Market Statistics

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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May Numbers Continue Exceptional Spring for Sarasota Real Estate Market

By | June 16, 2011

 

The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales statistics for the month of May showing 796 total sales which is the second highest total for the past six years. Prices also climbed in May and inventory dropped by 5%. For the complete report and statistics visit: http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/May2011Stats111061413528.pdf

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Real Estate Market Statistics for April

By | May 17, 2011

The Sarasota Board of Realtors reports that a total of 759 property sales were closed in the Sarasota real estate market in April 2011, continuing a strong spring surge that reached the 800 level in March. The recent sales rush has taken the market to the highest levels since the fall of 2005 when sales started to decline. Prices also maintained their highest levels of the year in April 2011 for both single family homes and condos, and the available property inventory dropped to 5,258, a big drop from last month’s level of 5,501, and less than a third of the available properties on the market during the 2004-2006 real estate boom.

Click here to view the complete report and statistical charts:

http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/SRJune2011stats110517124808.pdf

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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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Sales in the Sarasota Real Estate Market Reach Highest Level in Six Years

By | April 14, 2011

Total property sales in the Sarasota real estate market hit 800 for the month of March 2011 – the highest level since September 2005 when sales started to decline. The other great news in March –  prices rose in double digits for both single family homes and condos from the previous month, pending sales were the highest since the real estate boom ended in 2005, and the inventory dropped to 5,501 – less than a third of the available properties on the market during the boom.

“Sarasota is clearly a recovering market,” said SAR President Michael Bruno. “Agents are very busy showing properties and writing contracts, and people are excited about our strong market rebound. Obviously, we haven’t seen numbers like these in several years. There is a buzz in the local market that’s reaching out to buyers across the nation and even internationally.”
What makes the statistics even more positive is the fact that there is no federal homebuyer tax credit initiative fueling this surge. The tax credit drove up spring sales last year, but this year’s numbers are strong simply on the basis of the incredible quality and value evident in the local real estate market.
Single family home sales, at 580, were up 23 percent from the previous month, and were 5 percent higher than last March, when the tax credit spurred sales to 555. Condo sales also climbed to 220 in March 2011, up 10 percent from February, and 11 percent higher than last year at this time. Median sales prices for both single family homes and condominiums shot up in March to $159,250 for single family homes and $173,000 for condos, representing a 16 percent and a 26 percent jump, respectively. One of the likely reasons – distressed property sales fell to 43 percent of the total, down from February when almost 47 percent of all sales were foreclosures or short sales.

In addition to the positive sales figures, pending sales also registered above the 1,200 level in March, hitting 1,208, the highest level in six years. This year, every month has seen more than 1,000 pending sales, or properties going under contract during the month. The statistic is a strong indicator for the next two or three months of sales, as pending sales reflect current buyer activity, which has been off the charts.

Last March, pending sales reached 1,060, but that figure was pushed upward by the approaching April 2010 deadline for the homebuyer tax credits. This year’s upward trend is being fueled by buyers of all sorts – investors, second-home buyers, and those who realize that today’s lower home prices coupled with low interest rates present buyers with an opportunity not seen in years.

Another indication of the very positive atmosphere in the local real estate market was the Florida Realtors® Open House Weekend on March 26-27. More than 600 open houses were advertised over the weekend in the local market, and foot traffic was very heavy, according to agents who participated.
The drop to the lowest inventory level in six years (5,501) could mean additional upward pressure on sales prices moving forward.

The remaining months of inventory for single family homes, the time it would take to sell all currently available single family homes at the present rate, fell to 6.0 months from 8.0 months in February. This is traditionally a level which represents the cusp of a seller’s market, when buyers begin to compete for available properties and drive up prices. For condos, the remaining months of inventory dropped to 9.2 months from 10.4 months in February, also a healthy figure.

Only a short 26 months ago, in January 2009, there were 25.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 38.4 months of condo inventory. The market is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market once the figure reaches the 6 month level.

 “Price appreciation normally follows a declining inventory and increased competition among buyers,” explained Bruno. “I’m still hopeful that this trend, which has been evident now for several months, continues into the summer months. Last year, we saw strong activity in April, May and June, probably connected to the federal tax credit. But there is evidence the trend will repeat this year after seeing the March sales and pending sales figures. I’m very encouraged by the numbers we’re observing, and even more encouraged by the positive word of mouth I’m hearing.”

Press release from the Sarasota Association of Realtors dated April 12, 2011

For more detailed information click here for the complete press release with statistical charts.

