Rising Home Values May Help Ease Tight Inventory


There may be some relief in sight for residential property buyers whose playing field has been narrowed by the downtrend in available resale single family homes which dropped to a record low of 3.8 months inventory in the Sarasota estate market as of May 2015.

This year, marked improvements have been observed in Sarasota property values, a development enabling homeowners to build up their equity. This in turn can encourage some of them to sell for a home upgrade and thus open the possibility of additional sales listings in the months ahead.

According to the county’s property appraiser’s office, every local city in Sarasota posted substantial gains in property values in 2015. For the county itself, taxable values rose 7.2%, while the a gains of 6.8% was noted for the city of Sarasota, 9.4% for North Port, 6.5% for Venice, and 4.6% for Longboat Key.

Brisk price uptick

Rising Home Values May Help Ease Tight Inventory

The sustained uptrend in prices of Sarasota homes for sale likewise augur well for residential property owners eying the opportune time to engage the real estate market. In May 2015, the median price of single family homes sold in Sarasota County rose by 20.1% to $230,000 from $191,500 in the same month of 2014. The May gain follows a 13.1% increase in April and represents the sharpest increase during the past 12 months of continued price uptick.

The uptrend in prices of Sarasota homes for sale outpaced the national level which the real estate data provider CoreLogic Inc. estimated at 5.1% for the year-over-year May comparative period. Double-digit appreciation rates over the past year are notable in markets with high demand and limited supply, CoreLogic said.

Opportunities from unloading investors

Market observers are also closely watching the institutional investors who went on a real estate shopping spree for Southwest Florida properties starting 2012. There are indications that these investors, encouraged by the current home price gains, are starting to unload and cash in on the properties they acquired at basement bargain prices.

For the month of May, the price points under the $300s down to the mid-$100s appear as the market zone for these investors and homeowners seeking to derive gains from the increased prices of Sarasota homes for sale. While other price ranges declined in listings for the month, pre-owned Sarasota homes for sale priced in the mid-$150s to under the $300s posted increases of between 3% and 31%.

Some new offerings

As of early July 2015, new listings priced at the mid-$200s for resale Sarasota homes range from a two-bedroom, 1,668-square-foot home at the Venetian Golf & River Club to a three-bedroom, 1,323-square-foot residence at Venice East. Closer to the Sarasota downtown, Madison Park offers a fresh listing at the same price level for a three-bedroom home with a floor plan of 1,692 square feet.

Turning to new builds, the resort-style community of the Villas at Charleston Park in North Port has added a listing for a four-bedroom residence. A model home, it has a floor plan of 2,000+ square feet and a tag price in the low $200s.