Sarasota/Manatee Housing Market Still Tipped Toward Sellers
SARASOTA, Fla. (May 24, 2017) – According to the recent numbers compiled by Florida REALTORS® from My Florida Regional MLS, April 2017 reflects an increase in single family closed sales, median sales prices and inventory in Sarasota and Manatee County as compared to April of 2016.
Closed sales in Sarasota County increased by 8.3 percent for single family homes, while Manatee County experienced a 1.5 percent increase. Condos, however, decreased in sales in the month of April. Sarasota condo sales decreased by 0.3 percent this month and Manatee decreased by 22 percent.
Median prices of Sarasota County single family homes increased by 9 percent to $272,500, while condos decreased by 1.4 percent to $215,000. Single family homes in Manatee County increased in median price by 5.4 percent to $295,000, while condos in Manatee increased by 2.1 percent to $170,500.
The number of properties that were put on the market during April decreased in both counties from last month, a good indication of the end of the season.
“This year’s season started slow in January, but picked up steam in February and March, levelling out again in April,” said Xena Vallone, 2017 RASM President.
When looking at the total inventory in the two-county area, there is a 9.3 percent increase of active listings from this time in 2016, but inventory continues to be very tight, especially in lower price ranges. In Sarasota County, the inventory of single family homes increased 12.3 percent and condos by 12 percent. Single family homes in Manatee County increased by 3.6 percent, while condos increased by 9.7 percent.
In April 2017, we saw an increase in time to contract over last year in both counties. Sarasota single family homes increased to 45 days on market, up from 35 last year, and the time for condos increased to 46 days, also up from 35 days a year ago. In Manatee County, time on market for single family homes increased to 46 days from 38 last year, while condos rose from 33 days last year to 50 days on market this year.
“Higher inventory levels typically increase the time it takes to sell a property,” said Vallone. “However, that is not the case for more affordable price points. Single family homes priced under $300,000 are going to contract more quickly than those priced higher, but we aren’t seeing the same thing in the condo market.”
The month’s supply of inventory in the two-county area is in the range of 4.4 to 5.5 months’ inventory, continuing to improve year-over-year. This statistic reflects the time it would take to sell all the active listings on the market at the current rate of sales. The current supply favors the seller over the buyer overall, but not in all price ranges, as indicated above.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Midyear Forecast, supply, affordability and modest economic growth are holding back sales and threatening the nation’s low homeownership. However, chief economist Lawrence Yun believes existing-home sales are poised to climb 3.5 percent in 2017.
“The housing market has exceeded expectations ever since the election, despite depressed inventory and higher mortgage rates,” said Yun. “The combination of the stock market being at record highs, 16 million new jobs created since 2010, pent-up household formation and rising consumer confidence are giving more households the assurance and ability to purchase a home.”
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