Market Updates

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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March Sales in Sarasota Hit 7 Year High

By | April 18, 2012

The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the March sales statistics. Here is what they reported:

The Sarasota real estate market saw sales climb to a seven-year high in March 2012, with 831 properties changing hands during the month. Not since September 2005 has the local real estate association seen sales at that level. In addition, pending sales (which represent properties that went under contract during the month) reached the highest level in 12 month, another good indication that the current market surge will continue in the next few months.

“This is amazing news, and our local brokers and agents should be extremely proud of all their hard work and diligence, helping buyers and sellers make their dreams come true,” said SAR President Laura Benson. “The strength that the Sarasota market has demonstrated in the past few months has been remarkable, and I’m looking forward to a continuing resurgence in local real estate. Property sales drive so many other elements of the local economy, and that means more jobs, higher salaries, and a better overall community.”

In addition to the high level of sales – 596 single family homes and 235 condos sold – the median sale price for both categories hit a high for the year in March. The median sale price for condos was $192,000, a level not seen since May 2011, and was 11 percent higher than last March. Single family was at $174,900, a level not reached since June 2011, and 9.8 percent higher than last March. The reason for the price resurgence is likely tied to the lower number of distressed property sales. The total number of distressed sales, foreclosures and short sales, fell to only 32 percent from 37.4 percent in February 2012 – a three-year low.

Pending sales continue to soar, which signals a likely continuation of a high number of closings in the next 60 to 90 days. A total of 1,191 properties went under contract in March 2012, a level not seen since last March.

Another positive sign was the drop in the available inventory of homes on the market. The number fell to 4,463 from February’s total of 4,588. The level is close to the decade low figure of 4,408 in August 2011, and the combination of high sales and low inventory has dropped the months of inventory to eight-year lows.

Not since 2004 has the market seen a figure of 4.8 months of inventory for single family homes and 6.7 months inventory for condos. Lower inventory and higher sales normally result in greater competition for available properties, which tends to push prices up.

“It’s great to see that we’ve come so far from the days of 2008, when the months of inventory hit 25 months for single family and 40 months for condos,” said Benson. “The real estate agents who stuck with it through those difficult months are certainly glad they did, now that we’ve turned the corner.”

Single family home prices are now 21.4 percent higher than the low of the market reached 13 months ago, while condo prices are almost 30 percent higher than the low point.

Currently, only 701 properties for sale in the MLS are distressed listings (short sales and foreclosures), or roughly 15 percent of the market. In February 2012, the figure was 740 (16 percent of the market), and in January 2012 it was 812 (17 percent of the market). If this percentage continues to trend lower, we could begin to see median sales price increases going forward.
“The Sarasota market appears to be leading the nation into a new, dynamic period in real estate,” noted Benson. “While no one can predict the future, certainly all the vital signs of the economy have been moving in the right direction for many months, so I’m very hopeful we will see continued growth in our area.”

Click Here for the Press Release and Statistical Charts

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Sales Climb in February 2012

By | April 12, 2012

The Sarasota Association of Realtors released the sales statistics for the month of February recently. Here is what they reported:

Pending sales in the Sarasota real estate market hit an 11-month high in February 2012, demonstrating once more the health of the local industry as the buying season heats up. Median sale prices were also up substantially for single family homes and condos in February 2012 compared to this time last year – another positive sign for a successful home buying season.

“I have heard nothing but positive reports from our members about the seasonal surge in our real estate market,” said SAR President Laura Benson. “Sales are up, prices are stable and much higher than last year at this time, and we are seeing multiple offers on many transactions. Pending sales are off the charts – we hit a 11-month high of 1,130 in February. This is all very encouraging news.”
The January 2012 holiday sales lull didn’t last long. The 177 condo sales in February represented the highest level in the last eight months. If pending sales, which represent properties going under contract, produce the expected level of closed sales, we could see a major selling month in March 2012. That could repeat what we saw in March 2011, when sales hit the highest total since 2005.

