Economic Data Reveal Time is Opportune for Sarasota Home Sellers


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, July, 29, 2013 – Prospective home sellers stand to attract a sizable selection of home buyers, based on recent economic indicators from the national and local level, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reported. One encouraging sign, the full service realty firm noted, was the significant increase in consumer confidence which rose to 76.2 this May from 69 in April, as per the reading of the private research group Conference Board. The May level is the highest since February 2008, two months following the onset of the Great Recession.

Another source of encouragement for home sellers is provided by reports of rising home prices across the U.S. The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller home price index showed an 11% increase year over year in March, the sharpest 12-month gain since April 2006. Notably, home prices advanced in all 20 cities tracked in this index, one of the major benchmarks used by Wall Street investors in feeling the pulse of the U.S. economy.

Prices up on low inventory

Local price conditions indeed appear ripe for homeowners eying to upgrade their residence and put their current residential property in the market. Median prices of single family homes for sale in Sarasota rose 24% to $217,000 in April from $175,000 a year earlier, according to data from the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR).

A thinning inventory of available Sarasota homes for sale is also driving prices higher. For April, SAR reported that available home inventory was near its lowest level in 10 years, dropping to 3,479 from the 3,643 in March. On a year over year basis, a 19% decline was registered.

Statistics from the association also indicate that short sale or foreclosed residential properties in the market exert no significant downward pressure on prices. Sales of distressed properties in Sarasota accounted for about 22% of the total sales in April 2013, down significantly from their 30% share March figure and significantly below the 51% registered in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Foreclosure Sales Down 30%

Real estate sales

This trend is mirrored in national figures which showed that short sales and foreclosures had an 18% share in total April home sales, down from the 28% slice a year earlier. Significantly, the declining presence of distressed properties in the market has not lead to lower sales, an indication that a growing number of buyers are more interested in regular listings and lesser are those in search of short sales or foreclosures.

The Tamaron community in central Sarasota is one neighborhood where available distressed properties are things of the past. In this stable, deed-restricted neighborhood, steady sales have been noted in recent years and current listings are few, mirroring the declining availability of Sarasota homes for sale.

There are only three active Tamaron home listings in the current MLS with one in the pending list and a new property just added. One choice is for a four-bedroom residence with a floor area of 1,600-plus square feet offered at the mid $100s. The new listing features three bedrooms and two baths within a floor area of close to 1,700 square feet at an asking price in the mid $200s.