Market Updates

The Today Show: Sarasota Is The #1 Place in the US To Buy A Home

By | November 29, 2010

Thanks, Today Show, for telling the country what so many of us already know:

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Home sales are surging at an incredible pace as the national economy rebounds; the average sale price went up 13% in the last quarter, inventory is at its lowest point since before the boom (yes, BEFORE the boom) and buyers are getting into bidding wars over the best properties on a regular basis.

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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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