Sarasota Market Updated for November 1, 2011
The Sarasota Real Estate Market is showing definite signs that the bottom may be in the rear view mirror. The Sarasota Association of REALTORS is reporting an 18.4% increase in sales for October for 2011 vs. 2010. I have always kept my own numbers and this is what I see.
My numbers are somewhat higher all around and it may be becasue I include all of Sarasota County. Being out in the trenches, I see areas where homes are hard to come by and it is not unusual to see multiple offers on well-priced homes. At the same time, there are neighborhoods that seem to be stuck with high levels of short sales and are not yet seeing the upward trend the overall market enjoys.
The overall market this year seems to follow the trend of last year but a higher price point. My numbers show a 3.6% increase in units sold year to date compared to last year. The average sales price is also up 5.6% from $116.74 to $123.38 per square foot. The average sales price is up an impressive 10% from 205,503 to 226,598.
Since our busy season is just beginning, I decided to dig a little deeper into the numbers and looked several areas to see who the winners are and who is lagging behind. There has always been this assumption in this market that the high end and waterfront communities lead the rest of the market. That is exactly what I found. The lagging communities may be the opportunity for the best deals right now. After all, the larger water front homes are being purchased by fairly sophisticated buyers which I would interpret to be a signal that this market is at the bottom and moving back to a positive trend.
Bird Key is showing a 50% increase in units sold with an 11% increase in average sales price. Longboat Key units sold are up 26% with flat pricing, Siesta Key Condo sales are up 18% with a lower average sales price although the average sales price per square foot decreased by half, which leads me to believe the rate of decrease, is slowing.
Moving off the water, I found Gulf Gate units are up slightly and prices are down slightly. Palm Aire is showing across the board single digit increases.
Downtown Sarasota condos sales are down year over year. Colonial Oaks is showing 17 sold units this year vs. 27 from last year; a 37% decrease. What is also interesting here is that 9 of the 12 properties under contract are short sales. If they were to sell, the subdivision would be 2 ahead of last year. Again, an area that is down right now could be the opportunity to buy right now.
Buyers should also take into account interest rates are down below 4% in many cases and inventory is as low as it has been for 10 years as reported by SAR. A 4% interest rate payment on $100,000 for 30 years is $477.42/mo. At 5%, the monthly payment is $536.82. You would not be paying 1% more if the rates go back up to 5%, you would increase your payment by 12%.
Search Sarasota and the surrounding counties the way you want to without any obligation to buy.