The Sarasota Association of REALTORS just published our monthly sales data. Once again the Sarasota real estate market sales hit another high in March of 2012. Property sales totaled 831 units. We have not seen that level since September 2005. Pending sales of properties that went under contract during March reached “the highest level in 12 months” which is a good indicator of future sales for the next few months.
SAR President Laura Benson said:
“This is amazing news, and our local brokers and agents should be extremely proud of all their hard work and diligence, helping buyers and sellers make their dreams come true. The strength that the Sarasota market has demonstrated in the past few months has been remarkable, and I'm looking forward to a continuing resurgence in local real estate. Property sales drive so many other elements of the local economy, and that means more jobs, higher salaries, and a better overall community."
In addition to the high level of sales (596 single family homes and 235 condos sold), the median sale price for homes and condos also hit highs for 2012 in March. Condos had a median sale price of $192,000. This figure was 11 percent higher than March 2011. The median sales price for single family homes was at $174,900. According to the SAR report, prices most likely were on a rise due to a lower number of distressed property sales. The report stated “The total number of distressed sales, foreclosures and short sales, fell to only 32 percent from 37.4 percent in February 2012 - a three-year low.”
A sign of good things to com is reported in the pending sales figures. These sales figures continue to rise paving the way for a continuation in closings for the next few months.
SAR’s report also shows that there is a “drop in the available inventory of homes on the market.” Inventory fell to 4,463 from February's total of 4,588. This level of inventory, according to the SAR report “is close to the decade low figure of 4,408 in August 2011, and the combination of high sales and low inventory has dropped the months of inventory to eight-year lows.”
Property prices tend to go up when inventory figures drop. The Sarasota real estate market has not seen an inventory level of 4.8 months for single family homes and 6.7 months for condos since 2004.
President Benson said "It's great to see that we've come so far from the days of 2008, when the months of inventory hit 25 months for single family and 40 months for condos."
"The Sarasota market appears to be leading the nation into a new, dynamic period in real estate," noted Benson. "While no one can predict the future, certainly all the vital signs of the economy have been moving in the right direction for many months, so I'm very hopeful we will see continued growth in our area."