Inventory Catching Up as More Spec Homes Rise


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, May 13th, 2016 – The tight supply in the region’s home market appears easing as months supply of inventory has been on the rise both in Sarasota and Manatee since January of 2016. After hitting a low of 3.5 months in 2015 in both counties, the stock of available homes for sale in March rose to 4.7 months supply in Sarasota and to 4.8 months in Manatee.

This home inventory build-up towards the market equilibrium of 5.5 months supply, which favors neither seller nor buyer with regards to pricing, could be attributed to builders becoming more positive about the market’s outlook. Industry observers noted that builders are now more confident about starting home construction even without a buyer and that spec homes have a distinctive appeal to some buyers.

Why Quick Move-ins Sell

Inventory Catching Up as More Spec Homes Rise

For these prospective buyers, the strongest motivation is seeing the actual residence that draws their interest instead of just viewing home features on a brochure or a computer screen. Some builders also believe that brand new, quick move-in residences comparably priced with pre-owned older homes are more appealing to many potential buyers.

Neal Communities is amongst the homebuilders which recently stepped up spec homebuilding. In November 2015, this Lakewood Ranch company said it has doubled the spec homes it is building to 120 units, comprising about 10 percent of its total sales.

Several of these quick move-in ready residences were constructed in the Central Park community of Lakewood Ranch. Priced in the $400s range, these Sarasota homes for sale come in one or two-story designs, featuring three to four bedrooms within floor plans of between 2,230 and 2,453 square feet.

Ready Custom Collection

Speculative homebuilding is likewise notable at price points that were previously the domain of custom-home construction. At The Concession, an upscale golf community in Bradenton, John Cannon Homes is building its Key West-style model, The Victoria, for completion this December. Flaunting a four-bedroom layout within a floor area of close to 5,900 square feet, it was listed in April 2016 amongst Sarasota homes for sale with a tag price approaching $2.5 million.

In the newly opened The Islands of Manatee River, Javic Homes is also expected to complete this year its model, The Chelsea, a three-bedroom waterfront home with a floor area of 2,328 square feet. This luxury offering has a quoted price of $1.05 million.

D.R. Horton’s Harvest

The big guns of the U.S. housing industry with presence in the region are building spec homes as well. Amongst them is D.R. Horton which has lined up quick move-in Sarasota homes for sale in several communities including Soleil, Bent Tree, Vilano, and Bay Street.

The selections which this builder offers in these neighborhoods are homes priced from the $200s up to the $400s, featuring floor plans ranging from 1,200 square feet up to about 4,400 square feet. D.R. Horton’s top spec homes are located in West of the Trail neighborhoods where it has available residences priced in the million-dollar range and designed with up to five bedrooms within floor plans of between 3,700 and 4,400 square feet.