More Competitive Home Prices: A Driver for Sarasota Region?


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, February 19, 2018 – There are indications that the Sarasota‒Manatee region could outperform other Florida housing markets this 2018, with our area’s more attractive price ranges.

Recent statistics from real estate data-cruncher CoreLogic show that recent price increases of homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee are more moderate as compared not only state-wide but also nationally.

Two Percentage Points Slower

CoreLogic estimated that in December, home prices in Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port metropolitan area rose by 3.8 percent year-over-year. As per data from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, the median home sales price stood at $275,000 for December in Sarasota County and at $317,500 in Manatee.

The good news for prospective buyers seeking the best value for their money is that at these levels, home price acceleration in our region continued to be below the overall price appreciation in the state and nationwide for the eighth consecutive month. In December, CoreLogic’s reading showed a 5.8 percent increase in home prices across Florida, while a 6.6 percent spike was observed nationally during the same month. One-third of the 100 largest metropolitan areas housing markets in the country are now overvalued, the research firm also said.

Looking ahead, CoreLogic predicts another year of home price growth across Florida. It projects home prices to rise by 6.4 percent in the state during 2018, which would outpace the forecast of 4.3 percent for the entire U.S.

Job growth which cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a 17-year record low of 4.1 percent at year end, CoreLogic says, augurs well for the country’s home market. Better income prospects and rising consumer confidence, it adds, have boosted the number of prospective home buyers.

Outperform Factors

Beachfront Living

Meanwhile, for our region’s housing market, tailwinds could be derived from the earlier reported strong economic growth potential of the North Port‒Sarasota‒Bradenton metropolitan area which largely results from its diversifying business and industry profile.

Furthermore, the local real estate market should benefit as well from Florida sustaining its pole position amongst aspiring home buyers. The website, in a recent forecast, has again named Florida amongst the 10 states it predicts to have strong housing markets in 2018.

The plus-factors it cited include much of those that could be found in the Sarasota‒Manatee region, such as the appeal of beachfront living, warm weather, and a spate of active-lifestyle opportunities. With these as Florida’s strengths, says the most popular destinations for home buying in the Sunshine State are expected to post growth of over 5 percent this year.

What could further rev up the Florida home market too is its sustained popularity as a retirees’ destination. For 2017, the personal finance website SmartAsset listed Florida as the country’s No. 1 state with positive net immigration (more moving in than relocating out) of folks more than 60 years old.

Inventory Hurdle

Inventory Scarcity

Teaming up with a well-networked realtor though would remain crucial in order to bag a value-for-money deal on Manatee and Sarasota homes for sale. Home inventory in our region remains relatively low, and the local market very much remains in seller’s territory.

The December inventory of single family homes in Sarasota was registered at a 4.1-month supply and at a 4.2-month supply in Manatee County. Both are notably well below the 5.5-month balanced supply wherein neither buyer nor seller has the edge in pricing.