National market reports indicate modest overall increases in new and existing home sales for November 2016, and climbing home prices in many areas.
Measuring from November 2015, Sarasota and Manatee Counties saw an 8.7% increase in total closed sales. Single family home sales improved by 10.5%, with a 4.5% improvement in condo sales.
New pending sales also gained, with noticeable increases since September of this year. In Sarasota County pending condo sales are 39.8% greater, and single family homes have a 24% increase. Manatee County saw similar gains with a 25.1% improvement in pending single family home sales, and an 8.4% intensification in pending condo sales.
Strengthening sales accompany increases in median sales prices for single family homes in both counties. According to Linda Formella, 2016 RASM President, "As long as inventory remains at lower levels, median prices can be expected to increase.” Now at $265,000, Sarasota saw a 15.8% rise, while in Manatee the 3.3% increase brought the median sales for single family homes up to $279,000.
Sarasota Condominium Prices Fall Slightly
Condo sales prices did not experience similar gains. Down from last year by 1.3% Sarasota median condo prices come in at $196,500 and Manatee condos decreased by 1.9% to $160,500. This slight drop may be driven by an increase in market supply. Condo inventory has swelled by 28.6% in Sarasota and 12.1% in Manatee.
Decreases in housing inventory drive prices up as buyers compete for homes. Short term, rising home prices lead to less inventory as homeowners wait to sell high, but long term it leads to more inventory as sellers try to get in on the market.
New Construction Would Benefit Buyers
Strengthening housing prices also cue builders to increase construction, adding new home inventory. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist remarked on the situation in an interview with Forbes, saying, "The bottom line is that we need a few years of above-normal construction activity. Only then will we...bring the inventory of homes for sale to a more balanced market."
Good news for Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Since November of 2015, single family home inventory went up by 10% in Sarasota and 6.4% in Manatee, with inventory in the two-county area increasing 12.6% overall.
Linda Formella noted that "Buyers facing rising prices and interest rates may look to enter the market, putting more pressure on already low inventory." However, increases in inventory will ease that pressure. "We've seen an upward trend in inventory, reversing the downward trend that started in March of this year." Formella says.
Since September the month’s supply of inventory has risen steadily. Now almost a balanced market (defined as a 6 month supply), Sarasota has a 4.4 month supply of single family homes and boasts a 5.4 month supply of condos. Manatee has a 4.2 month supply of each. Indications for the two-county area point to a healthy housing market going into the spring season.
When it comes to real estate in Sarasota, no one knows the market better than the Key Solutions Real Estate team. To learn more about how you can benefit from the current market, send them a message or give them a call to speak to a Sarasota real estate specialist today!