Sellers Rule on Tight Inventory, Rising Demand


Total home inventory in the Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte market has begun to creep higher but prospective buyers, nonetheless, will have to contend with a sellers’ market, Sarasota Bay Real Estate (SBRE) reports. In April of 2014, the aggregate number of condos and single family homes available in the three counties was estimated at a 5.3 months’ supply. This level, though an improvement from the year-earlier estimate of 4.6 months, is still below the industry benchmark of a 6-month supply equilibrium wherein neither seller nor buyer has the advantage in pricing.

Going by individual markets in the region, SBRE notes too that the home inventory appears more limited in Sarasota. Available Sarasota homes for sale in April was estimated to have declined to 4,728 condos and single family homes from the 4,810 and over 5,000 tallies in March and February 2014, respectively. Further depletion of the Sarasota home market inventory can be expected in the next few months, necessitating buyer assistance from a local agent-broker with an inside track of the market.

Pending sales uptrend

Notably, pending sales for all housing types in the county remain on an upward momentum. For April 1,040 listed Sarasota homes for sale went under contract after hitting a three-year high of 1,248 in the previous month. Pending sales in Manatee were likewise trending at higher levels with a total of 766 in April and 847 in March.

Spec homes gain traction

Sellers Rule on Tight Inventory, Rising Demand

The sustained home market uptick as shown in the pending sales uptrend and relatively low inventory has provided a continuing incentive for speculative residential construction. In recent months, the West of the Trail communities have emerged as one of the hubs of spec homes in Sarasota.

Just east of the Osprey Avenue Bridge at the historic Avondale neighborhood, Todd Johnston Homes has constructed its brand new Lincoln model. This spec home flaunts the classic Georgian architectural design, the dominant style in this quaint Sarasota locality. Its interiors, however, feature the choicest contemporary innovations and energy efficiencies preferred by most buyers of custom homes.

The builder has placed a tag price of $1,395,000 million on this elegant home which is currently among the sales-listed residences in this neighborhood that already have pending sales contracts. John Cannon Homes in April 2014 has also put under contract for $1.55 million a spec home at Wisteria Street also located at West of the Trail.

There are some sales-listed properties at Avondale which are priced under the $1 million mark, but most of these are already on the pending list, mirroring the current strong demand on Sarasota homes for sale.