Sarasota 2016 Real Estate Summary
The Realtor association of Sarasota and Manatee counties released sales results for December 2016 on January 24, showing in increase in condo sales for each county when compared to December 2015 and also showing a significant increase in inventory in the two-county area. Condo inventory increased 30% over last December and single family home inventory increased by 18%. The increase is not across all price ranges however, leaving the $200-$380,000 price range lacking. With an increase in condo inventory, it appears that sellers prepared early for our typical "season", which extends from January through April, and the timeframe when the largest pool of buyers are in the market to purchase. While many markets have been reporting a decrease in cash sales, 63.1% of sales for December were cash transactions in the two-county area. Median prices were also reported up in both counties, with Sarasota's single family home market up 10.3% over December 2015 and Manatee's up 7.5%. Condo prices were up just slightly for both counties, Sarasota up 1.1% over December 2015 and Manatee up just 3.8%. Perhaps the biggest news announced was the supply of inventory, rising toward a "balanced market", or a real estate market favoring neither sellers nor buyers.
After two record-breaking years in 2015-2016, homes sales in the greater Sarasota area simmered down in 2016. But the decline was moderate, still signaling a strong real estate market for the area, driven by current and future retirees snapping up homes in spite of higher prices. Buyers closed on 20,127 properties last year in the two-county area, down by just 2.6% from 2015, or 543 properties. What we have been seeing seems to be supported by many other Realtors in the area ~ with the rising prices of re-sales, many buyers turned to new construction, on the upswing in the area, with many builders offering incentives on their inventory. Some experts interviewed also pointed to the impact of an election year on home sales. The slight decline in sales was also reflected in the state of Florida as a whole, and the nation, both facing the headwinds of low inventory and rising prices.