Sarasota Real Estate Market Remains HOT In September. There were 817 sales in Sarasota County for the month of September. Of those, 545 were single family homes and 272 were condos. This represents a 22.5 percent increase over September of 2012. However, it also represents a decline of 14.6 percent from August 2013.
The fourth quarter of 2012 in the Sarasota Real Estate Market saw a considerable amount of pending sales, and the same appears to be holding true this year with pending sales for September 2013 at 750. Historically, the fourth quarter in the Sarasota Real Estate Market sees a decline in the number of pending sales until after the first of the year. It appears we could be on the way to another record year of sales.
The median price for a single family home in September of 2013 was $185,902, a year to year increase of 18.5 percent. The median price for a condominium in September of 2013 was $165,000, an increase of 6.4 percent over last September.
"With sales remaining at high levels, and prices trending higher, we continue to be optimistic about the Sarasota Real Estate Market, said SAR President Roger Piro. "Interest rates have been up and down in recent months, but still at relatively low levels, which helps the market. The economy has been hindered by the recent government shutdown, but through that period our market has remained steady and strong."
The inventory of properties on the market increased slightly to 3,942, but remains low, especially in the under $200,000 range. We currently have 4.4 months of inventory for single family homes, and 4.0 months of inventory for condos. A 6 month supply is generally considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers. We continue to be in a seller's market at this time.
This is a great time to place a property on the market to sell. The low inventory has caused new home construction to surge. National and local builders are scrambling to buy land for new communities and struggling to satisfy the strong demand of current buyers.
The distressed market of short sales and foreclosures account for 569 listings in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, or 14.4 percent of available properties. Sales of distressed properties represented 23.9 percent of all sales. This figure was 37.1 percent in September of 2012 so this aspect of the market is trending downward.
A note of caution, the number of foreclosure cases backlogged in Florida courts is just under 300,000 and there are thousands more in the pipeline. New foreclosure laws backed by the banks designed to speed up the foreclosure process have actually had the reverse effect and slowed the process down. In addition, the low inventory is probably related to the number of homeowners with properties worth less than the amount owed on them. In other words, this aspect of the market is going to be with us for years to come.
"If we have our traditional pattern of increased sales in October through the end of the year, the Sarasota real estate industry should remain on course for an excellent year," said Piro. "Local agents are busy and enthusiastic, and buyers are certainly benefiting from the high-quality of properties in our market."
Those of us in the business are very grateful that the Sarasota Real Estate Market Remains HOT In September.