Market Statistics

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

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »