SARASOTA, Fla. (January 22, 2019) – After a strong year of sales, Sarasota and Manatee housing market falls short in December. Compared to December 2017, this month showed a decrease in overall closed sales, pending sales, and median prices. However, inventory increased across the two-county area. Year-to-date, 2018 shows an increase in sales when compared to 2017 year-to-date numbers.

Combined, closed sales in the two-county area decreased by 14.4 percent. Single-family homes in Manatee County decreased by 1.6 percent, while Sarasota decreased by 17.5 percent in closed sales. Condo sales in Manatee County decreased by 17.2 percent, while Sarasota County decreased by 26.6 percent.

“Even with a decrease in December sales, the reported year-to-date numbers indicate strength in overall closed sales for 2018,” said Amy Worth, second generation REALTOR® and 2019 President of the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee. “With a reported increase in consumer confidence and strength in our local economy, we’re optimistic as we enter our 2019 season of sales.

Combined inventory in the two counties increased again in December. Single-family home inventory in Manatee County increased by 4.6 percent from last year, while Sarasota increased by 16.9 percent. Condo inventory experienced a 10.8 percent increase in Sarasota, while Manatee decreased by 0.9 percent.

“A rise in inventory is great for buyers who were previously unable to weigh their options,” said Worth. “If inventory continues to rise, we can expect the growth of median prices to slow down. Mortgage rates also came down from a hike in December, which means more buyers are coming back to the market.”

Manatee County single-family homes fall to a median price of $309,000, a 2.7 percent decrease from the highest recorded median price in 2017; $317,500. Sarasota single-family home prices
increased by 3.6 percent to $285,000. Sarasota condo prices decreased by 12 percent to $220,000, while Manatee condos decreased by 2.6 percent to $190,000.

Pending sales, or the number of properties that went under contract during the month, decreased in December. Single-family pending sales decreased by 6.1 percent in Manatee County, while Sarasota decreased by 18.4 percent. Condo pending sales decreased 36.9 percent in Sarasota, while Manatee decreased by 0.6 percent.

New listings, or the number of properties put onto the market, typically decline in December as many buyers will wait to list their property in the new year. When combined, the two counties experienced a 9.3 percent decrease from last year. New listings for Manatee single-family homes decreased by 2.1 percent, while Sarasota single-family homes decreased by 9.3 percent. As for condos, Sarasota decreased by 17 percent, while Manatee County decreased by 15.5 percent.

The median time to contract is up across the two counties. Sarasota condos increased by 33.3 percent to 48 days on the market. As for Manatee condos, the median time to contract is up by 4.3 percent. Single-family homes spent about the same amount of time on the market as they did last December, with no change in Manatee County and a 2.5 percent increase in Sarasota County.

Sarasota condos represent a balanced market with a 5.5-month supply, while Manatee condos are at a 4.0-month supply, down by 11.1 percent from last year. Manatee County single-family homes are at a 4.1-month supply, a 2.4 percent decrease from last year, and Sarasota single-family homes are at a 4.8-month supply, an increase of 17.1 percent.