Sarasota-Manatee County Real Estate Market Goes Through The Worst Of Coronavirus In April But Back On The Rise


April took a big hit in the real estate market across the country due to the coronavirus and the state’s shut down. Sarasota and Manatee County were no exception,

“For some, this pandemic caused a shift in their attention away from their real estate needs, yet it seems it was only for a short time, and nowhere near the extent we thought possible,” said David Clapp, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.”

A total of 1,628 closed sales were reported in April for the two-county area, a 23.8% decrease from the same time last year, according to the data compiled by Florida Realtors. In Sarasota, single-family sales decreased by 20.3% to 632 sales and condo sales decreased by 29.3% to 314 sales. Manatee single-family homes decreased by 21.2% to 499 sales while condo sales decreased by 30.9% to 183 sales, the Realtor Association reported in a news release.

The good news, it wasn’t near as bad as expected and it has been recovering since, with a weekly increase. The worst points of the crisis between the end of March through mid April. The main problem currently faced in the industry is the lack of inventory on the market. Buyers have begun coming back out as restrictions ease, however, many sellers are holding out to put their home on the market waiting for the economy to recover before selling their home.

“The month’s supply of inventory reflects a sellers’ market in April. Sarasota condo inventory decreased by 25.8% to a 4.6-months’ supply and Manatee condos decreased by 6.4% to a 4.4-months’ supply. Sarasota single-family homes decreased by 30% to a 3.5-months’ supply and Manatee single-family homes fell to 3.3-months, a 17.5% decrease from last year.”

As there have been fewer homes for sale in the month of April, the ones that have been selling remained on the market for a significantly less amount of time than usual, about 40-45% less time on the market than the same time last year. This is likely due to the low supply and high demand as buyers are looking to quickly complete their sales during uncertain times. The median price for a home sold in April nationally was $286,800, which was an increase of 7.4% from a year ago. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors group, attributed the big jump in the median price to a lack of enough homes for sale, especially for first-time buyers. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that last month’s decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million units, the slowest pace since September 2011.

The market has certainly changed to the times, many buyers are looking to own larger homes as the reality of working from home and schooling becomes the new norm. For all, it will take some time to transition and adapt to these changes but with the easing of restriction in Sarasota-Manatee County and the re-opening of businesses, this will help buyers and sellers feel more confident and ready to make the step to sell or buy a home.

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