Sarasota-Manatee Home Market Tracks a Record Pace


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 9th, 2015 – These are exciting times in the Southwest Florida residential property market as real estate experts predict that sales of existing homes in Manatee and Sarasota counties will hit new record highs in 2015 and that this robust performance will be carried over to the early months of 2016.

For the first 10 months of 2015, sales of condos and single family homes in Sarasota already stood 630 ahead of a year earlier. Just an average of 560 monthly sales would be needed in November‒December to break the historic high of 11,550 set in 2014.

A similar record pace is playing out in the Manatee’s residential property market where the 10-month sales in 2015 stood at 660 deals over the same period last year. Total condo and single family home sales in the county would need only to average 360 in November and December to surpass the all-time sales of 8,004 achieved here in 2013.

Sellers have the upper hand

Sarasota-Manatee Home Market Tracks a Record Pace

The slim inventory of Manatee-Sarasota homes for sale is the only factor which could have a dampening effect on the market’s record pace. Months of supply in the two counties as of October 2015 were estimated at between 3.5 and 3.9 months. This level is notably well under the 6-month equilibrium and indicates a market wherein sellers have the pricing advantage.

Nonetheless, month-to-month inventory improvements have been registered in October compared with September. The October stock of condos and single family homes for sale Sarasota rose from the previous month by about 6 percent to 3,533. In the same comparative period, Manatee’s home inventory increased by some 4 percent to 2,682.

Further inventory pick up seen

Realtors are optimistic that more condos and single family homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee would be made available in the early months of 2016 as the seasonal market activity approaches its peak. They note that prospective sellers typically test the market at the height of the season like what was experienced in February of 2014 and 2013 during which home market inventories hit peak levels.

Recent strong gains in prices, particularly for single family homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee, could indeed encourage more sellers to engage the market. In October, the median home price for single family homes in Sarasota rose year over year by nearly 18 percent to $230,000, while condos’ median price increased by 5.7 percent to $185,000.

Double-digit percentage surges were posted in Manatee, with single family homes’ median price rising 12.1 percent to $259,000. Condos’ median price in the county advanced nearly 30 percent to $170,500 in October.

Market retains popularity

Industry analysts say that the recent strong rise in home prices “has largely been a healthy trend” and likely to be tempered moving forward by expected gains in market inventory. Local observers also note that prospective buyers appear undeterred by the rise in price levels of Manatee and Sarasota homes for sale.

They explain that Southwest Florida has remained a popular destination of prospective buyers who have been egged on by recent favorable market ratings on the region. Notable among these positive reviews was the Gallup poll earlier this year which put the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area on top of large U.S. communities with the best score in terms of well-being.