Overall, February 2012 saw a 15 percent increase in property sales over January 2012, and a 17 percent increase in pending sales from the previous month, both reaffirming numerous verbal reports of a very busy spring selling season in Sarasota. Closed sales stood at 414 for single family homes and 177 for condos, lower than in February 2011, but higher than last month. In February 2011, 471 single family homes and 201 condos were sold.

The single family home median price climbed to $167,500 in February 2012 from last month’s figure of $162,000. For condos, the figure fell to $150,000 from the January level of $180,000. Last February, both single family homes and condos were selling at the median price of $137,500, so both of the current numbers reflect a stronger market than a year ago. Single family home prices were a whopping 21.8 percent higher than in February 2011. Condo prices were 9 percent higher than last February.

The inventory for February stood at 4,588, down almost 5 percent from January’s 4,711, and 20 percent lower than last February’s total of 5,864. With fewer available properties, the law of supply and demand indicates asking prices could be climbing higher in the coming months.

The inventory hit a 10-year low of 4,408 in August 2011, and has remained at or close to this low level since then. As the inventory has slid, the months of inventory has also dropped. The figure now stands at 7.2 months for single family homes, compared to 8.3 last month and 8.0 months in February 2011. The figure was 9.1 months for condos, compared to 11.3 months in January and 10.4 months last February. A figure of 6 months is considered equilibrium between a buyer’s and a seller’s market.

Distressed property sales continued to represent a higher percentage than normal in the local market in February 2012, with 37.4 percent of all sales from bank-owned foreclosures and short sales. But the figure was a drop from the 40 percent total in January 2012, and far below the record high of over 50 percent in the second quarter of 2010.

Currently, only 740 properties for sale in the MLS are distressed listings (short sales and foreclosures), or roughly 15 percent of the market. Last month at this time, the number was 812 out of 4,711 homes and condos on the market, or about 17 percent. If this percentage continues to trend lower, we could begin to see median sales price increases going forward.

“The lower number of distressed property sales, and the decreased number of foreclosures and short sales available will likely mean greater competition and higher asking prices,” noted Benson. “We are all hoping for a return to historic levels of distressed properties, which would be less than 5 percent of the market. But until that day, our members will continue to educate themselves on the existing market and help customers make sensible decisions.”

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Sarasota/Bradenton – #5 Turnaround Town In The Country

By | February 17, 2012

The Sarasota-Bradenton area was just named the #5 turnaround town in the country by www.Realtor.com.

That’s no surprise out here in the trenches – my phone has been ringing off the hook, most listings I market receive multiple offers in the first week, and there’s a real feeling of optimism among my customers and my co-workers.

In fact, Florida dominated the list, taking 7 of the top 10 places.

Prices have been stable in our area for several years now and we’re on the verge of becoming a seller’s market again (based on the available inventory). FYI, a six-month supply is considered equilibrium, and we’re at 8.3 months right now. That’s a 10-year low for us.

By the numbers, our average list price appreciated 10.78% from last year while our time-on-market fell 26.57%. We also have 31% fewer listings this year than last year.

Here’s the link, in case you want to read the entire article:

http://www.realtor.com/blogs/2011/11/16/florida-dominates-realtor-com-top-ten-turnaround-markets/

… if you’re still thinking about buying a house in or around Sarasota, this IS the season to buy! Don’t wait for our inventory to get lower or prices to get higher!

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Lakewood Ranch Ranks #9 in Top Selling Master-Planned Communities in the US

By | February 9, 2012

Nothing is so fine as being number nine!

Lakewood Ranch has just been ranked as the ninth best selling master-planned community in the United States!

The California-based John Burns Consulting has ranked Lakewood Ranch in the top 10 selling master-planned communities in the United States, with 391 new home sales in 2011.

Coming in at number 9, Lakewood Ranch outpaced many other well-established and iconic communities such as Stapleton in Denver, Summerlin in Las Vegas and more.

With the new sports campus, new commercial construction this year totaling upwards of $150 million, and new rental projects springing up, Lakewood Ranch has become the premier new-home destination on Florida’s West Coast!

