Even The Birds Are Talking About Sarasota's October Real Estate Sales! Sales moderated somewhat in October in the Sarasota Real Estate Market with a total of 818 properties changing hands. Of those, 582 were single family homes and 236 were condos.
More good news for sellers, the median sales price for a single family home rose to $185,776 compared to $166,500 the same time last year, a 11.6 percent increase. The median price for a condo rose to $175,000 compared to $145,000 last year, a 20.7 percent increase.
"There was definitely a shift in October toward single family and away from condos," said SAR President Roger Piro. "That might be a function of the price escalation, which was far more pronounced in the condo category. Also in October, there were fewer properties on the market priced under $200,000 than last year, and more priced above $200,000. So bargain hunters have had to adjust their sights upward, where there are more deals to be found."
The shortage of inventory in the Sarasota Real Estate Market has begun to moderate with an actual increase to 4,032 properties on the market. This is the first time since April 2013 that the inventory has risen above 4,000. There is currently 4.8 months of inventory for single family homes and 5.5 months for condos. Months of inventory is the number of months it would take to deplete the inventory at the current rate of sales. A 6 month inventory is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.
Pending sales at the end of October in the Sarasota Real Estate Market stood at 820. This would indicate a higher number of sales in November.
Bank-owned or short sale properties currently account for 14.1 percent of all properties listed for sale. In October 2012 this figure was 15.5. While the percentage of distressed properties continues to decline, fears of a shadow inventory continue to haunt the market. Recent laws designed to speed up the foreclosure process have resulted in an initial slowdown. Florida remains number one in the country for foreclosures.
Other issues affecting real estate in the Sarasota Real Estate Market are the unknown outcome of the new flood insurance regulations and the end of the hedge fund buying spree. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 has opened flood insurance issues that will need to be addressed. In the earlier part of the year many first time buyers and others were pushed out of the market by the aggressive buying spree of major hedge funds. That buying has stopped for now. In the wake of all that prices rose substantially (good for sellers and those whose mortgages were under water).
Cash sales are also close to 60% or higher in some areas. This is historic and due to the stricter underwriting guidelines by lenders, the hedge fund purchases and retirees relocating to Sarasota and not wanting to be burdened with a mortgage.
As usual in the Sarasota Real Estate Market, there is a lot to talk about. Even The Birds Are Talking About Sarasota's October Real Estate Sales!