Longboat Key, Florida | October 29th, 2019 – Recent industry data pack plenty of encouraging signs for prospective sellers of existing residences in Sarasota and Manatee counties. For instance, sales growth in the two-county region outperformed both the state and the national pace in September.
Combined sales of single-family residences in Sarasota and Manatee last month rose 21 percent to 1,227 pre-owned houses. The percentage gain represents the strongest jump in almost three years and compares with the 11.5 percent recorded in September on the state level. In contrast, total sales of existing homes in all of the U.S. declined 2.2 percent, reversing two consecutive months of advances.
Condo sales in Sarasota and Manatee, which have been sluggish for most of this year, gained strength too in September. A total of 496 condos were sold in the two counties during the month, nearly 9 percent above the sales a year earlier.
The local real estate market’s recent show of strength is likewise evident south in Charlotte County. Single-family houses sold in Charlotte totaled 369 residences in September, up year-over-year by 14.2 percent. In the same month, 84 condos were sold in the county; up 50 percent.
Strength from Fed Rate Cuts
Analysts attribute the strength of residential property sales to the U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate reductions. The Fed has reduced its interest rates twice already this year, and another cut is anticipated sometime November. Because of the cuts, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has declined by more than 125 basis points to an average of 3.69 percent since its peak in November last year.
The robust spike in September residential sales in the Sarasota–Manatee region was accompanied by a healthy rise in prices. In Sarasota, the median sale price for single-family residences rose by 6.4 percent to $298,000. The median sale price for the same housing types in Manatee County was estimated at $315,000, up 6.8 percent.
The median sale price for condos in Manatee County rose 6.7 percent to $199,000. The median price of Sarasota condos for sale, on the other hand, slid 1.8 percent to $232,000, mainly weighed down by the strong turnover of condos priced in the low $200s.
The gains in prices appear helping fire up selling interest, as more listings were noted in the Sarasota-Manatee region. September’s new listing for Sarasota single-family residences rose by 4.5 percent and by 8.7 percent in Manatee. Newly listed Sarasota condos for sale last month rose by 7.9 percent, while a hefty 36.2 percent increase was registered in Manatee.
Sellers Have an Upper Hand
Still, the local market would welcome more sellers, as the new listings last month were not enough to lift inventory. The combined inventory of Sarasota and Manatee, in fact, dropped year-over-year by 5.3 percent in September.
In Sarasota, the stock of single-family residences decreased by 8.1 percent, while a 9.2 percent drop was noted in Manatee County. This county’s condo inventory though rose by 6.5 percent, while a 1 percent decline was registered in Sarasota.
If you’re planning to sell a residence, move now and call us. Our region remains a sellers’ market. Sarasota and Manatee’s months’ supply of residences trend below the 5.5-month benchmark for a balanced market. The months’ supply of Sarasota condos for sale stood at 4.4 months in September, while a 3.8-month supply trends in Manatee. Sarasota single-family residences stock up a 3.4-month supply, slightly higher than the 3.3-month supply in Manatee County.
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