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Sarasota Real Estate Statistics for December 2011

By | January 12, 2012

The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales statistics for the month of December. They report that for the full year 2011, property sales of members of the Association jumped by 8.2 percent to 8,224, achieving the highest level since 2005. The surge in sales was accompanied by stabilization in the median sale prices, which now stand at $155,925 for single family homes and $156,800 for condos over the full year, and have not fluctuated much for the past 12 months.

Click Here to view the full report with statistical information.

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Sarasota Real Estate Market Statistics for October 2011

By | November 18, 2011

The Sarasota Association of Realtors reports that property sales for October 2011 in the Sarasota real estate market outpaced last October, with 577 this year compared to only 487 at the same time last year. This represents an 18.4 percent increase, and could be a harbinger for a busy season.

There was also a small increase in transactions compared to September 2011, when 570 sales were recorded. Overall, sales in 2011 are on pace to exceed last year, a remarkable fact considering that 2010 sales were at the highest level since 2005.

The inventory of available properties for sale in Sarasota, after dropping precipitously over the course of 2011, was again up slightly in October to 4,525 from last month’s 4,430 level. The inventory sunk to a 10-year low of 4,408 in August 2011.

The October 2011 median sale price for single family homes dropped to $149,838 from last month’s figure of $165,000. But the amount was higher than last October, when it was $147,500. The condo figure has been fluctuating for several months, and rose slightly in October 2011 to $143,000 from last month’s figure of $140,000. Last year at this time, the figure stood at $158,525. The year-to-date median sale price was $155,000 for single family homes and $162,000 for condos. These figures have remained remarkably steady for the past year, indicating a more stable market.

To see the full report with statistical charts click here.

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Sarasota Real Estate Sales for September 2011 Outpace Last Year

By | October 18, 2011

The Sarasota Association of Realtors reports September 2011 property sales in the Sarasota real estate market were ahead of last September, with 570 this year compared to only 547 at the same time last year. This represents a small drop in transactions compared to August 2011, when 601 sales were recorded. But historically, the early fall is one of the slower sales seasons.

A recent article in Realtors Magazine Daily News noted that of the top 15 U.S. cities showing signs of year-over-year increases in list prices, ten are in Florida, and the Sarasota-Bradenton area came in 6th, with list prices up 15.9 percent. Listing price increases generally reflect optimism among sellers that a market is ready to head upwards.

The inventory of available properties for sale in Sarasota has been dropping for the past nine months, and was up only slightly in September to 4,430 after hitting a 10-year low of 4,408 the previous month.

The latest monthly figures in September showed a median price of $165,000 for single family homes, the same as August, and $140,000 for condos. The condo figure has been fluctuating for several months, hitting $185,000 in June, then dropping to $145,000 in July before climbing back up to $165,000 in August. These variations can be explained by the fact that certain months have seen the buying public focusing on smaller, bargain priced units, while other months have seen a higher concentration of luxury condo sales.

“In 2011, we’ve seen an acceleration of the market recovery, but we still have a distressed market that is weighing down on the median sales prices,” said SAR President Michael Bruno. “Overall, we had distressed sales at 43 percent of the total, which was a little higher than in August, but is still far below the 51 percent total in November 2010, almost a year ago. So we’re hopeful that the worst is over for foreclosures and short sales.”

The months of inventory rose slightly to 6.7 months for single family homes, from last month’s figure of 6.3 months. For condos, the months of inventory also rose to 11.1 months from 10.2 months in August. In September 2010, the figures were 9.9 months and 15.1 months, respectively. Both figures again remained far below the highs of 25.3 months for single family (in early 2009) and 41.7 months for condos (in late 2008). This statistic represents the time it would take to sell the existing inventory at the current month’s rate of sales. The 6 month level is traditionally a point which represents equilibrium in the market between buyers and sellers.

In September 2011, pending sales were down slightly from last September – 723 to 744 – and also down from August, when there were 813 pending sales. Last month there were 547 single family homes and 176 condos that went under contract.

“The September market is normally a slower time of the year, so there were no real surprises this year,” said Bruno. “The word of mouth among agents and brokers has been very positive, and I’m expecting a good season surge as we welcome back our winter residents and visitors. When it cools off up north, the market usually heats up in Sarasota.”

Click Here to view the full press release with statistics.

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