Market Updates

Sarasota Market Nearing 4th Best Year Ever

By | December 18, 2012


a-housing-graphThe Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales figures for the month of November. We are on pace to see the fourth highest number of annual sales in SAR’s 90-year history in 2012, after members sold 764 properties in November 2012, a robust 29 percent increase over last November’s figure of 602 total sales. The sales total was also 8 percent higher than in October, when 719 properties changed hands.

The category totals were 556 single family homes and 208 condos sold, compared to last November when only 435 single family and 167 condos were sold. This summer and fall, the market has remained extremely active, with open houses experiencing heavy foot traffic and multiple offers reported on many available properties. The available inventory remains near the lowest level in a decade, and the improving economy and employment picture have also helped fuel the real estate market recovery.

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to view the full press release.

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The Current State of the Real Estate Market in Sarasota

By | November 27, 2012

The Sarasota real estate marketplace is a much healthier place than it has been for over five years.  The median sale price for single-family homes now stands at $169,950, while condo prices surged to $175,400 from last year’s median prices of $140,000. condos.

Across the United States, home prices are continuing to strengthen, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI).  The index showed that home prices increased by 4.6% last month, the  biggest year-over-year increase since July 2006.  Sarasota, being one of the most attractive places to live, work and retire,  is simply leading the way back to a healthy real estate market.

The inventory of single-family homes for sale is near a 10-year low with only 4.4 month supply of single-family homes currently available in this market.   The availability of condominiums, while still above the  equilibrium level has fallen from 11.1 months last year to 8.5 months today.  The term “months of inventory” represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate.

The news is unambiguous and clear.   The Sarasota real estate market has recovered and is no longer a “buyer’s  market” where prospective buyers are at an advantage.  There are still attractive homes attractively priced in the Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton area  for those willing to get involved immediately.  And with slightly more than an equilibrium number of condominiums on the market, there are still a few bargains available to those seeking an in-town or waterfront condo property.

I would be delighted to show you the many luxury home and condominium options available to you throughout the Sarasota real estate market including those on our gorgeous barrier islands, Longboat, Lido, Bird, Siesta and Casey Key.

Come experience Sunny Sarasota Florida. To learn more about Sarasota’s golf courses, soft beaches, friendly neighborhoods, or cultural amenities ?  Request my Free Sarasota Florida Real Estate Package or call me directly at (941) 724-3352.

Use my Sarasota real estate expertise to find your perfect seasonal or year-round property in Sarasota Florida or in the neighboring communities of Bradenton, Siesta Key, Osprey and Venice.

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Tara Golf & Country Club

By | November 20, 2012

Tara Golf & Country Club

Tara Golf and Country Club is located in Southeast Bradenton, approximately 1 mile west of I-75 on State Road 70.  The mostly non-gated, deed restricted  community consists of 16 smaller communities of condominiums, villas, townhomes and single family homes built from the late 1980’s to early 2000’s.  They range in price from $85,000 to $300,000.

The community is nicely located for easy access to many amenities.  Whether you are a traveler, snow bird or are expecting many guests, it is always nice to be close to our airports.  Tara is approximately a 1 hour drive to the Tampa International Airport and quick 15 minute drive to the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport. For local beach visits, a little over 20 minute drive gets you to the award winning Siesta Key Beach, Anna Maria Island Beaches or beautiful Lido Beach.

The community of Tara Golf and Country Club ( is considered a “bundled community”, meaning the property owners are members of the country club and collectively own the common property, including the private country club.  Membership is required and transfers with the sale of the property.  All properties either have membership or are eligible to purchase club membership, if available.

The community is in the district of Tara Elementary, Braden River Middle and Braden River High Schools.  Both Elementary and Middle schools consistently receive an A grade from the State of Florida, with the High School coming in with a consistent B grade.  There are a few great private schools in the area as well.

The facilities of Tara Golf and Country Club recently underwent a complete renovation in 2009, for a total of $7.5 million dollars!  The renovation included both restaurants, Scarlett’s Restaurant and The Grille Room, the club house, as well as the Ted McAnlis designed, 120 acre golf course.  Additional amenities on property include, a driving range, putting green, pro-shop, state of the art fitness center, two tennis courts and heated swimming pool.

