August Stats Falling In Line
Sarasota Association of Realtors has come to the decision with 5 other Realtor Associations in the area that the way they have previously recorded their monthly statistics was not an accurate representation of the areas sales. Now, statistics will be recorded on the area and county, instead of recording by members’ association representation. These statistics are going to be a slightly different representation of previous versions recorded and will no longer represent SAR-member sales exclusively. They will now accurately represent all sales activity and transactions taking place in Sarasota County.
Taking a look exclusively at Sarasota County sales transactions, area members fell short of the quadruple digit marker, but still came pretty close. With August sales reaching an impressively high 957 total sales, we are still seeing a very plentiful summer month in our local real estate market. August fell only a dozen sales less ten the month prior, but still 11.6% higher than this time last year.
Getting Closer to a Seller's Market
Taking a look at a typical seasons for our local market, we usually find that the summer months of July through August yield a lower amount of sales transaction for the year. We are finding that 2013 is boasting record breaking numbers with an extremely high amount of contracts being written and only a few not making it passed the closing table. Along with elevated sales, comes inflated prices for the current supply on hand. We are seeing such a seller’s market where more homes are appraising for financing and even more sellers are seeing final prices closer to the asking price.
Median Prices on the Increase
Looking at the median prices for the month of August is still another satisfying fact for sellers in the area. Sarasota sales have reported a median price of $195,000 for single family homes. This is 30% higher than last year’s figure of $150,000 and last month’s figure in July of $189,900. Seeing prices of single family homes on the rise does not always mean that condominium prices follow suit. This month however, we do see that condo prices are on the up and up this month as well.
In August, members reported a median price of $161,000 for Sarasota County condos. This figure is marginally higher than July’s figure of $159,000 and last year’s number of $148,889. A 7.1% increase within the year for condos in Sarasota County. "The Sarasota County real estate market is healthy and robust," said SAR President Roger Piro. "Clearly, the single family home market is currently leading the way, with the median sale price up 30 percent from last August. This is a competitive market, with low inventory and demand still at a fever pitch."
Supply & Demand
Looking at the pending sales for the month of August, we find that members reported 864 total pending sales for the area. This is a 1.7% increase from the previous month’s figure of 849. The pending sales represent the total number of properties that went under contract during the month to give us a better idea of the sales to come in the future months. Seeing the trend of rising sales prices and fewer days on the market, this is prompting more sellers to make that decision of selling their home and finally taking action toward this goal. With activity trending toward a seller’s market and they know this, we are experiencing a better inventory for our market. It’s all about supply and demand. In August, months of inventory stood at 4.2 months in Sarasota County for single family homes and 4.0 months for condos. With both types of properties in such demand being well below the 6 month marker we are seeing an unbalanced market of buyers and seller which normally stands at 6 months balanced.
"The basic law of sales is true for real estate," said Piro," lower supply for a valued, sought after product generally yields higher prices; and real estate in Sarasota County is a highly valued commodity." We have seen a slight increase in our Sarasota County inventory of 3,793 from the previous month’s figure of 3,747. Seeing a decline of inventory usually results in an increase in price due to the competitive nature to own a piece of our local paradise. The month of July 2013 was the lowest point of inventory in the past 12 month time period. Dropping a dramatic 15% from February 2013’s figures of 4,491 and last August’s number of 3,953 to August 2013’s insightful, yet still depressing reported number.
There is great news pertaining to our inventory numbers - the number of short sales and foreclosures are still on the decline. Only 499 properties were reported in Sarasota County this month making up only 13.2% of homes for sale on the MLS. This figure is certainly down from last month’s figure making up a whopping 22.7% and last year’s figure making up a depressing 34%. This decline represents the healthy nature of our real estate economy and less distressed home owners.
Balance of 2013 Looking Good!
"We are optimistic that the remainder of 2013 will continue the positive trend in local real estate, and judging by the amount of foot traffic reported at open houses, the multiple property offers and the generally positive economy, we anticipate a great year and continued success into 2014," said Piro.
If we stay on the track that we are headed in we are likely to see a record breaking year of sales and economic stability for our local area of Sarasota County. It’s certainly a great sign with the rise in median prices, number of sale transactions taking place, more inventory becoming available, and fewer distressed properties. If this is how our “off-season” is performing, I can’t wait to see the standards of our upcoming fall season as buyers flock in to purchase their piece of paradise in Sarasota County.