22% Increase in January Sales Over Last Year
No other market in the U.S. suffered the effects of the 2008 recession and the subsequent burst of the housing bubble more than Florida. All over the state, including the Sarasota real estate market, housing prices dropped nearly 50% seemingly overnight. This drop left homeowners in serious trouble with little recourse. As one of the most affected cities, residents witnessed thousands of Sarasota foreclosures as homeowners simply could not afford the over-inflated prices. After many years of rebuilding, all signs are pointing to a strong comeback for this traditionally popular real estate market.
Increased Property Sales
For the first time in five years, the Sarasota real estate market has witnessed a marked improvement in home sales. In fact, this year’s January sales figures were up an astounding 22% over January 2012. This is without a doubt a terrific start for the new year, and evidence that the improving market in 2012 was no fluke.
In January of 2012, Sarasota realtors sold a disappointing 365 single family homes and only 148 condominiums. Though on the rise, the numers were paltry to say the least. Thankfully, realtors and home sellers witnessed quite an improvement this past January. With 626 combined single family home and condo sales, 2013 seems to be off to a great start, not to mention the 1,047 deals that are currently pending.
Another reassuring statistic for sellers is the reduced inventory of available homes on the market. The current available home inventory in the Sarasota housing market is the lowest it has been in almost a decade. Though the January figure of 3,846 available homes was a slight increase over the 3,657 homes available in December 2012, there were still 1,000 less homes on the market than there was only a year prior.
Rising Home Prices
Another encouraging statistic for sellers and realtors alike is the noticeable increase in home prices over the past year. The average median sale price of $183,800 this January is an incredible 14% increase over the median of $162,000 in January of 2012. However, due to the multitude of sub-$100,000 condo sales, the median sale price of a condo in January of this year was a staggering $50,000 less than January of the previous year. This might seem unnerving, but upon closer examination, due to a 13% increase in 2012 over 2011, the condo market still seems to be in an upswing as well.
Months of Inventory
This is often a misunderstood statistic, but one worth mentioning. In real estate, months of inventory relates to the time it would take to deplete the current home inventory if realtors continued closing deals at the same rate. This important statistic is looking positive for sellers and realtors as well. In fact, in January of 2013, the months of inventory were at 5.4 months for single family homes and 8.4 months for condominiums. Many would have thought these figures were unfathomable five years ago, however, it represents quite an improvement over the months of inventory the Sarasota market witnessed in 2012. In order to fully appreciate these latest statistics, one must examine the months of inventory figures at the height of the housing crisis in November of 2008. At the time, the Sarasota real estate market was saturated with single family homes and condos, raising the months of inventory statistic to 24 months for homes and 41 months for condominiums. The latest figures provide additional proof that the Sarasota market has rebounded quite nicely.
Short Sales and Foreclosures
The massive influx of Sarasota short sales and foreclosures since 2008 has been detrimental in its effect on the real estate market. Real estate markets across the country experienced this phenomenon, but as we all know, Sarasota was severely affected. Thankfully, the worst seems to definitely be behind us, as short sales and foreclosures are comprising much less of the available homes on the market. For instance, in January of 2013, the percentage of short sales and foreclosures on the market was at 12.2%, versus the 17% that existed during the same month in 2012.
Overall, the 2013 January statistics reflect a strengthening Sarasota real estate market. All signs are pointing in the right direction towards a full recovery in the coming years. Real estate agents across the city are welcoming a busy spring season.
If you have any questions about the Sarasota real estate market or about the buying or selling process, we'd love to help. Please contact Key Solutions Real Estate Group, or call (941) 894-1255.