Real estate is roaring back
They say the lion is king of the jungle because of his demanding presence and hearty roar. Using that analogy, Manatee County may be king of the real estate jungle or at least right up there with the other big cats.
Reviewing the marketing data from the Manatee Association of Realtor’s website comparing June 2012 to 2013 should make all homeowners' hearts beat a little faster. Every category that the association tracks was substantially improved for both single family homes and condos in Manatee County.
Single-family homes’ median sale prices increased 17.8 percent to $218,001, and average sale prices increased 11.2 percent to $260,081. Numbers of closed sales increased 18 percent, days on the market went from 54 days to 35 days and the average percentage of original list price was improved by 4.3 percent, with single-family homes in June of 2013 selling for 96.1 percent of their original list price.
Condos in Manatee County also had impressive numbers with median sales prices improving 31.4 percent to $138,000 and average sales prices improving 2.9 percent to $159,744. Closed sales went up 9.6 percent and days on the market went from 103 to 48 a 53.4 percent improvement in one year. Average percent of original list prices improved 4.9 percent with condo owners realizing 92.5 percent of their original list prices.
The numbers for the state of Florida are also very good with single-family homes’ median sales prices improving 15.1 percent and average sales prices improving 14.2 percent Condo sales in the state also improved 18.2 percent for median sales prices and 13.9 percent for average sales prices.
The other interesting statistic was in the number of inventory or active listings. The inventory for single family homes in Manatee County was down 21.9 percent and 35.2 percent for condos compared to last June. The state’s active listings also were down 22 percent for single family homes and 20 percent for condos.
All of this is excellent for property owners in Manatee County and Florida, but in spite of what seems to be a rebounding real estate market first time buyer activity is down. First time buyers who are typically couples in their late 20s or early 30s have accounted for about 30 percent of home sales during the past year, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, over the past 30 years this category of buyer accounted for approximately 40 percent of sales, a serious slow down for first time buyer activity.
The reasons for this are varied, with first time buyers having lower credit scores because of unemployment, underemployment and student debt. The increase in mortgage rates, although slight, have still boxed out some buyers because of increase monthly carrying costs. In addition, first time buyers are in competition with investors and all cash buyers who don’t have to worry if appraisals come up short in an escalating market.
The danger of fewer first time buyers is the trickle down affect in the future. First time buyers are the foundation of the real estate market. They contribute to the economy by renovating their homes, building equity and moving on to more expensive homes. Without this activity, the housing market remains stagnant. The shortage of inventory should bring more sellers into the market giving first time buyers and investors more to choose from with less competition.
I am Florida, one of the kings of the real estate jungle, with Manatee County being a jewel in my crown. Don’t you just love happy endings?