Sarasota Realtors Robert and Valerie Orr
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November 2015 Sarasota Market Report Indicates Record Year

StatsIn its entire 100 year-old history, the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee is right on-track to see a record setting sales year for 2015. During 2014, an impressive 19,389 residential real estate transactions closed, combining sales from both Sarasota and Manatee counties. By November of this year, some 19,020 have been recorded in the first eleven months alone. That leaves just 370 transactions needed to break the previous record. Since residential real estate sales have consistently been above the 1,000 mark for each month of 2015 thus far, it's likely the year will come to a close with a new record.

Nationwide and local statistics demonstrate although contrary to conventional wisdom, spring and summer aren't necessarily the strongest sales months. Instead, January through April are among the most active months, but it all begins in December. “We are enjoying a strong and healthy market, with sustainable gains, and the traditional buying season has just begun. We should anticipate a busy market in the coming months with staying power throughout the year,” said President of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, Stafford Starcher.

November 2015 Sales and Median Home Prices

Compared to sales recorded in November 2014, there were 2.6 percent less closed residential transactions in the same month this year. This is tempered by a typical trend, as sales in both counties were stronger in the month of October in 2014 and 2015. However, medium home prices in both Sarasota and Manatee counties rose from November 2015 to this year. In Sarasota alone, single family homes increased in median price by an eye-popping 18.5 percent. Manatee County recorded a slightly less aggressive increase in single family home median price, rising 14.9 percent. By contrast, condo prices in both west central Florida counties rose, by 13.17 percent in Sarasota and 12.8 percent in Manatee.

Inventory Levels and Pending Sales in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Inventory levels across both Sarasota and Manatee counties have been tight in the past months, but over November, the number of available properties for sale rose by 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively. However, these available properties still fall short of the inventory on the market in Sarasota and Manatee last year, by less than 2 percent for single family properties but relatively unchanged for condo units.

Pending sales, which constitute residential real estate transactions that have not yet settled, are also down about 8 percent compared to November 2014. Though this is a typical trend, it will have an impact on the final figures for the year, as well as in the next thirty to sixty days.

Homes Sold in November

A total of five luxury homes closed in November, three of which were on Longboat Key and two on St. Armands/Lido Key:

  • 3550 Mistletoe Lane -- 4 bedrooms, 5 full baths -- $3,550,000

  • 3040 Grand Bay Boulevard #PH2101 -- 4 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 1 half-bath -- $2,450,000

  • 535 Sanctuary #A801 -- 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths -- $2,250,000

  • 1435 Westway Drive -- 5 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 2 half-baths -- $5,475,000

  • 2050 Benjamin Franklin Drive #A602 -- 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 1 half-bath -- $1979000

Market Equilibrium, Median Days on the Market, and Distressed Properties

Though inventory levels rose during the month of November this year, the 5.5 month period of market equilibrium between buyers and sellers still remained well below healthy levels. In Sarasota, there was a 3.7 month supply of single family properties, compared to 3.9 months in Manatee. For condo units, both counties recorded an inventory supply of 4 months. Median days on the market declined during November 2015, a sure sign of market strength.

In addition, distressed properties, consisting of foreclosure and short sales, represented far less available homes for sale during the month of November. Combined across both counties, single family distressed properties were down by an incredible 55 percent from the same month last year, and, distressed condo sales fell by a noteworthy 38 percent. This represents a sharp contrast from 2008, when nearly 50 percent of all sales involved distressed properties. Now, only approximately 12 percent of all transactions include short sales and foreclosures.

“Based on our sales to date, we are looking at record‐breaking numbers to round out the year. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I am enthusiastic about the future of our thriving real estate market,” Starcher explained.