Residential Sales Rise While Market Slowdown Begins in March

Click HERE for the March 2020 statistics press release and summary charts. The April 2020 report will be released May 21, 2020.

SARASOTA, Fla. (April 21, 2020) – The March housing market transitioned from a soaring spring season to a slowdown in activity when COVID-19 concerns began to rise mid-month. Most pending sales from the previous month became closed sales in March with an 8.3 percent rise in closed sales for both markets in Sarasota and Manatee. Fewer properties were added to the market in March, which was expected during the coronavirus pandemic.

“March started strong with a lot of activity, as indicated by the rise in closed sales and dollar volume across the two counties,” said David Clapp, 2020 President of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee. “Sales prices continue to go up across all markets, and most closings have stayed on schedule.”

Closed sales in Sarasota and Manatee totaled 2,249 in March 2020, a 31.5 percent increase from the previous month, February of 2020. Year-over-year, Sarasota condo sales increased by 15.5 percent to 454 sales and single-family sales increased by 7.2 percent to 834 sales in Sarasota County. Manatee condo sales increased by 9.8 percent to 303 sales and single-family homes increased by 4.6 percent to 658 sales.

Median prices continue to rise across the two-county area. Single-family home prices increased by 2.4 percent to $319,500 in Manatee and increased by 10.5 percent to $315,000 in Sarasota. Condo prices increased by 5.7 percent to $215,000 in Manatee and increased by 7.5 percent to $245,000 in Sarasota.

“The market has slowed in response to COVID-19 but has by no means come to a halt,” added Clapp. “New pending sales have decreased year-over-year, but they have not declined enough to cause concern. Since mid-March, new listings have decreased on a weekly basis, adding to the already low inventory we had prior to the coronavirus pandemic. And while these numbers are down, we fully expect this to change with more new listings coming onto the market as we come out of this pandemic.”
For the condo market, new listings decreased by 5.2 percent in Manatee and by 1 percent in Sarasota. Single-family new listings decreased by 3.3 percent in Manatee and decreased by 11.4 percent in Sarasota.

As expected, pending sales experienced a decrease in both markets in both counties. Combined for Sarasota and Manatee, single-family pending sales decreased by 32.9 percent and condo pending sales decreased by 39.5 percent.

Year-over-year, the combined inventory in both markets decreased by 16.8 percent. Single-family home inventory decreased by 14.1 percent in Manatee and by 22 percent in Sarasota. Condo inventory in Manatee decreased by 3.8 percent, while Sarasota decreased by 17.9 percent.

The month’s supply of inventory also declined in response to shrinking inventory and a rise in sales this month. Sarasota condo inventory declined by 28.1 percent to a 4.6-months’ supply and Manatee condos decreased by 8.3 percent to a 4.4-months’ supply. Sarasota single-family homes decreased by 30.2 percent to a 3.7-months’ supply and Manatee fell by 19 percent to 3.4-months.

“Buyers are still buying, and sellers are still selling. I want to encourage all customers who are actively transacting real estate to work with their Realtor® to conduct safe business practices by following all CDC guidelines,” said Clapp. “Today, Realtors® are using technology to conduct virtual showings. Most buyers are only visiting properties in-person to finalize their purchase decision and closings can be conducted remotely or with very minimal contact.”