Sarasota Continues to Rise

Sarasota real estate has come a long way from the dark days of 2006-2010. In November 2008, the inventory level* was 24 months. In June of this year the figure has plummeted to below 5 months, ushering in a seller’s market.  *Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory of homes and condos at the current sales rate.

Real estate agents are finding themselves busy keeping up with demand from buyers at a time of year that is typically much slower than the peak buying and selling months of January through April.

Highlights from the Sarasota Association of Realtors – Real Estate Market report for June 2012:

•        Real estate market achieved the highest level of quarterly sales in seven years.

•        June sales were the second highest total since September 2005, yet another indication of a market that is achieving sales totals not seen since the 2003-2005 real estate surge.

•        Sales prices 18.7% higher than in June 2011

•        The normal seasonal influx of buyers tends to drop shortly after the Easter holiday, but this year the higher sales appear to be continuing into the summer.

•        The median sales price for single family homes dropped slightly to $178,500 from last month’s figure of $185,000, but it remains higher than the 12-month running median of $167,000. The median sales price for condos was $195,000 – up from last month’s figure of $180,750, and still much higher than the 12-month running median prices of $165,000.

•        Single family home prices remained over 30% higher than the low of 15 months ago ($137,500), while condo prices are over 50% higher than the low point ($127,000).

Jane Ebury


Sarasota is hot, hot, hot!

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.”

Jane Ebury


Home Prices Stabilizing, Sales up and Inventory Down

So far the indications are showing the housing market has bottomed out.  The National Association of Realtors reports median house prices rose in 74 of the 146 metro areas the association tracks.  “Given the steadily dwindling supply of inventory and notably higher listing prices that are being negotiated today, prices are expected to show further improvements in the near future” Lawrence Yun, Chief economist of NAR, said in a statement.

The Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes report signs of price stabilization also.  Chief economist, David Stiff at Fiserv, notes that non-profit metrics like home sales volume, increased spending on home improvement and more multi-family construction indicate that the housing sector has bottomed. “We expect that home prices, which generally lag changes in sales activity by nine to twelve months, will stabilize by the end of this summer and then rise at an annualized rate of 3.9% over the next five years”.

The fact that this stabilization has happened without the support of tax credits and in spite of declining share of REO sales, is reassuring.

For the full report – news release

Jane Ebury



Should You Invest in a Second Home?

An article recently published in The Wall Street Journal offers some insight into whether or not you should be thinking of buying a second home in the next five years.

There is a lot to think about – with near record low mortgages rates, bargain prices and dwindling home inventories the once hard to attain second home is now at your fingertips for historically low prices. These factors have conspired to create somewhat of a buying frenzy in our perenially popular Sarasota market.

Sales of vacation homes fell 56% between 2006 and 2010, but climbed 7% in 2011, according to the most recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. Showing continued confidence in our market place.

At Murray Realty we have seen Sarasota properties receive multiple offers as well as an increase in activity in the high end market place.  Waterfront properties are being snapped up at 50% of their boom value.  Snow birds are feeling more confident that the market has bottomed out, therefore investing their money in a second property might be once again a sound investment.

Read Wall Street Journal’s full article

Jane Ebury







Sarasota Real Estate Market Hits Seven Year High

Last month Sarasota County saw real estate sales attain a seven year high, a level not seen since September 2005. Pending sales reached the highest level in 12 months, confirming that the current market surge will continue for the next few months.

Another clear sign of a strengthening market is the median sales price. For condos the median price was $192,000, an 11 percent increase on March 2011’s figures. The average sales price for single family homes was $174,000, 9.8 percent higher than last March. The number of distressed properties fell to 32 percent from 37.4 percent in February, a three year low, which accounts for the recent price resurgence. All of this is positive news for the local economy as home sales are a catalyst for more jobs, higher salaries and a better standard of living.

A drop in available inventory of homes is another positive sign. The level of 4,463 is close to the decade low figure of 4,408 in August 2011, and the combination of high sales and low inventory has dropped the months of inventory to an eight year low. A well balanced real estate market has an average inventory of 6 months so a lack of available housing will most likely push prices up.

We have not seen 4.8 months of inventory since 2004 for single family homes and 6.7 months inventory for condos.

Single family home prices are now 21.4 percent higher than the low of the market reached 13 months ago, while condo prices are almost 30 percent higher.

Currently distressed listings equate to 15 percent of the market. If the percentage continues to trend lower, we could begin to see median sales price increase going forward.

Jane Ebury –

Murray Realty Presents – 14618 Sundial Place, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota FL34202

Front View - Sundial Place

Murray Realty Presents –

This home is beautiful and is a must see!! 4 Bedrooms plus front office, addition games/playroom at the back, private lake and preserve lot.It has many upgrades throughout including crown modeling, tile in main areas, vaulted ceilings, granite countertops and much more. Gorgeous kitchen with wood cabinetry and black onyx granite. Disappearing sliding glass doors in family room open up to lanai with a fabulous pool/spa. There is 1 bedroom and bath off of the upstairs bonus room that also has a relaxing balcony facing the preserve.  You will love the peaceful lake view with the preserve and woodlands in the distance with abundant wildlife. Three Car Garage. Within walking distance to elementary school, middle school and playgrounds. Call Jane Ebury for more details 941 726 9360

Jane Ebury