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Sarasota June Home Sales Stay Strong

Though inventory levels have decreased in June across both Sarasota and Manatee counties, that hasn't stopped median prices from rising, nor has it dampened sales, which continue to set a near-record pace. In fact, June figures, along with those recorded in the first quarter of the year, forecast a very active year that might set a record of its own.

In June, total sales in residential real estate reached above 2,000 transactions in both counties, combining to reach a total of 2,058. Sarasota County recorded an impressive 1,183 transactions in June, which is one more than May, and, is 12.9 percent above June 2014. Sales in Manatee County reached 875 transactions, which is above the 827 sales in May, and, is nearly 24 percent above June of last year.

“There hasn’t been a string of four consecutive months with sales this high in the history of this region. The closest we’ve seen to these numbers was in the spring of 2004 – over a decade ago. The existing inventory remains low in both counties, and that fundamental tends to push price appreciation in a desirable market like ours. We are seeing inventory levels down by double digit percentages this June compared to last year at this time,” said Association President Stafford Starcher.

Median Home Prices Sarasota and Manatee Counties in June

Both Sarasota and Manatee counties have recorded historically high sales figures for the past several months. What's more, median sales prices have been moving in an upward trajectory. In Sarasota County, June 2015 saw an increase of 17.9 percent or $253,700 from June 2014, raising the median price for single family properties to $230,000. While in Manatee County, the median sales price for a single family residence rose 3.6 from June 2014. Condo units also saw gains in median prices, with Sarasota coming-in at $120,000 or 7.7 percent and Manatee recording an increase of 4.9 percent, rising to a median price of $155,000.

With such figures being a reality, sellers largely remain in control. However, buyers are also in a good position as interest rates remain near historic lows, while lending requirements have loosened, and credit scoring has changed positively for all consumers. Demonstrating the strong real estate market is that 46 percent of all homes listed for sale in the month of June sold in less than a month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Pending Sales Slightly Up, while Inventory Levels Drop

Meanwhile, available inventory in Sarasota County came-in a total of 3,516, which is a decrease from June 2014. Manatee County available inventory is likewise down about 6 percent from June 2014. However, reports of pending sales, which includes new contracts written but yet to close transactions, were up by about 1 percent in both counties from June 2014. Condo unit pending sales were slightly down in Sarasota County from June of last year. During the summer months, pending sales traditionally drop as seasonal visitors go north.

Market equilibrium between buyers and sellers, measured in 6 month levels, were well below normal for both Sarasota and Manatee counties. Only about 3 1/2 to 4 months worth of inventory are available across both counties, including single family homes and condo units. This puts sellers at an advantage, which is also demonstrated by rising median sales prices, and less average days to close pending transactions. In June, the median days on the market ranged between 43 and 57, down significantly from June 2014, when the median days on the market ranged between 55 to 66 days.

Distressed Properties Sales

There were not any notable changes in distressed property sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, in the month of June. In May of this year, distressed property sales represented only 19 percent of all closed transactions. The number of distressed properties as a percentage of all active listings has been declining for several months across both counties.