Sarasota sunshine is heating up and so is the local real estate market. Property sales have topped 800 for the third consecutive month, demonstrating a market that has recovered to levels not seen since the 2003-2005.
Interest rates hit record lows in May, and house prices still remain relatively low. This has brought high sales rate and low inventory – a rare combination, which is why Sarasota is attracting buyers from across the nation, and the world.
The median sale price for both single family homes and condos remained near the highest levels of the year in May. The median sales price for single family homes was $185,000 – a 34% increase from the lows of 14 months ago. Last month’s figure was $175,000. The median sales price for condos was $180,750, a drop from April’s figure of $191,750 but a 40% increase from the low point.
The total number of distressed properties, foreclosure and short sales on the market remains around 31%, the lowest level in 3 years. This is likely a contributing factor to the housing demand and increase in prices.
The May figures are 4.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 5.2 months’ inventory for condos. Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current rate of sales. Six months of inventory is classed as the market equilibrium, therefore we are now considered a seller’s market.
“I’ve been in our Association for over 15 years and inventories at this level are rare,” said SAR President Laura Benson. “The market is tightening, and when available properties are at such low levels, the result is normally greater competition for available properties. This scenario tends to escalate prices, so if you’re in the market for a home, now is the time to act.”