Longboat Key, Florida | December 12th, 2018 – Sarasota homeowners who plan to sell their residences would be well-advised to avoid delaying putting their properties on the market, as they still got the upper hand on pricing. Statistics from local realtors show that a sellers’ market remains in the county, as months supply of inventory in October month was at 4.3 months. This level is still well below the 5.5-month stock considered as the industry benchmark for a balanced market.
However, this condition favoring sellers in terms of pricing may not persist for too long, because significant upticks in new listings in recent months suggest an inventory uptrend. In October, the months supply of single family residences in Sarasota grew by 10.3 percent largely due to a hefty 12.5 percent increase of new listings recorded at 990 residences. This gain followed the 50.5 percent increase of newly listed properties in September during which 718 houses were put on the market.
The same scenario goes for Manatee County where October months supply of single-family residences sits at a 3.9-month supply, down 7.1 percent from last year. Inventory though is also catching up with the new listings of 720 in the county during October rising 5.1 percent from a year ago. September’s listings totaled 540, up 31.7 percent for the largest jump this year.
More Picks, More Eyes on the Market
These inventory gains signal more potential buyers coming onto the market, with the fresh picks available to them growing in number. Buying interest particularly on Sarasota homes for sale could get a boost too from the 3.2 percent drop in the October median sale price in the county to $270,000. This slide reverses a price uptrend experienced in the Sarasota market since last year.
The median price of single family houses in Manatee, on the other hand, remains at an upward trajectory. In October, the county’s median sale price rose 4.2 percent to $298,000.
Nationwide, the median price for all existing residential types in October increased at a more moderate 3.8 percent to $255,400, according to statistics released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The median home price in the South also rose year-over-year by 3.8 percent for the month to $221,600, regional NAR data likewise showed.
Pricing Is Crucial
Given these competitive national and regional price levels, Sarasota and Manatee homeowners selling their properties would have to price their market listings well with the help of a pro in the real estate trade. Another pricing consideration is that buyers, particularly those at entry level, are facing the challenges of affordability due to higher interest rates.
Additionally, pre-owned resale houses entering the Sarasota‒Manatee market face competition from new builds in the various property development projects underway. In Manatee alone, 2,895 new housing starts were posted in the county between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, a 9.5 percent gain from the prior 12-month period.
Breaking this down, the county’s 2018 second quarter figures showed a 27.5 percent increase to 801 new housing starts compared with 628 a year earlier. The county’s hotspot for new construction is in the southeast including Lakewood Ranch where 1,266 new housing starts were posted from July 1 last year up to end-June 2018.
Be sure to be in synch with the dynamics of the Sarasota‒Manatee real estate market when selling or buying local properties. Contact our Judy Kepecz‒Hays team by phone or e-mail, so we can give you an even more specific appraisal on the opportunities available.