The club offers two types of membership, Class A full membership, which provides access to golf and all the other amenities the club has to offer, and Class B Social Membership, which provides access to clubhouse, pool, tennis, fitness center and limited golf at guest rates.  By local standards, the rates for these memberships are very reasonable.  Class A Membership requires a $3041 initial capital contribution and is currently $4380 per year or $365 per month.  The Class B membership requires a $1014 one time capital contribution and is $1632 per year or $162 per month.  Members are also required to pay the Tara Master Association fee of $489.47 per year, as well as an annual dining minimum of $720.

Note:  Rates are according to Tara Golf & Country Club schedule of fees at and are subject to change.  Please have your agent verify before purchase.

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Sarasota Real Estate Market Update

By | October 23, 2012

The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales statistics for the month of September showing that members sold 648 properties in September 2012, up almost 14 percent from last September, when only 570 transactions were closed. The figure was down almost 21 percent from the 819 sales in
August 2012, continuing the historic trends that normally show a sales lull in the early autumn.

The category totals were 500 single family homes and 148 condos sold, compared to last September when only 430 single family and 140 condos were sold. This summer was an exceptional one for local Realtors® who normally have a respite after the spring season. This year, traffic at open houses has been heavy and multiple offers on available properties have become the norm. Part of the reason for this has been the continuing decline in the inventory of available properties on the market.

Click Here to view the full report.

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July Sales Continue Hot Streak for Sarasota Real Estate

By | August 17, 2012

The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales statistics for last month. The Sarasota real estate market remained active and strong in July 2012, with 699 closed sales reported by members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors. The total was 16.7 percent higher than the 599 sales reported in July 2011. The breakdown was 523 single family homes and 176 condos sold.

The normal seasonal influx of buyers tends to drop shortly after the Easter holiday, but this year higher sales have continued into the summer months. Real estate agents and brokerages have reported a busy and extended season, which resulted in a second quarter in 2012 that was statistically the best in seven years.

Click here to see the full report and statistical charts.

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REPORT: Buying A Better Financial Option After Just 3 Years

By | August 10, 2012

Is It Better To Rent Or Buy?A new report from shows that in many major metro areas – including several that are close to the Sarasota/Bradenton area – buying becomes a better option than renting in less than three years.

It also finds that it can take just a year and a half in some Florida metros, which ranks at the top of the list among national markets.

The report takes into consideration tax deductions, interest rates, and appreciation, among other things; it’s a comprehensive view of the hidden benefits to homeownership.

CLICK HERE to see the full report.


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Sarasota Association of Realtors Reports Home Sales in Second Quarter at Highest Level since 2005

By | July 18, 2012

The market statistics have just been released by the Sarasota Association of Realtors. Here’s what the indications are. With 864 closed sales transactions in June 2012, the Sarasota real estate market achieved the highest level of quarterly sales in seven years, with 2,604 sales from April through June. The 864 closed transactions in June was also the second highest total since September 2005, yet another indication of a market that is achieving sales totals not seen since the 2003-2005 real estate surge.

The totals for June were 603 single family homes and 261 condominiums, for the combined 864 closed transactions. Sales were 18.7 percent higher than in June 2011, when there were 728 closed transactions. The June sales almost reached the April 2012 figure of 886, which was the highest total in seven years. The normal seasonal influx of buyers tends to drop shortly after the Easter holiday, but this year the higher sales appear to be continuing into the summer.

However, pending sales (which represent properties that went under contract during the month) did decrease in June, dropping to 860 after four straight months that topped 1,000. Pending sales are a major indicator of the future market sales totals. Last year the pending sales also retreated, from 841 in May to 754 in June, and this meant the spring surge finally did slow down in July. The current numbers seem to indicate there remains strength in the market dynamics through the middle of the summer.

Click here for the full press release and statistical charts.

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It’s A Great Time To Buy! The Basics of Supply and Demand in Sarasota

By | July 17, 2012

We get asked a lot, “When is the best time to buy a home here in Sarasota?” Well here is the answer… Based on historical data, the best months to typically get a better deal on a home is between July and October. Those are the months when we have the lightest Buyer traffic and when properties tend to sit on the market a little longer than usual. The old supply and demand law kicks in when we have fewer Buyers and more listings. In these times, there will be more Sellers who will be anxious to sell and can be found to make a better deal for the Buyer than if we were in the middle of our busier selling season. Common sense, I know, but an important piece of information. The data from Credit Suisse also shows our prices can typically be lower during those months. Come down to Sarasota and buy during the summer months! –Joe Cleary

Credit Suisse Historical Trends July 2012
(Information and research analysis is from Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse surveys real estate agents across the country each month about trends in buyer traffic levels, home prices, incentives, inventory levels, and the length of time needed to sell a home. In June, Credit Suisse received responses from 900 real estate agents across the country.)

