In case you have not noticed, there has been a change with the real estate in Sarasota. A market formerly saturated with unsold houses in need of buyers is now teeming with action as house after house is sold. Any house that does not have a sold sign on it does not stay that way for long. Rundown, untended inventory has been replaced with homes that have been impeccably landscaped and filled with happy families, young couples, and retirees. Everything indicates that the real estate market in this area is back and showing signs of stability. The forecast and trends suggest resurgence in the housing market starting at the beginning of the year and maintaining a continued increase in prices to date. The increase in demand and the decrease in inventory is the driving cause of the Sarasota real estate resurgence.
Another positive aspect in the housing market recovery is the stabilization of existing homes for sale. There is no sign of new listing increases; in fact, they are going in the opposite direction. However, this is not a tale of doom and gloom. Anyone interested in purchasing a home at this time needs to understand the nature of the existing housing market. Houses that are marked for sale are receiving multiple offers within the first week. It has become a buying frenzy. This is largely due to low interest rates and discounted prices. Baby Boomers are opting to invest in real estate in this area. This is considered the retirement community of the nation, and those preparing for retirement want to purchase their second home and get in on the ground floor.
Sales of Sarasota single family homes for sale have reached an all time high. There were more closed sales in the month of April than almost any other time in the last decade. This translates into over a 17% increase from last year to this year. Many of these sales came from Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors. This organization has been in existence for the past 90 years, and it has never shown this kind of increase. The increased sales have generated a lot of buzz, but were not a surprise for the local Realtors. In fact, the truth is, if there were more homes available for sale, there would be even more closings. This phenomenon has also spiked housing values. Homes that were priced at $175,000.00 a year ago, could easily sell for 200,000.00 or more a year later. These gains greatly surpass the amounts of 2008. However, the amount of available homes for sale is declining from a year earlier until now.
This is all happening while the homes that are pending increased by 30% over a month ago. There is optimism about the forecast for the months ahead. The feeling is there is going to be a very strong showing in sales this summer. Sharing in this upswing of sales are condos and town homes. They have shown a marked increase from last year. These sales have been statewide and have come in around 13% in inventory and a whopping 22% in sales over the previous year. The hardest thing to overcome in this current market is the information being supplied to buyers. Many media outlets still show tthe overall real estate market recovering, but not at the level of Sarasota. Prices have increased in some areas over 25% and are continuing to rise. The days of "lowballing" sellers have past and anyone looking to make a purchase in the curent market needs to be ready for competition.
The current climate shows that inventory of single family houses, townhouses, and condos has not changed. They are still in short supply. However, other markets in the industry, such as foreclosures, REOs (real estate owned properties), and homes that are in distress have decreased, which also reflects a stabilizing of the market as well. This simply reinforces the realization that sales are up and available properties are not. On the other hand, the projected forecasts do not present a complete picture of what is really happening in the industry. Auctions, online sales, and government bulk sales of foreclosures map out a different picture. In fact, they indicate that the market is actually more energetic than stated. While it does not reflect the days of Camelot, it does present a more positive image and a sense that things are moving in the right direction.
The question is, what does all of this mean? How can buyers and sellers interpret this information? What can they expect in the days and months ahead? According to industry experts, this is an ideal time for both the buyer and the seller. The market is at a place where the interest rates are still low and the property values are still well below the peak. Basically, buyers can still get a property at a reasonable price, and the sellers can count on a lot of action if they are priced to the market.