Inventory and Median Sales Prices Continue to Climb
SARASOTA, Fla. (June 22, 2016) – The housing data for May reveals that inventory numbers are rising along with the mercury for the Sarasota and Manatee two-county area, likely the result of sellers taking advantage of rising prices. For single family homes in Sarasota County, inventory is up 15.3 percent from May last year, and up 20.2 percent in Manatee County. Condo inventory is also on the rise in Sarasota County, up 33 percent, while Manatee County experienced a 17.4 percent increase year-over-year.
The continued decline in the number of distressed property sales (foreclosures and short sales) really shows the recovery and health of our market. In May, only 5.1 percent of closed sales were distressed, compared to 15.8 percent for the same month last year, fast approaching the historic average of about 2 percent. Distressed sales for single family homes in the two-county area represented only 5.9 percent, and distressed condo sales were only 3.5 percent. At their peak a few years ago, 48 percent of all sales were distressed.
“Home prices are rising, and we are seeing homeowners who were previously on the fence entering the market. In fact, we have recently seen a 34.6 percent increase in inventory for listings between $250,000 and $600,000 compared to last May,” said Linda Formella, RASM President. “With the significant bump in inventory, buyers have more options to choose from, but we are still seeing multiple offers below that price,” Formella added.
The median sale price rose year-over-year across the board for both counties. Single family median sales prices are up 14.6 percent in Sarasota County to $263,000, while Manatee County experienced a 7.0 percent jump to $275,000. Condo prices are also on the rise. The Sarasota County condo median sale price rose 4.3 percent to $218,975, and Manatee County likewise witnessed an increase of 4.2 percent in condo sales price over last year, to $166,750.
Total single family closed sales in Sarasota County reached 753 for the month of May, up 2.7 percent from last month and down just slightly, 3.7 percent, from last year. Manatee County single family homes sales rose 13 percent from last month to 603 total sales, and down slightly, just .3 percent from May last year. Sarasota County condo sales decreased 1.3 percent from last month, closing at 377 total sales, and down 5.5 percent from last year’s figures at this time. Manatee County condo sales are down 18.3 percent from last month, closing at 250 total sales for the month, and up 12.6 percent over last year.
Last year, which set an all-time sales record for the area, the selling season extended into August, then tapered off in September. This year has returned to a more typical season, with new pending sales reported about 18.5 percent lower than last May. This is not surprising, given last year’s lower prices, when many buyers were taking advantage of opportunities to make their move. Pending sales are an indicator of closed sales to come.
The months’ supply of inventory in the two-county area remains in the range of 4.4 to 5.3 months’ inventory this year, compared to a range of 3.8 to 4.3 months at this time last year. This statistic reflects the time it would take to sell all the active listings on the market at the current month’s rate of sales. Six months is considered the benchmark for a balanced market; anything higher is considered a buyers’ market and anything lower is a sellers’ market. So while the months’ supply remains on the rise, it is still a sellers’ market.