Sales Numbers are High Despite September's Traditional Drag
For both Manatee and Sarasota counties, property sales were sluggish to a certain extent for September 2015. However, this was somewhat expected after a whopping six months of countless closings that shattered records. Fall of 2015 is quite similar in numbers to fall of 2014, but there is one distinct difference: median sale prices for single family homes have significantly risen for Manatee and Sarasota counties in comparison to this time last year.
Manatee & Sarasota Property Sales - The Streak Ends
The Realtor Association for both Manatee and Sarasota counties reported 1,608 property sales in total for September of 2015. Manatee saw 681 closings, and Sarasota saw 927. Ever since February, Sarasota has seen more than 1,000 closings each month. September of 2015 was the first time that Sarasota did not reach this 1,000 mark, bringing the six-month property sales record streak to a close.
In August of 2015, both counties reported 1,709 sales in total. From August to September, a 6% drop in sales was shown. September 2015's sales numbers were slightly higher than those from September of 2014 (1,578). The same minor drop happened last year from August to September. It is expected that if conditions remain the same, October of 2015 will see fantastic property sales numbers. The past four falls have also been rather successful due to visitors and winter residents making their return to the real estate market.
Association President Stafford Starcher noted that despite the minor decrease in September sales, the numbers are still undeniably fantastic. Starcher included that there is an obvious lack of inventory, but this number can change at any time. In the winter months of the past two years, inventory rose during the colder months and eventually peaked in February. He is confident that if the colder months of 2015 are similar those of years past, realtors will have an extremely active season in store again.
Inventory on the Rise for Manatee & Sarasota Homes for Sale
Single family condo and home inventory for Sarasota County increased to 3,337 in September 2015 from 3,303 in August. This number rose from 2,534 to 2,571 for Manatee County. Last September, these numbers were 3,666 for Sarasota and 2,731 for Manatee. Respectively, the declines measured out at 9% and 6%.
Throughout 2013, buyer and seller equilibrium was quite balanced. During that time, Sarasota had 5,500 properties up for sale, and Manatee had 5,000. These figures have been significantly lower for the past 2.5 years, with current inventory numbers sitting roughly 40% lower than totals from 2013.
Homes Still Selling Quickly: A Case of Supply & Demand
The median amount of time that properties spent on the market equated to 35-54 days for September 2015. The median amount for September 2014 was 46-66 days. There's no doubt that homes are selling quite quickly this year. Both Manatee and Sarasota counties inventory supply of condos and single-family homes was between 3.2 - 3.6 months, well below the 6-month equilibrium level.
Not surprisingly, the lack of inventory compared to previous years has caused median sales prices for single family homes to increase. For Manatee County, median sales prices rose from $217,000 in September 2014 to $265,950 in September 2015. This equated to a 22.6% increase. For Sarasota County, the median sales price was roughly $189,000 in September 2014, and this year, it rose to $223,500. This was an 18.3% increase.
For Sarasota County, condo prices took a bit of a dip in comparison to September 2014. They decreased by 1.3%, specifically dropping to $192,500 from $195,000. For Manatee County, condo prices increased to $157,500 from $152,000. This was a 3.6% increase. As a note, fluctuations and changes in condo pricing are generally more unpredictable; they don't generally follow trends the way that single-family homes do.
Will the Last Quarter of 2015 Continue to Break Records?
Despite the small decreases and minor causes for concern, Starcher said he was very "enthusastic" about the real estate market for the two counties. He included that sales numbers continue to be record-breaking, and it is obvious that the rise in prices has not been much of a deterrent for buyers. In fact, properties in both Manatee and Sarasota County are much more affordable than ever before. It also helps that interest rates are currently quite attractive for even first-time buyers. Starcher is confident that the record-breaking trend will continue through to the year's end.
If you're thinking about selling your Sarasota home or have questions about the Sarasota real estate market, call the Key Solutions Real Estate team at (941) 894-1255 or send us a message today!