Expect Less Fence-Sitting Home Sellers in 2017


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, February 9th 2017 – It appears that there’d be not much fence-sitting this year for prospective sellers of Sarasota homes for sale. The solid gains in local home prices achieved last year are likely to be sustained and provide a strong incentive for them to engage the market.

Sound economic fundamentals point to continuing strength of the local market. At the same time, Sarasota properties are getting tremendous marketing mileage this year.

In a Realtors’ forum held this January in Orlando, several economists noted that the economic recovery in Florida has been much stronger than the nation at large. Their consensus was that the Sunshine State outperformed other U.S. markets in 2016 mainly because of better job creation and diminishing foreclosures, trends which are quite evident in Sarasota.

Positive Views on Mortgage Rates

Expect Less Fence-Sitting Home Sellers in 2017h

Speakers at the 2017 Florida Real Estate Trends observed too that home choices in the Florida market remain relatively fewer. Developers have yet to initiate new construction enough to meet current demand, the forum’s resource persons maintain. Industry reading likewise indicates that many owners of existing homes have been reluctant to put their properties on the market as they don’t want to lose the rock-bottom mortgage rate that they currently pay.

Chances are high though that fence-sitting homeowners would increasingly find the market more engaging this year. Even as post-election interest rates are on the uptick, this uptrend seems not dampening the market.

The chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, believes that as long as mortgage rates remain at the current 4‒5 percent range, the current strong pace of U.S. home sales is likely to be maintained. As per Yun’s estimates, the country’s home sales in 2016, registered at 5.5 million units, was “the best in a decade” though still overshadowed by the 7.2 million sales record in 2006.

Price Gains Consistent

In Sarasota County, the double-digit increases in home prices for most of last year provide an incentive for prospective sellers. The local market closed 2016 on a vibrant note even as sales of single family homes dipped 6.1 percent to 617 residences in December. Their prices for the month were still remarkably up 10.3 percent to $264,500 from $239,900 in December 2015.

Sarasota condos for sale are on a perky mood as well, with total December sales up 12.5 percent to nearly 300 units. Their median sale price dipped slightly though by 1.1 percent to $217,000 from $219,500 a year earlier.

Buying and selling activity can also be expected to draw some steam this 2017 from the steady rise in the market’s inventory. Single family homes available on the market as of December stand at 4.5 months’ supply and now near the 5.5-month equilibrium wherein neither buyer nor seller got a pricing advantage.

Boosts for Area Marketing

Further optimism this year could be drawn too from the marketing mileage expected not only from the World Rowing Championships that Sarasota and Manatee counties are hosting around September 2017. Also providing bright notes are recent reaffirmations of the region’s high ranking as a destination for prospective home buyers.

This January, an online poll of Coastal Living Magazine named Sarasota as third-happiest seaside town, next to Grand Haven, Michigan, and Orleans, Massachusetts. Another recent rating by WalletHub, which placed Florida at the top of the best places to retire, exactly shows off most of Sarasota’s strength.

With 65-year-olds dominating the local population, friendliness carried Florida to the top of the heap. Pushing the Sunshine State too are its strengths in theaters and museums per capita, tax climate, cost of living, in-home services, and life expectancy. All these are prime movers also for the Sarasota market where there may be less fence-sitting for home sellers this year.