It's Too Darn Hot! Sarasota Real Estate Update For September 2012. The Sarasota real estate market made a strong showing in September, yet sales did decline 21% from August. However, they were 14% ahead of last September's indicating a continued solid and healthy market.
There were a total of 648 properties sold in September in the Sarasota real estate market. Of those sales there were 430 single family homes and 148 condos sold. After a very strong summer selling season the slowdown in September was expected and is typical for the time of year. However, it is much better than anyone would have thought just a few short months ago.
"Our inventory is now down to 3,460 - the lowest level since 1998," reported SAR President Laura Benson. "The downward trend in inventory started four years ago, when we had over 9,500 properties for sale. We have a great demand for homes and potential sellers should know it's a great time to list their properties."
Pending sales decreased to 844 in September, but are 16% higher than last September's. Pending sales represent properties under contract that are expected to close in the coming months and are a good indicator of upcoming activity in the market.
"There is a lot of good news out there in the Sarasota marketplace, and the real estate industry has returned to a much healthier place than we were four or five years ago," said Benson. "For the agents who experienced the down times, this has become a great period of rebound for the market."
The median sales price for single family homes in September was $169,950 which represents a 3% year over year appreciation. This rate of appreciation is a healthier and more realistic return to the typical rate of appreciation I have seen in the market for most of my 28 year career in real estate. The median sales price for condos in September was $175,000.
The months of inventory in the Sarasota real estate market are at 10 year lows. In September the inventory for single family homes was 4.4 months and for condos 8.5 months. The months of inventory represent the months it would take to deplete the inventory at the current rate of sales. Typically a 6 month inventory is considered a balanced market for buyers and sellers.
Another positive sign in the Sarasota real estate market is the number of distressed sales (bank-owned properties and short sales) on the market. Right now there are only 534 such properties listed. This represents only 15.4% of available properties.
The Sarasota real estate market remains very hot right now. It is a great time for sellers to place their homes on the market and it is a great time for buyers to get off the fence and make a decision. Prices are still at great levels and financing is at 3.5%.
All in all, it's a great time to make Sarasota your home!