Sarasota Market Positioned For Growth

Real Estate


As the Sarasota Real Estate Market nears the end of peak selling season, it is hard not to be confident in our region's vitality. Our area has been buoyed by a record tourist season, equity recovery by households that held onto assets during the market downturn, consumer confidence in our driver markets and pent-up demand. 

Market fundamentals such as sales growth, median price increases, tight inventories and competitive real estate lending all fuel a sense of strength and stability. With many of the markets that are feeding buyers into Sarasota experiencing median prices three to four times as high and average square foot costs in excess of twice that of Sarasota, we continue to be considered "reasonable" value. One of our closest competitors for out-of-state buyers is Naples, where price per square foot costs are reported to be 25 percent higher than Sarasota. 

The peak selling season in regions of the country that the Sarasota Real Estate Market appeals to is just now starting.  As those property sales heat up, we will see demand in this area as sellers are freed up to search for second homes or relocations, creating potential for an extended selling season in Sarasota.  In fact, early data reported by Trengraphix indicates closed and pended properties reported so far for April are trending ahead of last year, further supporting the notion of a continued rise of sales ahead of last year's record season.

Recent surveys of potential real estate buyers in the U.S. revealed Americans believe residential real estate is considered the "safest" investment. Homebuilder sentiment this last month continued to indicate confidence in the continued strong demand for new homes, but that cost and availability of labor and potential rising building supply costs may force constrained growth for months to come.

First quarter 2015 sales are pacing 7 percent ahead of the same quarter 2014.  At the bottom of the market in 2008, sales were 50 percent less than this quarter.  At the height of the market run-up in 2005, first quarter sales were 13 percent less than our current results. It is clear this year is off to a strong start.

  • Total sales in March in the Sarasota Real Estate Market increased 14.3 percent from March 2014.
  • Single-family homes rose 13 percent over last year and condos rose 17 percent.
  • March sales were an impressive 43 percent greater than last month's total transactions.
  • The closed sales the past month is very close to the all-time high of 1,228 sales in April 2004.
  • The Sarasota Real Estate Market's all-cash transactions consistently exceed average around the country. 

If you have been pondering over when the right time to list your property is, there has not been a stable cycle like we are experiencing now in many years.  I believe that now is an extraordinary time to get into the game. 

Graphic: Statistical data is provided through the Sarasota Association of Realtors for properties throughout Sarasota County. The table summarizes what happened in each price segment. The Sold, Pending and Listed columns are sales and new listings for the month of the report, and the Pending Total and Listed Total are the current totals of each at the report's month end.

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

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