2015 Sarasota Real Estate Outlook

Sarasota Florida real estate sales ended Year 2014 at a record level with 11,550 properties changing hands during the year. The 2014 total exceeded the previous record established back in 2004 when 11,482 home and condominium sales were recorded.

The Sarasota real estate sales statistics are noteworthy not only because they are record-setting, but they occurred while on a nationwide basis, residential property sales actually fell by 3.1% during 2014.

In spite of a record number of luxury real estate sales in the Sarasota market in 2014, 80% of the sales were actually on properties priced at $500,000 or less. The median sale price of single-family homes in the Sarasota real estate market which includes Sarasota and Manatee County was $195,500. For condominiums the median selling price was $177,000 with prices having increased only slightly above they levels in 2013.

The inventory of homes available for sale in the Sarasota market fell by just over 9% compared to the level at the end of 2013. The inventory of condominium properties fell by over 10.5%. There are considerable differences in the availability of homes depending upon the price range. Homes priced under $500,000 were in the shortest supply with only a 3.3 month supply, whereas in the price range between $500,000 and $1 million, there was a 7.6 month supply with a much larger supply available in properties priced above $1 million.

Having now entered the peak buying season as both northerners and international visitors flock to the warmth and sunshine of the Southwest Florida Sun Coast, it is worth considering the condition of the market to determine who stands to benefit from the market at this point; buyers or sellers. People tend to talk about whether a market is in a buyers’ market or sellers’ market state. A “sellers’ market” exists when there is less than a 6 month supply of homes available for purchase and a “buyers’ market” exists when the supply exceeds a 6 month supply.

In Sarasota, the real estate market is definitely bifurcated. Right now, there is a sellers’ market in the under $500,000 segment of the market with just a 3.3 month supply available, but it is definitely a buyers’ market on homes priced above $500,000. Reflecting the shortage of homes available in the under $500,000 price range, we are now seeing a substantial uptick in land purchases and building permits being issued to builders of new homes being constructed to meet the seemingly never-ending demand in that most popular market segment. In the luxury home market, there has been an equally impressive surge in new construction in the past year and that has, in part, exacerbated the buyer's market that already existed in that high-end market segment.

For most, however, Sarasota enters 2015 with good news on two fronts. First, the record-setting pace of home sales in 2014 confirms the fact that the Sarasota, Siesta Key and the other Barrier Islands continue to be a very popular places to buy a Sarasota condo or home. People from all over find the Sarasota quality of life second to none so they continue to flock to our area. And second, the accelerated pace at which builders are stepping up to meet the expected demand in 2015 means that price increases, while they will occur, will not be dramatic and the Sarasota real estate market will remain healthy.

For the vast majority of home buyers and sellers, the year 2015 looks as though it will be a very good year. Those with a moderately priced home or condo to sell will find buyers eager to buy their property. Those who wish to buy a Sarasota home or condo will find that the supply of new built homes coming on to the market will keep prices reasonable. I'd be delighted to show you homes and condos throughout the Sarasota area in whatever price range you find most comfortable.

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