Hurricane Irma Stalls Sales in Sarasota and Manatee
SARASOTA, Fla. – The Sarasota and Manatee area was mostly unscathed from Hurricane Irma but, real estate sales were hit the hardest. With office closures, reinspections and tight scheduling for new appraisals, September 2017 reports a decrease in closed sales, pending sales and new listings.
Compared to this time last year, combined closed sales for the two-county area decreased by 16.8 percent. September’s decline in sales isn’t an effect of the current housing supply and demand, but is directly related to the business and school closures around the storm.
“With Labor Day and office closures, there were 20% fewer business days in September to complete a sale,” said 2017 RASM President, Xena Vallone. “When a storm like Irma comes around, our focus shifts from day-to-day business to the safety of our homes and loved ones.”
This limited business days this month also contributed to a decrease in the number of properties that were put on the market. New listings for single family homes in the two counties decreased by 31.8 percent. Condo new listings decreased by 20.9 percent in the two-county area.
“We typically start to see more listings in September as buyers prepare for season,” said Vallone. “But, when the storm started its path toward Florida, sellers weren’t preparing to list their house, they were preparing to keep it safe.”
While inventory may be slightly down from August, overall inventory does show slight improvement from this time last year. Single family homes in the combined two counties improved by 1.9 percent, while condos increased by 2.9 percent. Inventory supply typically starts to grow in the fall, which brings good news for post-Irma market recovery.
Irma’s arrival also brought fewer shopping days for buyers to select their purchase. New pending sales, or the number of properties that went under contract in the month, decreased in both counties. Sarasota County experienced a 29.8 percent decrease in new pending sales, while Manatee County decreased by 26.2 percent.
Pending sales are a good indicator of future closed sales. With so few pending sales this month, Irma’s impact on closed sales will trickle into October.
Notably, median sales prices are up, an indicator that Florida’s housing market is experiencing a delay, rather than a crash. The median price of single family homes in Sarasota County increased by 8.4 percent to $269,900, while Manatee County increased by 9.3 percent to $295,000. Sarasota condos increased by 11.2 percent to $220,000. Condo prices for Manatee increased by 2 percent to $181,500.
Monthly reports are provided by Florida Realtors® with data compiled from My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service. For comprehensive statistics dating back to 2005, visit www.MyRASM.com/statistics.
*For more market updates, visit the Hussar Real Estate Blog Page for monthly news.