Sarasota Real Estate Market Remains Strong
In signs of an improving market in the region, sales totals for single-family dwellings and condos in Sarasota and Manatee counties remained near record highs for 2016, and median sale prices also showed improvement. Similarly, the total number of distressed sales dropped significantly. Inventories are seen tightening and pressures on prices remain upward.
2016 led to a small decrease, around 2.6 percent, in sales of single-family homes and condos in Sarasota and Manatee. Although this represented a slight drop off from 2015, a record year, it was still better than the four years prior to 2015. While sales for 2016 in the region didn’t set a new record, they managed to stay in record territory. A total of 20,091 units were sold in the two-county area.
Condo sales for Manatee County set the pace, bucking the overall trend with 7.7 percent annual growth for a total of 2,606 sales closed. Sarasota County saw a drop in condo sales, around four percent for a total of 3,603 closings. Single-family home sales in Manatee saw a drop of one percent, resulting in 6,057 sales closing. Sarasota witnessed a drop of 6.3 percent, and the total number of closings ended at 7,825 sales.
Distressed Sales Drop
The two-county region did, however, see a very reassuring drop in foreclosures and sales of distressed properties. From 2015 to 2016, distressed sales dropped from 3,004 units to 1,290. Distressed sales represented around 6.4 percent of the total market, bringing it closer to the 2.5 percent figure that’s considered good within the industry.
Xena Vallone, the 2017 President of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee said, “With a steep decline in distressed sales and indications of a balancing market, 2016 closed out as a healthy and sustainable year for our market.”
Both counties also witnessed improvements in median sale prices for single-family homes and condos. Sarasota County saw the better increase, with prices for single-family properties jumping to $250,050, an 11.4 percent gain over 2015 figures. That figure for Manatee County was $275,146, a gain of 5.8 percent. Condos in Sarasota County sold for a median price of $210,000, representing a 7.7 percent improvement. In Manatee County the figure was $170,000, resulting in an increase of 6.3 percent.
“Tight inventories continued to put upward pressure on median prices, as demand exceeds supply,” Vallone said.
Inventory Levels On The Rise
Inventories in the region also appear to be increasing, with a 24.9 increase in units available throughout the two-county area. The number of condos in Manatee County rose 17.2 percent, and the number in Sarasota County went up 38.5 percent. The condo supply in Sarasota County is considered sufficient to handle 5.5 months’ worth of demand, a figure considered balanced for the regional market within the real estate industry. Manatee County’s condo supply rose to 4.4 months in 2016 from 3.8 months the previous year. The number of available single-family dwellings in Sarasota County rose 28.6 percent, leading to a supply of 4.5 months. In Manatee County the available number of single-family homes increased 13.9 percent to provide a supply of 4.1 months. The overall regional market in 2016 was marked by a significant decrease in sales at the low end, while sales at the higher end remain strong.