Sarasota Resale Homes Outpace New Builds


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 21st, 2013 – Here’s a piece of encouraging news for those homeowners thinking of selling their residence for an upgrade or change of domicile. Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports that housing figures for this July indicate that home buyers may be drifting more toward the market for existing homes.

According to statistics released by the Commerce Department in late August, purchases of new homes in the U.S. nosedived 13.4% in July from June to 394,000 annual pace, the steepest drop in over three years. Nonetheless, new home sales were still higher by 6.8% on a year-on-year comparison.

The demand falloff for new builds on a month-to-month basis is in contrast to the strong increase in existing-home sales during the month as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Hiccups on new home sales

According NAR data, completed transactions in the resale market for single family homes, condominiums, and co-ops totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July. This level represents a 6.5% increase from a downwardly revised 5.06 million units in June and a 17.2% gain over the 4.50 million in June 2012.

Notably, sales of existing homes have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months. On the other hand, there were “hiccups” observed in purchases of new homes, with drops seen February, March, and May this year.

Increased home loans forecast

Doug Duncan, chief economist at the Federal National Mortgage Association, said that weak sales of new homes can be expected for another month or two or even longer, although they still see a sustainable home market recovery,

Fannie Mae also forecast that demand for new mortgages will be on an up-tempo during the second half of 2013, despite recent spikes in interest rates. A 21% increase in mortgage lending for home purchases is expected in second half of 2013 to $341 billion from the $282 billion seen in the first half.

A streak of rising prices

price trend graphic

Continuing gains in home prices are also providing positive stimulus to the home market, Sarasota Bay Real Estate says. As per Commerce Department statistics, the median prices for new homes in July rose 8.3% percent to $257,200 from a year ago.

NAR figures also showed that the median prices for resale homes in July gained 13.7% year over year to $213,500. This increase represents a 17-month streak of sustained price gains, a record last seen in the January 2005–May 2006 period.

What a $200K purse can get

For home buyers with a budget at these $200s price level, what Sarasota Bay Real Estate can recommend are prime choices of resale homes at the River Strand community of Lakewood Ranch. In the current MLS listing, a River Strand residence built in 2010 has an asking price of $265,000 for its floor area measuring 1,672 square feet, featuring three bedrooms and two baths.

National homebuilder Lennar is likewise pursuing construction of new homes in this neighborhood. It is developing coach homes in River Strand and has offerings for quick move-in homes having floor plans of around 2,000 square feet and price tags also in the $200s.