’s the best place we know to take a beach walk, picnic or watch a magnificient sunset.  Some travel far and wide to experience Sunday Drum Circle or view sandsculpture competitions. You should check it out for yourself!

We are lucky to be here that’s true, wish you were here..  Read more about it at http://www.drbeach.org/DetailedList.htm

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Listings Compete to make the “Must See” Property List

By | May 4, 2011

With a high inventory count in the Sarasota/Bradenton market place Realtors and Buyers can afford to be picky in which properties they would like to see when they go out with their Realtor. Often times the pictures and the way the home looks in the pictures can influence their choice. Now more than ever it is important to make your home standout above the rest. The Cleary Group has found an interior designer who can assist Sellers in staging their home so that it shows in tip-top shape Below is the the service Marsha Ritter and Associates can provide.

Expert advice on how to stage a home for sale doesn’t have to be expensive. Let Marsha Ritter Interiors help get your home ready for sale. In one hour we can come in and give helpful tips and ideas to make a home more appealing for a quick and easy sale. Below are some samples of our work…just click the first image to view the gallery of before and after photos:

Over 30 years in the Interior Design business gives us an edge up on the latest trends in the housing market. We use what is already in the house in different ways to give a fresh new look to the home. Whether it’s a quick paint color change or just editing your wall art we will guide you through the preparation process. Give us a call to schedule an appointment. (941) 993-7002 or e-mail: marsha@mrinteriors.net.

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May Events in and around Sarasota

By | April 29, 2011

Sarasota Skyline from City Island

Many of our seasonal residents have returned north so it’s a great time to get out and enjoy all that Sarasota has to offer. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the Sarasota area during the month of May:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link for More Information
May 1st 33rd Annual Siesta Fiesta Siesta Key Siesta Fiesta
May 1-31st Ringling School of Art & Design Adult Classes Sarasota Ringling School of Art
May 1st Spring Garden Tour Sarasota UF Extension Service
May 1st The Garden Music Series – Sarasota Brass Quintet Sarasota Selby Gardens
May 1st Annual Jazz on the Water Cruise on LeBarge Sarasota Jazz Club of Sarasota
May 4th Courthouse Square Concerts Bradenton Manatee County Courthouse
May 5th 2nd Annual Fiesta on Main Street Sarasota Fiesta on Main
May 5th Bluegrass Jam at Bee Ridge Park Sarasota Sarasota County Parks
May 6-21st New College Art Exhibition Sarasota New College
May 7th Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market Bradenton Farmers Market
May 7th Cruzin’ on Dearborn Englewood Englewood Village
May 7th Classic Corvettes on the Circle St. Armands St. Armands Circle
May 8th Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest Siesta Key Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce
May 9th “Driving Miss Daisy” Monday Night Movies at Ringling Sarasota Ringling Museum
May 13-14th Anna Maria City Pier Centennial Celebration Anna Maria Island SRQ Magazine
May 13th Paradise Found Tropical Dance Party Osprey Bentley’s Resort Hotel
May 14h 15th Annual Big Truck Day Sarasota Phillippi Estate Park
May 15th Drum Circle Siesta Key Drum Circle
May 18th Dialogues with Florida’s Past Sarasota New College Campus
May 19th Art After 5: Jazz on the Bay Sarasota Ringling Museum
May 19th Rennie Harris Puremovement Sarasota Asolo Theatre
May 20th Reels at Rossi Park “Rising Stars” Bradenton Realize Bradenton
May 20th May Art Walk at Towles Court Sarasota Towles Court
May 21st Party on the Plaza Bradenton Realize Bradenton
May 21st Pups at the Point: Pets Playtime at the Museum Osprey Spanish Point Museum
May 21-22nd 8th Annual Downtown Sarasota Craft Fair Sarasota Art Festival
May 25th Southeastern Guide Dogs Campus Tour Sarasota Southeastern Guide Dogs
May 25th Hurricane Preparedness Program Sarasota Twin Lakes Park
May 28th Native Plant Walk at Deer Prairie Creek Preserve Venice Native Plant Society
May 31st Afternoon at the Movies Venice Jacaranda Library

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

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Rising Rents Make Rentals Less Appealing

By | April 23, 2011

Apartment bargains once dominated the housing market, but those bargains have slowly faded away. As vacancies decrease and rents rise, renters are finding fewer deals.

