The Sarasota real estate market is red hot. March 2013 and the first quarter of 2013 set records for the sale of real property. 887 units were sold in March, which surpassed the August 2005 record. During the first quarter of 2013, there was an 11.3 percent increase from 2012.
628 Sarasota homes for sale were sold by the Sarasota Association of Realtors. The Association also sold 259 condominiums for a total a total of 887 units, which easily beat the record set in August 2005. The 887 units sold is a twenty-one percent increase over the previous month. In February, a total of 736 units were sold, (628 single family homes and 229 condos).The March 2013 total represents a 6.7 percent increase over the March 2012 figures.
The median sales price increase coincided with the huge sales figures and single family homes were the beneficiary. The median price showed its highest increase since August 2008, now sitting at $210,000. That ended a five year drought in the increase of median price of single family homes. Over the past several years, the median price of condos has suffered from heavy fluctuations. A condo’s median price now sits at $182,000. July 2010 represented the lowest point for the median price, which stood at $127,000, roughly the heart of the housing collapse. The record median price was $420,000 set in 2007, the beginning of the mortgage bubble.
There were 1,227 pending sales which represented the highest level in seven years. This is one of the highest levels in the history of the Sarasota real estate. February had 1,047 pending sales and January recorded 1,138 pending sales. This is an amazing start for the first quarter of 2013. All indicators point to the hot streak continuing in April, with forecasts that the April figures could go higher than the March figures.
Inventory of available homes dropped to record levels as well. March inventories declined to 3,643 available units while February inventories showed available units for sale at 3,790. Inventories are expected to decline further in April, with the forecast showing the month breaking the March record.
President of the SAR, Roger Piro said, “We are in the middle of an historic sales period, and the pending sales total indicates we could continue to see closings at or near record highs.” Piro pointed out that, “Agents are reporting very high activity at open houses, and the seasonal surge of buyers has been at the highest level in many years. If this continues, as it did last year, the year 2013 could end up in the record books.”
The number of months inventory available stood at 4.7 months for condos and 3.8 months for single family homes. The number of months represents how many months it would take to deplete the entire inventory for sale. These are the best numbers in the past decade. March 2012 showed 4.8 months of inventory for single family properties while Condos ran at 6.7 months of inventory for sale. At one point, in November 2008, there were 24 months of inventory for homes and 41 months for condos.
The MLS, (Multiple Listing Service) shows only 398 of the properties are foreclosures or short sales, which represents a decrease of 29 homes or units that are currently in the process of foreclosure or a short sale.
30 percent of the sales in March of 2013 represented the sale of properties in distress, up from the February number of 27.5 percent. However the outlook is bright once the distressed properties number decreases. In the fourth quarter of 2012, during the peak of the housing crisis, the figure stood at a whopping 51 percent of properties sold that were distressed properties.
Piro pointed out that, “This is a great time to be involved in the real estate industry in Sarasota, and this market continues to stand out in the national housing recovery. He went on to say, “With the tight inventory, low interest rates, and all the traditional attractions of the market, I don’t see any end in sight to energized local real estate market."
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.