Sarasota Area Market Update – February 2016

Ringing in the New Year with Record-Breaking Sales

SARASOTA, FL (January 22, 2016) – The year 2015 was one for the record books in real estate sales for both Sarasota and Manatee counties, closing out the year with an all-time record of 20,691 in combined closed transactions, 1,302 sales above last year’s numbers.

“These truly are exciting times for the real estate community, and reflects the hard work and dedication of our Realtor® members,” said Linda Formella, 2016 RASM President. “Our industry has been steadily and soundly rebuilding and I am so proud of our professional Realtors® and all the industries that support the real estate community.”

There were 1,671 combined sales in both counties in December 2015, 28 percent higher than November, but down slightly from December 2014. Median sale prices increased across the board. Single family prices rose 22 percent in Sarasota County to $239,900 and nearly 12 percent to $262,963 in Manatee County. Condo prices were also up 22 percent in Sarasota County, at $217,000, compared to $178,249 for Manatee County, an increase of 6 percent.

Inventory of available properties continued to decline in both counties. For single family homes in Sarasota County, inventory is down 2.8 percent from December last year, and down 3.2 percent in Manatee County. Condo inventory for Sarasota County is down a mere 1 percent, while Manatee County increased 4 percent.

New Pending sales, which reflect new contracts written in the two-county area, were down 11.3 percent for single family homes, and remained unchanged for condo sales year over year. This may be a reflection of the declining inventory of properties for sale, as buyers face the challenge of finding the right property and even then may face a multiple-offer situation, competing against other buyers for the same property.

The two-county area saw the month’s supply of inventory remain well below the 6-month level, that typically defines a market in equilibrium between buyers and sellers, with a 3.8 month’s supply, in Sarasota County compared to 3.9 in Manatee. The month’s supply of condos in Sarasota County is 4.1, and 4.3 months in Manatee.

The drop in the percentage of distressed sales signals another sign of health in the market. Both the number of distressed sales and the share of the market have continued to decline, signaling our continued recovery. Distressed sales for single family homes were down 49 percent from last year in Sarasota County and 46 percent in Manatee. Condo distressed sales were down 25 percent in Sarasota County and47 percent in Manatee County. In December, there were only 195 distressed sales in the two counties reported in the MLS. That represented just under 12 percent of all sales, compared to the peak of 48 percent a few years ago.

“2015 has been such an exciting and historic year for our two-county area,” noted Formella. “We live and work in paradise and more and more people want to be a part of it. I am looking forward to a healthy year of steady growth in 2016.”