Continuing the recent trend, the Sarasota - Manatee County real estate market is becoming more and more favorable to potential buyers as more homes and condos become available for purchase. At the end of April, the inventory of available single-family homes in Sarasota County increased by 8% and in Manatee County by 14.2% from this point last year. Similarly, Sarasota County condominium inventory has risen by 25.5% and Manatee County condo inventory is up by 19.8% from this time last year.
There were 4,256 properties for sale in Sarasota County and 3,060 for sale in Manatee County. The supply of homes and condos available for purchase in the two-county area remained in the range of 4.5 to 5.4-months’ inventory at the end of April compared to last year at this point when it ranged from a 4.2 to 4.5-month supply. A 6-month supply, assuming sales were to continue at the current pace, is traditionally considered the benchmark for a balanced, and therefore healthy, real estate market. More than a 6-month supply tends to indicate a buyer’s market whereas a supply of less than 6-months is considered to favor the interests of sellers. While the current supply a bit below that 6-month benchmark technically favors sellers, the consistent increase in inventory we’ve been seeing for the past few months means that the Sarasota real estate market is returning to a more balanced market between the interests of buyers and sellers and that is definitely good news for those considering buying a property in this market.
Another positive indicator of a healthy real estate market is that the total number of distressed property sales (bank foreclosure sales and short sales) in April was 63.7% lower than April last year. Distressed sales for single-family homes in the two-county area represented only 7.6% of all closed sales for the month, compared to 19.7% last year. Distressed condo sales represented 2.62% of closed sales compared to 7.4% last year. At their peak a few years ago, 48% of all sales were distressed.
Linda Formella, President of the Realtor’s Association of Sarasota & Manatee County reported that “homes priced at and under $300,000 continue to sell at a quick pace and this trend is likely to continue. There is a high demand for quality, affordable housing throughout the area. Nonetheless, even in the upper end of the market, we are seeing an uptick in home sales with 80 properties closed in April with prices of $1 million or more, significantly more than we saw last year.”
Home and condo sales in the two county area remain robust. The total number of single-family home transactions closed in Sarasota and Manatee County were 1,267 in April, (733 in Sarasota County; 534 in Manatee County). While Sarasota County sales were down slightly by 4.2% from last month, Manatee County single-family homes sales rose slightly by 2.3% from last month. April condo sales totaled 750 in the two counties (411 in Sarasota County and 339 in Manatee County) Sarasota County condo sales increased by 4.9% from last month while Manatee County condo sales rose by 12.1% from last month. Another sign pointing to a healthy real estate market is that the average property in the two county area in April sold in just 64 days at 96% of the asking price.
If you are considering investing in a home or condo in Florida, as a retirement home now or as a home you’ll use seasonally until you’re ready to retire, I suggest you seriously consider making that investment this summer in the # 1 City in America to Retire, where almost constant sunshine and light breezes greet you almost every day and where you’ll find yourself among the friendliest people you’ll find anywhere.
Call me at 941.232.4053 for more information about any home, condo or Sarasota neighborhood you've read about or seen here on my website. I would be more than happy to answer all your questions and help you find the home of your dreams here in Sunny Sarasota Florida.