Longboat Key, Florida | August 20th, 2019 – The Judy Kepecz-Hays team is all excited to serve sellers and buyers for the rest of the year. Recent realtor data indicate that the market is building strength toward yearend, as combined sales of single family residences in Sarasota and Manatee stayed buoyant during the 2019 second quarter.
The state’s trade group Florida Realtors reported that sales of pre-owned residential properties in the two-county region totaled 4,555 houses from May to June. This sum marks a 5.5 percent gain over the same period in 2018 and outpaces the increase of 4.6 percent across all of Florida.
Charlotte County notably matched the state’s tempo. Its resales of single-family houses totaled 1,440 in the 2019 second quarter, up 4.6 percent from a year earlier.
Industry analysts attributed the sales gain in the 2019 second quarter to low mortgage rates, which was estimated about 0.8 percent below a year earlier. They expect that this regime of low interest rates would continue providing strength to the market moving forward the rest of the year, setting the stage for an even better market performance in 2020.
Market Tracks Historical Norms
Realtors have also found it encouraging that the gains in prices are now tracking a more traditional pace in the 3‒5 percent range. In the Sarasota-Manatee area, the median prices of single family residences rose 3.4 percent to $305,000 during the 2019 second quarter. Charlotte County’s median price in the same period rose 2.2 percent to $230,000. Throughout Florida, the median price for single family houses rose 3.3 percent over the 2018 second quarter.
The recent growth in housing inventory amid rising prices is enabling the market to continue adjusting to a more balanced position, industry observers noted. The latest market data showed that the combined housing stock for the Sarasota-Manatee market has grown by 1.8 percent in June.
The market’s supply level is comforting particularly in Sarasota wherein inventory of single family houses rose 2.4 percent to a 4.2-month supply. In addition, the county’s condo market inventory rose 20.5 percent rise to a 5.3-month supply as of June.
Strength from New Builds
Strong contribution to the market stability in Sarasota-Manatee region is notably being provided by its two large master-planned communities—Lakewood Ranch and West Villages. This pair is offering plenty of new construction further enriching buyers’ choices and elevating the Sarasota-Manatee real estate market notches higher.
Notably, both developments were ranked among the fastest-selling developments nationwide. National ratings for midyear sales compiled by real estate consulting firm RCLCO showed Lakewood Ranch ranking second, with 824 residences sold as of June 30. The total is just a couple of properties shy of sales a year earlier, but sales acceleration could be expected toward yearend, as three new communities in Lakewood Ranch are set to open in the coming months.
Meanwhile, West Villages in south Sarasota County has risen from fifth to third place in the RCLCO’s 2019 midyear ranking. A total of 679 new residences were sold in the 9,650-acre master development as of June, up by 32 properties or 5 percent from last year.
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