Analysts expect vacancies to decrease even more and rents to continue to rise through 2013, as the economy continues to improve.

Rental activity recorded its best start for the year since 1999, according to Reis Inc. Vacancy rates have fallen to mid-2008 levels and rents have increased for the past five quarters, now averaging $991 per month nationwide.

Renters are finding the fewest deals along the coasts, such as New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Jose, Calif. These cities are experiencing low vacancy rates. Also, a boost in these cities’ economies is sending rents higher. New York City alone has seen double rent increases compared to the national average and has the lowest vacancy rate in the nation.

The best rental deals can be found in Las Vegas, Tucson, Ariz., Phoenix, and several cities in Florida–all cities where unemployment and foreclosures remain high. According to Reis, Las Vegas was the only city to see rents fall last year.

However, analysts say that bargains across the country are getting fewer, and renters should expect to see an increase in rents over the next three years.

View the Top 6 Cities Where Buying Is Better Than Renting.

Source: “Rental Market Swings Back in Favor of Landlords,” MSNBC.com (April 12, 2011)

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RE/MAX Alliance Group Still the Market Leader in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties!

By | April 19, 2011

DID YOU KNOW……… A few weeks ago the Herald Tribune published a blog that said Coldwell Banker was the local real estate market leader siting sales transaction figures that were incorrect and incomplete as they were skewed toward only one Coldwell Banker franchise.  Luckily, somehow the Trib was made aware of their mistake and last week published an apology to RE/MAX Alliance Group, and a new article that announced that WE are the true market leaders in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties!
Click on this link to read the article:  http://insiderealestate.heraldtribune.com/2011/04/07/appologies-to-remax-alliance-and-coldwell-banker-remax-alliance-is-still-the-market-leader/

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Flipping Foreclosures Becomes New Game

By | April 19, 2011

More investors are finding a sweet spot in flipping foreclosures, but it’s not the same type of house flipping seen during the real estate boom.

During the housing boom, investors would take advantage of skyrocketing real estate prices and loose lending regulations by buying a property, remodeling, and then selling it for profit.

Today’s flippers are buying at ultra-low prices mostly in cash deals and are doing mostly only minor repairs, such as repainting, replacing appliances, and sprucing up the landscaping. Their profits aren’t as large when they sell, but they may sell more properties in a year, says Penny Boling, the broker-in-charge of Century 21 Boling and Associates in Myrtle Beach.

The ‘Street Sweepers’
Keith Gamble has made foreclosure flipping a full-time job. He purchases properties at a monthly foreclosure sale and usually has about four properties at any given time.

“Some people’s bad fortune is other people’s opportunity,” Gamble says. “I know that sounds callous — I know people doing what I’m doing at the courthouse each month are there to take advantage of that opportunity, but I also feel we provide a backstop to the market.”

The flippers are often taking the neighborhood’s blight and helping to fix up the homes that had been badly trashed from the previous owner. Boling says the investors’ abilities to also pay cash will help the market get through the abundant foreclosures that are plaguing sales.

“They’re kind of like the street sweepers,” Boling says of the property flippers. “They’re part of the cleanup committee of this marketplace.”

Source: “Foreclosures Offer New Twist on Old Game: Flipping Houses,” RISMedia (April 4, 2011)

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Fannie Offers Closing Cost Help for REOs

By | April 15, 2011

Fannie Mae is trying to lure more buyers to its foreclosure properties by offering to cover 3.5 percent in closing costs for home owners who close by June 30 on its HomePath properties.

Fannie’s HomePath program provides low down payment financing on REO property sales and has no requirements for mortgage insurance or appraisals.

During the fourth quarter of last year, Fannie offered closing cost assistance and was able to recoup 55 percent of unpaid principal balance on defaulted mortgages through the sales.

Source: “To Move REO, Fannie Offers Deals to Consumers,” National Mortgage News (April 12, 2011)

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