Sales and Prices Up, Inventory Remains Tight
SARASOTA, Fla. (October 20, 2016) – Total closed sales in September in the two-county area are up 2.6 percent over September of last year, with single family sales up 3.8 percent, and condo sales down just under 1 percent. Single family home sales in Manatee County posted a 13.8 percent increase, while condo sales in Sarasota County were up 3.3 percent over last year. Sales were down year over year by 3 percent for Sarasota County single family and down 6.2 percent for Manatee County condos.
While inventory in the two counties is up 19.8 percent from last year at this time, levels have been declining since the end of the season, a typical trend each year. Single family home inventory in Sarasota increased by 19.2 percent, while Manatee experienced an 11.1 percent increase, year over year. Sarasota condo inventory increased by 39.4 percent and Manatee County increased by 14.9 percent.
“Historically, listing inventory will rise in the coming weeks as sellers position themselves for the upcoming season,” says Linda Formella, 2016 RASM President.
Both counties saw an increase from last year in median sales prices for single family homes with Sarasota experiencing an 11.3 percent jump to $249,000 and Manatee a 1.1 percent increase to $269,000. Median sales for Manatee condos increased by 13 percent, to $178,000, while Sarasota condos experienced no change, remaining at $192,500.
Distressed sales continue to become more insignificant in the market, with only 96 recorded in September this year, accounting for only 5.8 percent of all sales, compared to 200 in the same month last year, when they accounted for 12.4 percent of sales. The reduction in distressed sales accounts for some of the increase in median prices, as those sales are typically priced below market for similar non-distressed sales.
A seller’s market remains in both Sarasota and Manatee County. According to September 2016 data, Sarasota single family homes are at a 4.2-month supply and condos are at a 5-month supply. Manatee County single family homes are at a 4-month supply and there is a 3.8-month supply of condos. A balanced market is considered to be a 6-month supply.
September reports of pending sales (those in which a buyer and seller have signed a purchase contract) showed the typical seasonal trend, slowing from last month. A comparison to pending sale reports in September of last year also shows a decline overall of 11 percent, not unexpected, since 2015 was a record year, and the selling season extended into August last year. Pending sales reports are a good indicator of closed sales in the next 30 to 60 days.
“The decline in pending sales could be a result of the typical September slow-down with buyers focused on back-to-school activities and storm warnings,” says Formella. “Also, investors, weary from the long political season, are taking a break as they prepare for election results and some buyers may have become leery of the rising prices and tight inventory, so they are content to sit on the sidelines.”