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July Sales Slightly Slow, Follow A Long Standing Trend

July real estate sales in Sarasota County nearly reached 1,000 closed transactions, representing the fifth straight month of robust activity. A total of 928 transactions occurred, but it falls just short of the record, which happened from March through July 2004.

"For the past several years, we've seen reductions in July sales numbers, so this is not a surprise. What is surprising is that July was the first month in six years that we've seen both property categories - single family and condos - top the $200,000 median sales price level. The last time that occurred was in August 2008. We may have reached new balanced, sustainable price points in the market," said Sarasota Association of Realtors® President Peter Crowley.

Closed sales recorded for July across the county came in with 643 single family property transactions and 285 condo units, as reported by Florida Realtors. The number of closings for the month was down from June by 11.4 percent and July 2013, by 4 percent. Comparatively, June of this year saw 1,048 closings and July of last year had 969 closings.

For the first seven months of 2014, sales still best the near-record amount occurring in 2013, which was a historic year for real estate sales in Sarasota County, representing the second-highest figures in the past 91 years. There were a total of 6,875 sales thru July, or 89 more transactions than the same month last year when 6,786 sales closed.

Median Prices Heat Up across Sarasota County


July also saw an increase in median prices, as the figure reached $201,000 for single family homes and $205,000 for condos. That beats out June of this year, when both condo units and single family residences brought a median price of $195,000. This represents an increase of 3 percent for single family properties and 5.1 percent for condos. It also bests July 2013 numbers when the median price for a single family home came in at $189,900. The largest change was in condos, with a median price 29 percent higher than July of last year, when the number stood at $159,000.

For the twelve-month period, the median sale price, which ended in July of this year, and moderates monthly fluctuations, was $189,000 for single family residences, approximately 11.2 percent more than the previous twelve-month period. Condos for the same twelve months came-in at $176,000, an increase of 10.6 percent over the previous span.

Pending Sales and Inventory Levels Stay Strong


Pending sales in July were still strong, totaling 834, a slight drop from June, which saw 901 pending sales. Because of this, August is expected to come-in slightly below the July figure. In July 2013, there were 849 pending sales and August of last year had 957 pending transactions.

Inventory levels decreased in July, falling to 3,912, down from the June number of 4,196, representing a significant decline of 6.7 percent. In July of last year, inventory was even lower, with only 3,747 properties on the market, marking the most recent low point, approximately 4 percent less than the current figure.

July's supply came-in at 4.4 months for single family homes and 3.8 months for condo units. In June, those numbers, by comparison, were 4.6 months and 4.2 months, respectively. The levels in July of 2013 were 4.1 months for single family residences and 4.2 for condos.

"We remain statistically in a seller's market, with low inventory and prices on the rise. All the numbers point to a very healthy 2014 for Sarasota County real estate," Crowley explained.

Distressed Properties Fall Again in July


The number of distressed property sales, which are comprised of foreclosures, bank-owned, and short sales, continued to fall in July of this year, indicating that the overall countywide market is returning to historic norms.

For the month of July, the total number of distressed property sales represented 19.5 percent of all transactions, those being foreclosures and short sales. This is less than June of last year, when 20.1 percent of all closed transactions involved distressed properties. It is also substantially less than July 2013, when 24.9 percent of all transactions included foreclosures and short sales. However, July's distressed property sales are above those in April of this year, when only 16.6 percent of all closed transactions were distressed homes.