During the month of February, there is more inventory which means more home choices for buyers. The combined inventory of single family homes and condos in Manatee and Sarasota Counties reached a high of 8,557 in February. This is the highest amount since April of 2012. There has been a higher increase of inventory in Sarasota versus Manatee. Sarasota is up by 15.1% since February of last year and Manatee County is up 6.5% since the same time last year.
Inventory has been rising at a steady pace for the last year. This is attributing to a more equal balance between a sellers and a buyers market. The benchmark of 5.5 months is an equal market. This is how long it would take for all the active homes to sell if no other home was added to the market. Sarasota supply of condos is at 6.2 months and single family homes are at 5.1 months. Manatee County has 4.9 month supply of condos and a 4.6 supply of single family homes.
I agree with Xena Vallone, the President of RASM. Since buyers have more choices available to them, they are considering all options and taking their time with making a decision. This is a far different approach from a couple years ago, when buyer’s had to make a full price offer the same day they saw the home. In turn, homes have a longer on market turnaround, so it is more important than ever for seller’s to price their homes to fair market value.
What’s going on with the pricing? The prices for homes in both Counties, are steadily rising each month of the last year. For Sarasota, the single family median price increased to $257,000, and 2.1% since February of 2016. Manatee County saw a 13.6% increase for single family homes to $289,752. The condo median prices increased 15.4% to $219,245 in Sarasota and 5.8% to $174,500 in Manatee.
Overall, home sales have increased 2.4% since last year in both Counties.
In February, there was a decrease of pending sales by 2.2%. Closed sales in March will most likely be down, as pending sales are a good indicator of closings. Some say the decline may be attributed to the strength of the dollar as compared to the foreign currencies of international buyers as well as the decline of deep bargains, which are now a thing of the past.
For more information and statistics, visit www.myrasm.com/statistics. Article recapped from Sarasota & Manatee Association of Realtors.