When comparing the statistics of pending sales, inventory levels, and property sales of 2015 with those of January 2014, one sees a lot of similarities, especially in Sarasota and Manatee County. This January and last saw a drop in sales when compared to December as well as an increase in pending sales and the number of properties that were available for sale.
The clear message that these numbers present is that during the holiday season, home shoppers are not eager to sign their name on the dotted line. Instead, these recent trends show that their preference is for closing either later in the winter or during spring months. These numbers also show that during January homeowners are more excited to test the waters and see how much their property value increased from the previous year.
In the Sarasota real estate market, there were 514 single-family homes and 229 condos that were bought and sold bringing the total for the month of January 2015 to 743. Manatee County saw a total of 559 properties change hands with the breakdown being 407 single-family homes and 152 condos being sold.
A good way to determine the strength of future sales is by looking at the pending sales figure. Both Sarasota and Manatee County had strong pending numbers in January, with Sarasota going from 691 in December to 995 in January.
According to Association President Stafford Starcher, real estate is riddled with trends. There are times when real estate sales skyrocket, and then there are low times. However, the dip in close sales that was seen in January 2015 is indicative of what was seen in recent years. However, Starcher offered a glimmer of hope, stating that in recent years there has been a upsurge in home sales in February that carried on to the spring and summer. Based on pending sales, it would not be surprising to see a repeat of this pattern in 2015.
The available inventory of properties in both Sarasota and Manatee counties in January represented a six-month high. Sarasota County had 4,384 properties on the market during January, while Manatee County had 3,106. The last time levels were this high was in June 2014.
Starcher is confident in the fact that low mortgage interest rates and an upswing in the economy will have a positive effect on home sales. He stated, “it is a great time to buy a home.” As a result of the phenomenal sales year that was experience in 2014, more people have been visiting more homes over the winter than ever. Many individuals who were sitting on the fence are now feeling confident enough to test the waters.
In December 2014, the median sales price for single-family homes was $195,500 in Sarasota County and $235,000 in Manatee County. The $190,000 median price for single-family homes in Sarasota County in January was a 3 percent drop from December. Conversely, Manatee County saw a 6.4 percent increase in January with the median price skyrocketing to $250,000.
In January 2015, $185,000 was the average price of condos in Sarasota, an increase from $177,500 in December. In Manatee County, December saw prices of $168,000, the highest seen in 2014, drop to $159,900 in January.
There was a slight increase to 21.8 percent on foreclosures, short sales, and distressed sales in January 2015. Still, this number pales in comparison with 2008 when the market crisis led to close to 50 percent of sales being distressed properties.
Starcher sees the low in sales during the month of January as a needed break after a lengthy period of active sales. However, based on conversations he has had with many members, open houses have been very successful in attracting a lot of potential buyers. Property tours after the weekly MLS marketing session have been at some of their highest levels, all serving as an indication that 2015 will be an incredible year for property sales.
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.