Sarasota Home Foreclosure Sales Wane as Price Discount Thins


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, June 6th, 2014 – Prospective buyers looking for foreclosures and short sales in Sarasota County expecting dollar discounts in the tens of thousands may be in for some disappointment, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports. There aren’t too many of these distressed properties anymore, the realty firm adds, and their price gap from the conventional Sarasota homes for sale has already narrowed substantially.

Nonetheless, purchases of these distressed Sarasota homes for sale at prices approximating their former attractive levels can still be fruitful, the full service realty company believes. However, it adds that this would necessitate having a seasoned realtor as a buyer’s partner in the property search.

State and national signposts

There are indicators on the state and national levels that foreclosure inventory is indeed shrinking.

Recent statistics from RealtyTrac provide one of these signposts. Data from the analytics firm showed that home foreclosures in Florida were on the general downtrend from quarter to quarter in 2013. In Sarasota, foreclosures were reported to have declined by 17% since 2012.

These drops reflect the continuing downward trend on the national level.  For its U.S.-wide estimate, RealtyTrac reported that foreclosures were already at their lowest since 2007.

Unabated drop seen

The downtrend seems continuing locally even as Florida foreclosures still top national statistics. Data from the research firm CoreLogic showed that in the North Port-Sarasota-Manatee metropolitan statistical area (MSA), the November foreclosure rate slipped to 6.04% in November. This compares with the 9.6% rate in November 2012 for the MSA.

Records of Sarasota homes sold in December likewise indicate that the foreclosure wave is on the wane. For the month, sales of distressed properties accounted for 22.5% of the 920 total single family homes and condos sold in the county. This slice is significantly below the 29.3% share recorded in November and the 29.7% foreclosure sales in December 2012.

In the MLS list of Sarasota homes for sale in December, a total of 552 properties were listed as short sales or foreclosures. This compares to the 567 listed in November 2013 and the 596 properties in October. The December count represents 12.5% of available properties, slightly lower than November’s 13.2 % and substantially below the 15.7% level posted in December 2012.

Narrowing price disparity

The calibrated release of bank-owned residential properties into the market has also been cited by market analysts as contributing to the tightening market inventory of distressed properties. Moreover, banks are reportedly pricing their foreclosures closer to the levels of conventional sales so as not to dampen the recent gains in home prices and harm the healing of the residential property market.

The narrowing of the gap of prices of foreclosures and regular home sales can be seen in two MLS-listed properties at Palmer Glen, a community just northeast of the Palmer Ranch master-planned development. One bank-owned property in this neighborhood had a $345,000 pending contract. This is only slightly under the $349,500 price of another Palmer Glen residence that sold under a conventional sale. Both are four-bedroom residences with floor plans of around 2,700 square feet.