home-sales-up_289February 2011 real estate sales in the Sarasota area were up 24.2% from January and up 27% to 673 from February, 2010’s total of 528 sales.  There were 472 single family home and 201 condo closings reported by the Sarasota Association of Realtors reported for February.

In addition to the positive home and condominium sales figures, pending sales (those under contract, but not yet closed) also registered above the 1,000 level in February, with 1,023 total properties going under contract following the 1,013 under contract in January. Both of these numbers are well above the 967 homes under contract in February, 2010 when sales volumes were being driven by the Federal home buyer tax credit program.

This year’s upward trend in sales and pending sales is being fueled by buyers of all types - second-home buyers, investors and bargain hunters realizing that today’s lower prices coupled with low interest rates present a buying opportunity not seen in years.

The inventory of unsold homes on the Sarasota real estate market dropped to its lowest level in six years.  This drop to the lowest inventory level in six years could presage the beginning of upward pressure on home prices moving forward.

“Traditionally and historically, fewer properties on the real estate market usually causes price appreciation,” said Sarasota Association of Realtors President’ Michael Bruno. “It’s simply a matter of supply and demand. If there are more buyers competing for a smaller number of properties, selling prices are usually driven up.” “Hopefully, he said, “we’ll soon see a return to the traditional local appreciation levels of between 5% and 7% annually. That would represent a very healthy market.”

The higher home and condo sales totals combined with the lower inventory of unsold homes on the market caused a sharp drop in the months of inventory of unsold single-family homes to 8.0 months in February from 10.2 months in January and to 10.4 months from 14.1 months for condos. Two years ago, in January 2009, there were 25.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 38.4 months of condo inventory on the market. The market is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market once the figure reaches the 6 month level.

If you’re a “snowbird” or a local resident wondering whether now is the time to buy a seasonal or year-round home or condo here in Sarasota, Bradenton, or on one of our delightful Island Keys, please give me a call at 941-232-4053.  Let me help you find that golf course or waterfront home or condo you’ve been dreaming of at the current bargain levels before prices and interest rates start to move back up. Posted by Andree Huffine on
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