Local Home Market Weathers Government Headwinds, Further Gains Seen


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, February 7th, 2014 – As some analysts expected earlier, the 16-day shutdown of the U.S. government in October had no significant effect on the local property market, particularly on single family home sales, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports. The fluctuations in the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate which ranged between 4.13% and 4.28% for the month appear to have had no adverse repercussion on the local market as well, the full service realty firm adds.

Despite the government shutdown and interest rate gains, Sarasota single family (SF) homes sold in October rose 6.8% to 582 from September’s 545 and by 7.1% from 518 a year earlier. In Manatee, SF home sales in October likewise rose 18.4% to 483 from the 408 residences sold in September and in October 2012.

Right-priced homes sell fast

The continuing lively home market activity in the two counties is also mirrored in the declines of the median days on market (DOM) of properties that went under contract during the month. In Sarasota, SF homes’ median DOM in October stood at 86, down 5.5% from 91 days in the same month last year.Similarly, Manatee SF homes’ median DOM in October declined 10.1% to 45 from 50 days in the same month last year.

In some cases, a high quality, well-priced property can be snapped up by a buyer less than a week after its listing. Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes that these fast-selling homes underscore the value of working with an experienced realtor who can assist a seller in setting the right price on the home for sale.

In the Sarasota Golf Club, for instance, one recent sale was that of a residence priced at $200,000 and was listed for just five days in the market. Built in 1979, this home is designed with three bedrooms and two baths within its floor plan of nearly 1,900 square feet.

Pending sales up

The increased number of Sarasota residential properties, including single family homes and condos, that went under contract in October indicate no let up in the advance of the local home market. These October pending sales, many of which are properties in golf communities, rose 9.33% in October to 820 from 750 in September.

In Laurel Oak Estates just south of Sarasota Golf Club, three out of about a dozen sales-listed properties are already on the pending list of the current MLS. Two are luxury homes built in the 1990s and priced around the $1.2-million level, flaunting floor plans in the 5,000-plus square footage.

Some price cuts

Prospective buyers visiting this residential neighborhood of Laurel Oak Golf and Country Club will also find sales-listed residences at reduced prices in the $400s and the $500s. These Sarasota homes for sale are of three-bedroom designs and have floor areas measuring around 2,400 square feet.

In most cases, price cuts result when sellers overprice, and thus, their property fails to draw enough buyer interest. Again, this emphasizes the value of an expert realtor’s advice in making listed homes move faster in the market, Sarasota Bay Real Estate says.