Buying Mood May Improve as Home Price Spikes Soften


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August 23rd, 2016 – Now may be an opportune time to get into the market for those prospective buyers spooked by the double-digit percentage gains in Sarasota homes for sale since August 2015.

The median price of single family homes sold in the county rose by 7.8 percent to $248,000 in June 2016, the first single-digit percentage gain in 12 months. It compares with the 17.9 percent gain in June 2015 and the record pace of 28.7 percent posted in February of 2016.

Housing Bubble Seen Unlikely

Buying Mood May Improve as Home Price Spikes Soften

Linda Formella, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM), does believe that median sales prices will rise at a slower pace for the rest of 2016 in lockstep with the modest advance in home inventories. In a recent media interview, Formella also discounted the possibility of a housing bubble developing with the local home market’s torrid pace in the past two years. The market is “leveling off,” she said, adding that lender requirements are now much stricter than prior to the Great Recession.

The home loan borrowers who now qualify are more likely to be able to repay their mortgages, she maintained. Statistics from ATTOM Data Solutions bear out her assertion. Data from this real estate research outfit show that underwater homeowners in the Sarasota-Manatee region totaled 32,000 as of June 30. While still substantial, this record is down by some 16,500 homes, or by 34 percent, over the past year and has been reduced to less than half of the total two years ago.

Distressed Home Sales Waning

This downtrend is also evident in the continuing decline of distressed properties, short sales and foreclosures in Sarasota and Manatee. RASM reported that distressed sales accounted for 6.3 percent of total sales in the two counties for the month of June, which compares with the 13.4 percent share of short sales and foreclosures in the tally a year earlier. Single family homes accounted for 7.1 percent while condos represented 4.4 percent of the distressed sales in the two-county region.

Prospective buyers of Sarasota homes for sale in the distressed properties list may find the price offerings more attractive than counterparts in Manatee. Sarasota foreclosures’ $164,900 median price in June compares with the $220,700 estimated in Manatee. For short sales in the same month, the median price in Sarasota was registered at $172,500 and at $181,000 in Manatee.

Watch for Picks Here

De Soto Lakes in Sarasota would be one good community to keep in a watch list for foreclosures and short sales at prices just under the $200s range. Early in August 2016, a three-bedroom single family home with a floor area of nearly 1,500 square feet on a lot of nearly half an acre in this neighborhood was listed as a foreclosure with a tag price of $196,000.

Prospective buyers though have to be on their toes for such buying opportunity as it typically won’t last long in listings of Sarasota homes for sale. One of the five recent deals on distressed properties in De Soto Lakes, which involved a three-bedroom, 2,164-square-foot residence priced a shade under $155,000, was closed after just two days of the property’s listing in the market.