Inventory on the Rise

SARASOTA, Fla. (April 20, 2016) – Inventory of available properties is on the rise in both counties. For single family homes in Sarasota County, inventory is up 5.6 percent from March last year, and up 5.0 percent in Manatee County. Condo inventory is likewise up in both counties, with Sarasota County up 22.1 percent, while Manatee County saw an increase of 21.5 percent year-over-year.

The months’ supply of inventory in the two-county area remains in the range from 4.7 to 5.4 months’ inventory this year, compared to 4.5 to 4.8 months last year. This statistic reflects the time it would take to sell all the active listings on the market at the current month’s rate of sales. Six months is the benchmark for a balanced market; anything higher is traditionally a buyer’s market and anything lower is a seller’s market. So while it is still a seller’s market, the return to balance is on the horizon.

“The moderate inventory increase is encouraging as it translates to more options for potential buyers,” said Linda Formella, RASM President. “In the broad picture, we are seeing a return to normalization, however in price points under $400,000, inventory is tight, selling quickly, and resulting in multiple offers.”

The median sale price rose year-over-year across the board for both counties. Single family median sales prices are up 17.4 percent in Sarasota County to $244,000, while increasing only slightly in Manatee County, up 1.8 percent to $269,735. Sarasota County condo median price rose 8.4 percent to $196,000, while Manatee County experienced a 2.2 percent increase in condo sales price over last year, to $160,000.

2016 is proving to be a normalizing year in home sales. Figures have been fluctuating since the beginning of the year. Total single family home sales in Sarasota County were up 33.9 percent from last month, at 765 total sales, and down slightly, 2.9 percent, from this time last year. Manatee County single family homes sales also rose from last month to 522 total sales, up 26.8 percent, but down slightly, 5.4 percent, from March, 2015.

Condo sales for both counties fluctuated. Condo sales in Sarasota County for the month of March saw a 24.4 percent increase from last month, reaching 364 total sales, but down 11.7 percent from last year’s figures at this time. Manatee condo sales are also up, 28.2 percent, closing at 273 this month, and up 11 percent from last year.

The drop in the percentage of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) signals a sign of health in the market. Distressed sales for single family homes in the two-county area represented only 10.3 percent of all closed sales for the month, compared to 20 percent last year. Similarly, distressed condo sales came in at 4.4 percent of closed sales, compared to 8.66 percent last year. At their peak a few years ago, 48 percent of all sales were distressed.