For the first 9 months of 2015 home and condo sale in the Sarasota and Manatee County market have run at a near-record pace. But, as we entered the Fall season, Sarasota real estate sales slowed slightly as expected. In the latest month reported, overall property sales in September were 1,608 with 927 in Sarasota County and 681 in Manatee County. Sarasota County home and condo closings fell a bit after six straight months of over 1,000 sales per month. Association President Stafford Starcher said, “The local real estate market has finally taken a breather after months and months of near-record sales but overall, property sales numbers for the year to date have been very strong, in fact, stronger than we've seen in a number of years.”
The biggest factor, other than the time of the year, that is holding back sales at this point is the lack of an adequate number of properties on the market. Fortunately, there has recently been a modest increase in the number of homes and condos for sale. In September, there were 3,337 properties for sale in Sarasota County up slightly from 3,303 in August and 2,571 in Manatee County up again only slightly from 2,534 in the prior month. While these September numbers are up slightly, they, nonetheless, represent a significant reduction from the number of properties for sale a year ago by 9% in Sarasota and by 6% in Manatee County.
The supply of homes and condos on the Sarasota real estate market has declined consistently for 2 years. Today the availability of homes and condos ranges from only a 3.2 to a 3.6 month supply in both counties. The last time the number of properties on the market met what is considered to be the benchmark equilibrium level of a 6 months supply of inventory was back in 2013. Back then, there were about 11,500 properties for sale in the two counties (about 5,500 in Sarasota County and 5,000 in Manatee County. Compare that to today’s total of less than 6,000. This lack of supply has resulted in homes and condos in most all price ranges selling more quickly and at somewhat higher prices. There is, however, a bit of good news for those seeking luxurious properties. The supply of Sarasota luxury homes, those priced above $500,000, is in better shape than the lower end of the market.
So, yes, the Sarasota Florida real estate market is tight and prices have risen somewhat in the past 9 to 12 months. But this news needs to be put into perspective. The affordability of homes and condos in both Sarasota and Manatee county is still at a much more attractive level than in the boom years of 2004 through 2006. People wishing to buy a home or condo in the sunny Sarasota - Bradenton market can buy the home or condo of their dreams today at prices considerably below what they would have cost just a few years ago.
As the colder season approaches up North, you’ve may have been considering how nice it would be to own a second or perhaps even a permanent residence on the warm, sunny Florida Sun Coast. And, there are attractively priced homes and condos available. But, you need to be prepared to make a firm offer when you see the one you want. Why? Because others are looking at those same attractive properties and they are ready to make an offer and close the deal promptly.
Please call me at 941.928.3424 today and let's get started planning your trip to warm and sunny Sarasota Florida. I would be delighted to help you find that waterfront home or condo, that downtown Sarasota luxury condo, or that country club community home that you've been dreaming about now before the crowds descent upon us in another couple months.