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Florida Housing Bucks The National Trend (Again)

By | March 25, 2011

Bucking the national trend (yet again :) ), Florida’s housing market showed rising sales in February and stable housing prices.  This is indicative of where our market has been for the past 2 years.

Out here in the trenches, we can attest to the same – the market is really hot right now and buyers are facing stiff competition for the houses that are priced right and in good condition.  In addition, our inventory is now at a low not seen since the height of the bubble – leading to a LOT of pent up demand.

Courtesy the St. Pete Times:
The performance, which was better than the national picture, builds on evidence of increased stability in the state’s troubled housing market.
Sales of previously occupied homes reached 13,701 statewide, up 13 percent from a year ago and nearly 13 percent from January. In the Tampa Bay area, sales were up 16 percent from a year ago and a whopping 24 percent over the month.
Here’s the full link:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/home-sales-rise-in-florida-in-february-flouting-national-trend/1158717

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February ’11 Market Stats: Sales up; Inventory Drops to 6 Year Low in Sarasota Market

By | March 15, 2011

The number of available properties in the Sarasota real estate market dropped to a six-year low in February 2011, and sales were up 24.2 percent from the previous month. Median sales prices for both single and condominiums dropped as bargain hunters continued to grab foreclosures and short sales, which represented almost 47 percent of all sales.

Compared to this time last year, sales were up 27 percent to 673 total sales, from February 2010’s total of 528 sale. There were 472 closings on single family homes and 201 closings on condos last month by members of the Sarasota MLS.

In addition to the positive sales figures, pending sales also registered above the 1,000 level in February, with 1,023 total properties going under contract last month. In January 2011, 1,013 properties went under contract. This statistic is a strong indicator for the next two or three months of sales, as pending sales reflect current buyer activity.

Last February, pending sales reached 967. But that figure was pushed upward by the approaching April 2010 deadline for the homebuyer tax credits. This year’s upward trend is being fueled by buyers of all sorts – investors, second-home buyers, and those who realize that today’s lower home prices coupled with low interest rates present buyers an opportunity not seen in years.

Lower median sales prices, which dropped slightly for single family homes (to $137,500 from $138,700) and condos (also to $137,500 from $142,500), were the only cloud. The decreases were likely associated with the continued price pressure of distressed property sales. Normal arm’s length sales still average nearly three times the price of distressed properties in the Sarasota market.

On the positive side, the drop to the lowest inventory level in six years (5,864) could mean upward pressure on sales prices moving forward, according to SAR President Michael Bruno. “Traditionally and historically, fewer properties on the real estate market usually causes price appreciation,” explained Bruno. “It’s simply a matter of supply and demand. If there are more buyers competing for a smaller number of properties, selling prices are usually driven up.

Hopefully, we’ll soon see a return to the traditional local appreciation levels of between 5 and 7 percent annually. That would represent a very healthy market.” The higher sales totals combined with the lower inventory caused a sharp drop in the months of inventory to 8.0 months from 10.2 months in January 2011 for single family homes, and to 10.4 months from 14.1 months for condos. Only two years ago, in January 2009, there were 25.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 38.4 months of condo inventory. The market is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market once the figure reaches the 6 month level.

The median price for the last 12 months stands at $160,000 for both single family homes and for condominiums. The single family figure was exactly the same as a year ago, while the condo figure dropped from last year’s figure of $185,000.

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Sales surge in December 2010 and Prices Remain Stable

By | January 13, 2011

The Sarasota real estate market saw a big surge in December sales, from 534 in November to 681 last month for a 27.8 percent increase. In addition, the median sales price for both single family homes and condos was up in December 2010, indicating a recovering local real estate market. The property sales breakdown in December 2010 was 500 single family home sales and 181 condos.

The statistics for December 2010 were even better than December 2009. The 681 total sales reported last month topped the 648 sales in December 2009. The median sale price for single family homes stood at $165,000, a small drop from last year’s figure of $170,000, but higher than the November 2010 figure of $160,100. For condos, the median price rose slightly to $160,000 from the previous month’s $159,000, down from last December’s median of $199,000. But condo prices have sunk below the $150,000 level several times in 2010, so the current figure indicates a sign of improvement.

