Market Bounces Back After 2017 Slow Start

Real Estate


Uncertainty about the future after a surprising presidential election led to a dip in home sales in Southwest Florida, according to real estate experts, but confidence in the market has come back strong. The region in recent weeks has seen a few major sales on the high end of the market, leading to an increase in the median price of homes sold here, in addition to gains in numbers of sales over last year.

“That time of January and February that’s traditionally more busy for us was not busy,” says Roger Pettingell, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. “Whether you liked the results of the election of not, I don’t think the path was as clear after some elections. But a few months we later we are still in a thriving economy, and it’s still cold up north. The Sarasota market is still a great market and the smart money has started jumping back in.”

The Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee reports sales of single-family homes jumped 2.6 percent in Sarasota County and 11.7 percent in Manatee compared to March 2016. That comes after a major dip in sales in January, when sales dropped 8.8 percent in Sarasota and 7.3 percent in Manatee compared to January 2016. The March bounce means both counties have seen more sales of single-family homes in the first quarter of 2017 than in 2016. “It’s common to see an increase in sales when we near the end of our season,” explains Xena Vallone, 2017 president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. “And the bump in pending sales in March will likely lead to more closed sales in April and May.”

Pettingell on Friday sold a $6 million home in Harbor Acres. That means he ends April with a record $17 million in sales. That home benefitted from being in “probably the hottest neighborhood going” in town right now, Pettingill says. The 6,000-square-foot home also has a view of Sarasota Bay and the Ringling Bridge.

For the past 17 years, Pettingell has been Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s top producer in the state of Florida. The long-time agent says the market any number of times has taken a hit from a national news event—the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, the historic hurricane season of 2005, even 9/11 in 2001. “I’ve come to know these things pass,” he says. “What you need to worry about is trends, not blips in the market.”

Graphic courtesy Realtor Association of Manatee and Sarasota

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