The Sarasota Florida real estate market continues to improve and is “trending toward normalcy” according to a press release issued by the Sarasota Association of Realtors® for August 2011 sales figures.
Inventory of Sarasota MLS listings for sale has steadily dropped. The sales demand has stabilized which points to a more “normal” Sarasota real estate market.
For the past nine months inventories have been dropping and, in August 2011, “hit a decade-low figure of 4,408.” During the last 10 months, Sarasota property sales have exceeded 500 every month. The Board’s release state that sales hit 700 four times. The median sale price for single family homes and condos in August was $165,000. This was a 23 percent better than the lows of February 2011 when the median price of single family homes and condos was $137,500.
SAR President Mike Bruno said "We're starting to see a definite trend line developing, and it's very positive." "No one has a crystal ball, and it wouldn't be wise for anyone to make a solid prediction on the future of our market. But we can clearly see the normal market forces of supply and demand as Sarasota is becoming a seller's market, in which price appreciation would be expected."
“The Sarasota Association of Realtors® reported 601 property sales in August 2011, which was almost 6 percent higher than the August 2010 total of 567 sales. The breakdown was 445 single family home closings (the same as in July 2011) and 156 condo closings (two more than in July). The median sales prices (noted above) were about 6.5 percent higher than last year at this time.
In August, the total inventory of available properties dropped again to the lowest level in more than a decade. There were 2,817 single family homes and 1,591 condos on the market. The current figure represents an astonishing drop from the high of 17,102 properties on the market in March 2007. With only a quarter of the properties on the market compared to four years ago, competition for properties has been dramatically increased, and agents are now fielding multiple bids on many properties.”
Pending sales in August 2011 were about the same as in July 2011. There were 618 single family homes and 195 Sarasota condos under contract for a total of 813. In August 2010, there were 816 pending sales were reported by SAR.
"We are coming out of the usually slower summer sales months with a much improved, healthier real estate market," said SAR President Mike Bruno. "The fall should prove to be steady and strong. The only thing continuing to hold back our market from even bigger numbers is the percentage of distressed sales, which is still higher than we'd like to see."
Short Sales and Distressed Properties
“The overall percentage of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) rose slightly in August 2011 to 41.2 percent from the 38 percent figure in July 2011. That compares to 47 percent as recently as February 2011 and a high of 51 percent in November 2010.”
"The non-distressed properties are still selling for two or three times more than the short sales and foreclosures," explained Bruno. "This is a huge difference, and naturally pulls down the overall median sale price. But everyone remains hopeful that the distressed inventory, which now represents less than 20 percent of the total available properties, will start to drop rapidly in the coming months."
Sarasota Florida is a destination city with beautiful beaches, extraordinary cultural and entertainment venues as well as excellent schools and a vibrant downtown area. Our city continues to draw international attention. Sarasota is a wonderful place to live and work.