Pending sales remained strong in December 2010 at 789, compared to 764 in November 2010, and higher than the 739 reported last December, when the market was still strengthened by the homebuyer tax credit initiative. This statistic is a strong indicator for the next two or three months of sales, as pending sales reflect current buyer activity. “2010 ended with a resurgent local real estate market, and the higher number of pending sales tells me we could see continued strength in early 2011,” said SAR President Michael Bruno. “For the second half of 2010, there was a fairly steady trend in sales and prices, another sign of stability and recovery. Word of mouth indicates we are seeing more showings and more closings this season than we have in quite a while. And this year, we don’t have the homebuyer tax credit to point to as a reason for the surge. Sarasota is just a great place to purchase a property.”

Inventory dipped in December 2010 to 6,047 from 6,207  – the lowest since August 2010 when 6,039 properties were on the market. The higher sales volume and lower inventory levels meant a major drop in the months of inventory to 7.8 months for single family homes (from 10.9 months in November 2010), and 11.7 months for condos (from 13.3 months in November 2010). The market is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market once the figure reaches the 6 month level.

There was also more good news on the distressed property sales front, as short sales and foreclosure sales once again fell to 44 percent of overall sales, from 46 percent last month. For the entire year 2010, distressed sales made up 36 percent of overall sales.  “The fact that we’re trending downward for distressed property sales is encouraging,” noted Bruno. “We are all hoping 2011 is a turning point and the worst is behind us. The improving national economic picture and recent drop in the national unemployment rate are signs that the economy is heading in the right direction.”

Overall, 2010 sales were up 12.4 percent compared to 2009 – 7,603 to 6,739 total sales. The median sale price for both single family homes and condos for 2010 stood at $163,000. For 2009, the median sale price for single family was also $163,000, and for condos was $190,000.
Sales in the Sarasota market have now risen for two consecutive years since a low point of 5,820 sales in 2008. The level of sales is now at its highest point since 2005.

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September 2010 Property Sales Remain Steady

By | November 8, 2010

September 2010 looked a lot like August 2010 in the Sarasota real estate market, with sales and prices virtually identical to the previous month. In fact, September 2010 was also virtually identical to September 2009 in overall sales and median prices.

Property sales in September 2010 stood at 547 total sales, compared to 567 last month and 554 last September. Prices were also virtually identical. September 2010 saw a median sale price of $155,000 for single family homes and $150,450 for condos. This compares to $154,500 last month and $165,000 last year for single family homes; and $155,000 last month and $162,500 last year for condos. In effect, the market has essentially stood still for 12 months, with minor fluctuations in prices month to month. There was an expected spike in sales experienced during the three months of the federal $8,000 homebuyer tax credit period.

“We’ve observed a very steady local real estate market for the past 12 months,” said 2010 SAR President Erick Shumway, noting the market stability is a welcome trend.

The median sale price for single family homes over the past 12 months was $164,000, and for condos was $169,000. Last year at this time, looking back over the previous 12 months, the median sale price for single family was $165,000, and for condos was $200,000.

There were 404 sales of single family homes in September 2010, compared to 408 last month and 399 in September 2009. There were 553 pending sales last month, which reflect future closing activity. The inventory rose slightly, from 3,887 to 4,007.

Condos saw 143 sales in September 2010, compared to 159 last month and 155 in September 2009. There were 191 pending sales reported in September, slightly lower than last month’s 217, but higher than the 185 reported last September.

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.

Overall pending sales dropped slightly in September to 744 from last month’s figure of 816.

“The one factor that continues to be a drag on the median sale prices has been the level of distressed sales,” said Shumway. “We continue to have a market heavy on short sales and bank-owned property sales. Once those percentages drop, we should see a return to clear property price appreciation.”

The level of sales of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) rose in September 2010 to 54.6 percent, from last month’s figure of 47 percent. This was the highest percentage since the distressed market began to show dominance locally. Distressed market sales previously reached a high just below 50 percent in late 2009, and have hovered in the range between 44 and 48 percent since that time. The median sale price for distressed sales continues to be less than half as much as for normal arm’s length sales – in many cases approaching only a third as much.

The property inventory level has remained fairly consistent for months, hitting 6,163 in September 2010, which remains one of the lowest monthly levels since late summer of 2005.

The months of inventory for single family homes in September 2010 rose to 9.9 months from 9.5 months in August. The figure was 9.8 months in September 2009. This figure represents the number of months it would take to sell all available homes at the current pace. For condos, the figure rose to 15.1 months from 13.5 months in August 2010. It was also at 15.1 months in September 200. 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 press release in PDF format, plus two pages of statistical charts.

Click HERE for the complete press release in PDF format, plus two pages of statistical charts.

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