A Sweet '16 in Sight

On Real Estate

BY SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY JAN 2, 2016

As 2015 comes to a close, Sarasota Real Estate Market Data is proving that some predictions can come true –Sarasota real estate sales are certain to break all-time records for number of sales, and in some price categories, dollar volume, as well.  The number of November closings increased over prior year setting the stage for this milestone.  Early data for December sales, as reported by TrendGraphix, indicates that closings are pacing at nearly 20% ahead of last year, contributing to analyst projections that 2015 will indeed exceed last year’s historic high.

As pundits and prognosticators peddle their predictions for 2016 to the media, it becomes evident that as has been said in my blogs before–real estate is a local sport. Experts speak of waning sales nationally, price escalation flattening across most of the country and builder confidence softening in the next 12-months. Yet Sarasota’s incoming migration is predicted to grow at a minimum of 3 percent per year over the next several years, unemployment has fallen to sustainable levels, the local economy is diversifying to ensure long-term robustness, regional new construction is reaching new heights–impeded only by available labor and product. It doesn’t take much to reason that we are on track for a “Sweet ’16.”

Despite some global financial markets making U.S. investment more expensive than the last many years, international buyers still deem acquisition of American Real Estate to be a solid security, especially in coastal communities. With a large percentage of buyers in the Sarasota Real Estate Market coming from Canada, Western Europe and Latin American, international interest in the area is not expected to diminish in the foreseeable future.  One of the many reasons I continue to value being a member of the Michael Saunders & Company team are the exclusive relationships the company has established with distinctive international brokerages, allowing me to tap our global partners to reach buyers for our luxury Sarasota Real Estate listings.

As has been written about in one of my recent blog posts, the Baby Boomer population is another of our “sweet” spots and, with the majority of my luxury sales being to this group, I am also noticing their ability and desire to close their transactions in cash, taking any change in the mortgage rates coming next year out of the equation.

Add our stunning waterfront, exceptional year-round climate (ok maybe a little warm this December,) abundant recreational and cultural activities available, extraordinary dining and shopping for every taste, I see no change to this year’s single challenge – excess demand over supply.  In my opinion, the only impediment to repeating 2015’s Sarasota Real Estate Market success lies in bringing enough new listings of existing and new inventory to our eager buyers.

The following data reflects reporting through the local, state and national realtor associations, as well as a number of other statistical providers nationwide.  With the real estate market representing one of Florida’s most important economic drivers, there is never a shortage of analysts and experts reading the tea leaves.

  • National sales this last month fell 3.8 percent compared to Sarasota real estate’s growth over prior year. What is happening in the rest of the country is far more tied to temperatures and the seasons, school schedules, even commodities such as oil.  Sarasota’s activity does indeed swell in the winter months when we welcome the most visitors, but the fluctuations tend to be less severe than felt elsewhere in the US.
  • Total sales in November in the Sarasota Real Estate Market were up 8.2 percent from the same month a year ago. ◦In Sarasota single-family closings increased 9.5 percent and condos rose 7.3 percent over November 2014.
  • In contrast, Florida’s single-family transactions increased just 1.9 percent and condos were up 5.7 percent.
  • Nationally, single-family sales were down 4.6 percent to prior year and condos were only up 1.7 percent.
  • The year has been strong–total sales have grown 7 percent year to date from the end of 2014. 

Some real estate analysts believe that the new mortgage rules tied to the TRID regulations–referred to as “Know Before you Owe,” may have contributed to the national slowdown this last month, and that as realtors, mortgage providers and buyers become more accustomed to the new guidelines the time from application to closing will likely decrease.

Michael Moulton is a certified residential specialist broker-associate with Michael Saunders and Company.

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