Prices Rise Despite Lower Inventory, Slower Sales

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Houses in this market aren’t selling as quickly, and the inventory of homes on the market is multiples higher than last year. But prices in Sarasota and Manatee continue to steadily rise.

As of the end of January, median sales prices for single-family homes were at $505,710 in Manatee County, a 5.4% increase over last tear, and $459,999 in Sarasota County, just a 1% decrease. For condos, the median sales price reached $345,000 in Manatee and $417,500 in Sarasota, representing year-over-year increases of 14.6% and 19.3% respectively.

Meanwhile, Manatee County has a 3.2-month inventory of homes for product in both categories and Sarasota has a 2.7-month inventory. That’s about 400% higher than the available stock in January of 2022. That’s not spread out evenly — Manatee has a 700% higher inventory of condos than it did last year — but in all categories the supply is growing faster than buyers can take homes off the market.

At the same down, real estate professionals generally consider a six-month supply of homes to be a balanced market. By that definition, both counties remain seller’s markets. But the trends have agents urging clients to sell when a good offer comes.

“Real estate remains a preferred asset and is still considered to be one of the safest investments for luxury tier buyers,” wrote Michael Moulton, a Michael Saudners and Company Realtor, on his real estate blog. “Even though the pace of appreciation will ebb and flow, economists believe home values will continue to grow in the coming year. If you are a potential seller, as we enter peak selling season now is a great time to list your property. We are in a market where sitting on the sidelines will likely not result in a sizeable increase in asset value of your current residence.”

That said, professional associations tracking real estate trends still expect housing prices to rise in the immediate future.

“The real estate market in Sarasota and Manatee Counties continues to be less active than the same time last year with significant decreases in the number of closed sales across all property types,” said Brian Tresidder, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. “Despite the decrease in sales, median sales prices for all property types are still higher than last year, with the exception of Sarasota single-family homes, indicating that property values are holding steady.”

But of note, properties are sitting on the market for longer periods. The median time from list date to sale in Manatee County in January was 26 days for condos and 32 days for single-family homes, in both cases representing more than a 300% increase in wait times to make a sale. In Sarasota, the median time to contract was 19 days for condos and 29 days for single-family homes.

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