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Sarasota - Manatee January Real Estate Market Starts Strong

Sarasota, Florida (February 2017) -- The two county area is off to a strong start for the year, according to the most recent real estate market data. Inventory was again a prime mover, which began in October, November, and December of last year. That particular trend continued in the month of January. Pending sales likewise rose in the first month of the new year, as did median home prices in both Sarasota and Manatee counties. Moreover, the two county area has struck a balance between sellers and buyers.

“The increased inventory is easing the supply and demand pressure and giving buyers more choices. The increase in pending sales is a good indication of future closed sales,” Xena Vallone, 2017 RASM President explains. “A balanced market is driven by supply and demand and favors neither the seller nor the buyer. If the market is strong and balanced, buyers have more choices and sellers have a larger pool of buyers.”

Top five luxury homes closed in January

  • 2251 Gulf of Mexico Dr #502, 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 half baths $5,250,000

  • 300 S Pineapple Ave #PH1, 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths $5,109,575

  • 280 Golden Gate Pt #4, 3 bedrooms, 4 full baths $3,995,000

  • 280 Golden Gate Pt #5, 3 bedrooms, 4 full baths $3,795,000

  • 2901 Casey Key Rd, 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 1 half bath $3,725,000
  • Median Home Prices and Inventory

    In Sarasota County, median home prices for single family residences rose to $250,000. In Manatee County, median home prices for single family properties rose to $279,000. Median prices are expected to steadily increase because of the lack of distressed properties in the two county market. Currently there are fewer homes listed under $200,000, largely due to a serious decrease in short sales and foreclosures. Condo median prices increased to $239,900 in Sarasota County, while in Manatee County, condo median prices increased to $175,000.

    Inventory also rose. It increased 17.9 percent compared to January 2016. Condo inventory in Sarasota County rose by an impressive 27.1 percent, while single family home inventory was up 20.8 percent. Condo inventory in Manatee County, was up by 11.4 percent, while single family inventory was up by 10.9 percent.

    Sarasota and Manatee County Pending, Closed, and Distressed Sales

    New pending sales in the two county real estate market rose during the month of January. Combined, the two county area experienced an increase of 8 percent over January of last year. Closed sales also rose in both Sarasota and Manatee counties.

    In the two county market, condo closed sales rose 11.6 percent over January 2016. However, both Sarasota and Manatee experienced a decrease in closed single family home sales of 8.2 percent. But, when the two county area is combined, traditional sales were up by 3.5 percent, creating a more balanced market. Sales of distressed properties fell by 51.8 percent, when compared to January of last year.

    Months’ Supply of Inventory

    The months' supply of inventory is a strong indicator of how the overall local real estate market will perform. During the month of January, both counties experienced positive movement. In Sarasota County, condo inventory are at a 5.9-month supply, which is just over a balanced market threshold of 5.5 months. Single family home inventory in Sarasota is at a 5-month supply. So, it's just under a balanced market. Condo inventory in Manatee County is at a 4.8-month supply, while single family residences are at a 4.5 month supply.

    These figures indicate a more balanced market in the two county real estate market. A balanced market puts buyers and sellers at near parity. When inventory is lower than a 5.5 month balanced market, it favors sellers. Conversely, when inventory exceeds a 5.5 month supply, the market favors buyers. The months' supply of inventory is the amount of time it would take to sell all existing homes on the market, without any new listings coming onto the local real estate market.

    During the month of January, both year over year and month over month rose in the number of active listings that went under contract. That too, demonstrates a more vibrant yet balanced market in the two county area.