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


Florida, the Promising Land

Whether you’re a foreign buyer looking for a vacation home, investment property or semi-permanent residence to bask in the Florida sunshine for more than six months of the year, there isn’t a better time than now.

Since the housing bubble burst, prices have dropped by more than 50% in many parts of the state. A typical Florida home that sold in 2006 for about $260,000 now sells for less than $140,000. As they say here, “You can get a lot more home for your buck!”

By comparison, houses in Europe, Canada, and Latin and South America are much more expensive.

Those in the know are taking advantage of the favorable real estate climate. At 26%, Florida accounts for more than a quarter of all international sales in the United States, more than the next three largest sunshine states – California (11%), Texas (7%) and Arizona (7%) – combined!

In 2011, international buyers accounted for $82.5 billion in U.S. property sales, up 24% from $66.4 billion the previous year.

Why not join them for your place in the sun?

Bev Murray & 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


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 –

Luxury Living Looking Up?

The buzz around town and on the keys is that Sarasota has had a phenomenal season. Reports are coming in from delighted restaurant owners, motel managers, valet parkers and shop retailers that our visitors not only came for the season, but they also spent money while they were here.

The real estate community is quietly optimistic about the positive signs for the year to date and the upward trend is being lead by the luxury end of the market.

According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, there were a total of 34 homes and condominiums sold in Sarasota county in March 2012. This is a whopping 48% increase over last year.

The luxury end of the market has been especially stagnant in the past few years so this is extremely encouraging news.  These increased sales mirror the upswing in the luxury new home construction market which began at the beginning of 2011.  Wealthy homeowners and investors are finally feeling confident enough to spend some of the cash which has begun to burn a hole in their pockets.

One of the problems that potential homebuyers and investors are facing is the lack of raw material.  The inventory of available homes is at an 8 year low,   hovering a little below six months’ supply, the number generally considered to be optimum for a balanced real estate economy.  The reduced inventory is likely to translate into higher prices.

This news may well be enough to convince homeowners who have been sitting on their properties waiting out the downturn, to put their homes on the market and make the move to fresh pastures.

Part of our job as Realtors is a commitment to keeping buyers and sellers informed about the nuances of the high end real estate market.  Rest assured that Murray Realty is working tirelessly to make sure that buyers are aware that values are rising and inventory is low.

It appears that luxury living really is on the up!

Bev Murray –

Never a dull moment

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year racing upon us, 2011 is only round the corner.  Some of you will be glad to see the back of 2010, others will look forward to 2011 with a positive attitude and a sense of anticipation.
Over the last two to three years, real estate and banking news has filled the media for one reason or another.  Over the last few months things had quietened down……or so we thought!  Earlier this month J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and many other lenders stopped all foreclosures until further notice.  They have discovered that the lawyers they retained did not handle the files with due diligence, which lead to many homes being foreclosed upon by banks who may or may not hold the note.  With this said, the financial institutions are frantically trying to limit the damages.  I suspect we may see class action suits brought against the banks in the near future by homeowners who surrendered their homes to lenders who were not qualified to foreclose.
On a more positive note, the snow birds are starting to return to Sarasota.  This is the perfect time to list your home ready for the seasonal residents to buy up our real estate at historically low prices. 
Murray Realty has a Facebook page.  If you haven’t already viewed these, click on the links below.  Both pages have proved to be a huge success.  They are regularly updated with information on new listings and relevant market changes, as well as our opinions on real estate news.  Please feel free to comment on any articles on our sites.  This enables us to stay focused on what you need from your real estate agent.
Thank you for supporting us and have a safe Halloween

Real Estate Investment

If you are thinking about purchasing a home, don’t let negative or sensationalized headlines be your sole persuader.  Even journalists who write many of the stories behind the headlines are rebelling against the idea that real estate is on its way out as the foundation of many Americans’ wealth.  We’ve certainly had our ups and downs over the years, but that’s expected in every investment’s cycle.  We are getting much closer to a sustained up cycle.  Read as much as you can from the sources you trust.  That way you’re most likely to make the right decision for you, and with confidence.   Above all, don’t let trash talk rob you of one of the most opportune moments in real estate history.

Murray Realty – Why you should choose us?

We have a few major factors on our side;

–    we have specialized in buying, selling and building on Longboat Key, Lido Key, Sarasota and  Bird Key since 1995. We have built and remodeled 21 homes on Bird Key alone and are currently building 2 new construction custom homes on the key, reflecting our draw to investors or potential building clients. All lots that have not been improved or rebuilt are seen as a potential tear down and rebuild, and clients come to us for that advice and expertise. We can also offer a potential client remodeling ideas and costs, which broadens your customer base.

–    There are many foreign buyers entering the Sarasota market at the moment, especially Europeans. We have just completed a days  shooting of our other listing, by a German production crew filming a home show airing in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Our UK connections have brought many European buyers into Sarasota over the years.

–    We have an affiliation with Savills and Country Life in the UK, the leading real estate agent and publication for estate homes and feature on their website. This generates a lot of referrals.

–    We are on all current media websites including, Facebook etc, we have an interactive search facility on the website that draws a lot of traffic. We publish regular e-blasts promoting our listings and send out a targeted monthly blog to over 3000 addresses.

–    We update you weekly on traffic, showings and market trends in order to ensure you remain advised on the status.

–    We believe that being a small company, we are able to act and react swiftly and give the personal service that high end custom homes require. We are Bird Key and Longboat Key specialists….this is our patch… and we have good relationships with all of the realtors in town that sell Bird Key, Longboat Key and waterfront property, meaning that all local realtors are aware of our listings and have complete access and knowledge to the attributes of the house. The MLS today means that all posted houses are available to buyers via the internet. Then converting an interested party to a sale, is what we do best.

–    We believe in and take good photography as these photos sell the houses to internet clients. We perform area caravans, showing local realtors and hold open houses on Sundays.

In conclusion, as a small but experienced company, concentrating on a small geography, and having the added bonus of our construction company and contacts, we believe that we offer the best service available for your property.

Hopefully this helps. If it sounds like a hard sell, it is, because we believe in what we do and are successful at doing it.

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