Foreclosure Market Appears Tightening


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, January 26th 2017 – Brace for some diligent searching and pencil-pushing if your home buying in Sarasota or Manatee in 2017 is focused on foreclosure, REOs or short sales. The supply of distressed properties on the two-county market looks likely to further diminish, resulting in a sustained rise in their median prices.

A continued tightening of sales-listed foreclosures in the Sarasota-Manatee area is foretold by the recently reported dive to a 10-year low in 2016 of foreclosure activity in the region. According to the real estate analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions, total filings of foreclosures in the two counties plunged 86 percent last year from their historic highs during the Great Recession.

Market Normalcy Returns

Foreclosure Market Appears Tightening

Foreclosure filings in the two counties last year totaled 2,923 cases, 0.72 percent or one for every 138 homes in the area. These ATTOM figures show a 44 percent decline from 2015 and a dramatic drop from the peak 20,507 filings recorded in the 2009 onset of the housing market crisis. At the current levels, the Southwest Florida region appears back to what analysts rate as a normal number of home foreclosures.

Return to normalcy is likewise evident in neighboring Charlotte County. Foreclosure activity in this county also ebbed to its lowest level since 2006. Charlotte reported 1,091 foreclosure filings in 2016, down 39 percent year over year and 84 percent off from the peak of 6,889 in 2010.

REOs Sales Plunge

The decline in foreclosure filings has resulted in corresponding drops in distressed home sales in the local market in 2016. In Sarasota alone, monthly declines of over half from 2015 levels have been recorded. While this contributed to an overall sales slowdown last year, local realtors nonetheless agree that the declining foreclosure sales bode well for the market’s overall health.

In November, Sarasota sales of foreclosures/REOs slipped 57.1 percent to just 24 single family homes from the 56 sold a year earlier. The limited supply translated into a 26.3 percent spike in their median price to $165,500 from $131,000 in 2015.

Some Fresh Choices to Consider

Around this median price range, there are a few new listings which came onto the MLS of Sarasota homes for sale this January. One promising prospect is at the community of Sun Haven just off north of Clark Road. With a floor area of nearly 1,600 square feet, this pool home is designed with three bedrooms and two baths. Built in the late 1950s, it will require some updates, however.

Sarasota Springs has another potential choice in a four-bedroom home off north of Weber Street. Constructed in 1970, this centrally located residence features a floor plan of 1,233 square feet, a covered patio and fenced backyard.

Two Ways to Go at Venice Gardens

An attractively priced pool home in Venice Gardens was likewise recently listed amongst Sarasota homes for sale. This residence off north of Briarwood Road was built in the early 1960s designed with two bedrooms and two baths within its floor area of 1,232 square feet.

There are other competitively priced options too in Venice Gardens which aren’t foreclosures/REOs or short sales. One of these is a new listing of a three-bedroom single family home priced slightly under the $200s. Built in 1972, its floor plan of nearly 1,700 square feet is designed with three bedrooms and two baths.