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Downtown Sarasota is A Beautiful City on the Bay

By | July 3, 2012

Living and/or working in downtown Sarasota is a lifestyle. World renown for its culture, dining, shops and eclectic residential opportunities.

During the past 12 month period (ending May 2012) 33 downtown luxury condo sales ($1Million+  have sold). This is a 50% increase in sales in this price point alone. In addition, the overall inventory for the downtown market is down (243 currently listed for sale as compared to 270 May 2011). This is the lowest monthly inventory dating back to 2003.

Downtown Sarasota…a Great Place to call home.

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Sales in Sarasota Real Estate Market Continue to Climb

By | June 27, 2012

The real estate sales statistics for the month of May have recently been released by the Sarasota Association of Realtors. We’re on an upward trend as they report below.

The May 2012 numbers are in, and property sales in the Sarasota market once again topped 800 for the third consecutive month. The 854 closed transactions was the second highest total since September 2005, demonstrating once again a market that has recovered to levels not seen since the 2003-2005 real estate surge in Sarasota.

The breakdown was 591 single family homes and 263 condominiums. Sales were 7.2 percent higher than in May 2011, when there were 796 closed transactions. As anticipated, sales were slightly below the April 2012 figure of 886, which was the highest total in seven years. The normal seasonal influx of buyers tends to drop shortly after the Easter holiday, when northern residents begin to exodus the area.

In addition, pending sales (which represent properties that went under contract during the month) remained at the very high level of 1,075, almost the same as April’s total of 1,068. It was the fourth straight month that topped 1,000, a major indicator of the future direction of the market. Last year’s spring surge didn’t slow down until July, and the numbers seem to indicate there remains strength in the current market dynamics.

“I’ve spoken to many agents who are having a tremendous 2012,” said SAR President Laura Benson. “This is certainly the right time to be in the real estate industry in Sarasota. Interest rates hit record lows in May, prices remain relatively low compared to the record surge from 2003 to 2005, and all the wonderful attributes of Sarasota are attracting buyers from across the nation, and the world.”

The median sale price for both categories remained near the highest levels of the year in May. The median sales price for single family homes was $185,000 – the highest level since July 2009, almost three years ago. Last month’s figure was $175,000. The median sales price for condos was $180,750, a drop from April’s figure of $191,750. Both figures were much higher than the 12-month running median prices – $165,000 for single family homes and $160,000 for condos.

Single family home prices remained at a level 34 percent higher than the low of the market reached 14 months ago ($137,500), while condo prices are over 40 percent higher than the low point ($127,000). The reason for the price resurgence remains likely related to the lower number of distressed property sales.

The total number of distressed sales, foreclosures and short sales, remained around 31 percent, the lowest level in three years. The available inventory of homes on the market dropped to a new decade low of 3,917, dropping 8.5 percent from the April figure of 4,283. High sales and low inventory has also dropped the months of inventory to new 10-year lows. The May figures are 4.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 5.2 months inventory for condos. Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate.

“I’ve been in our Association for over 15 years and inventories at this level are rare,” said Benson. “The market is tightening, and when available properties are at such low levels, the result is normally greater competition for available properties. This scenario tends to escalate prices, so if you’re in the market for a home, now is the time to act.”

Currently, only 576 properties for sale in the MLS are listed as short sales or foreclosures, down from last month’s figure of 621 properties. This represents about 14 percent of available properties, about the same as last month, and down from January 2012 when the figure was 17 percent of the market. As this number continues to decline, median prices will increase because the median prices are higher for market transactions.

“With the pending sales remaining at over 1,000, and the inventory at such a low point, we should see a continuing market surge into the early summer months,” said Benson. “The weather service is predicting a hot Sarasota summer, and the real estate market is certainly providing a lot of similar energy!”

For statistical reports click here.

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