Traffic, real estate sales up

Castles in the Sand

If you want to know why you’re starting to analyze traffic patterns so you can plan your trips to the supermarket, doctor’s office and Trader Joe’s, here’s the reason. During 2018, Sarasota and Manatee counties had more closed sales, an increase in overall inventory and a rise in median prices compared to 2017.

Sarasota single-family median home prices increased by 5 percent to $282,500, and Manatee single-family median home prices increased by 1.9 percent to $300,475 from 2017. Sarasota median condo prices increased by 3.2 percent to $232,300, while Manatee median condos increased by 5.8 percent to $190,500.

Meanwhile, the volume of single-family home sales in Manatee increased by 7 percent and in Sarasota, the increase was 0.5 percent. Condo sales in both counties as reported by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, recorded the highest number of sales over the last 10 years. Sarasota increased by 8.1 percent and Manatee increased by 11.1 percent.

These are great numbers especially when you look at them compared to last year’s sales number as reported by the National Association of Realtors. Nationally, last year was the weakest for home sales since 2015 with buyers pulling back because of rising mortgage interest rates, a shortage of starter homes and a volatile stock market. However, the February home sales of previously owned homes nationally were up 11.8 percent, the largest monthly gain since 2015, obviously due to the lowering of mortgage interest down to 4.28 percent in March from 5 percent at the end of last year.

Let’s take a look at Manatee County’s February closed sales reported by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee:

Closed single-family sales were up 4.8 percent, the median sale price was down slightly by 0.5 percent to $298,500 and the average sale price was up 2.6 percent to $389,119. Median time to sell was 97 days up a little from 93 last year and the month’s supply of available properties was 4.5 months – no real change.

Condo sales were down, closed sales were down 14.9 percent, the median sale price was down 11.4 percent to $189,000 and the average sale price was also down by 10.9 percent to $227,849. Median time to sell was up to 101 days from 94 and the number of months supply of available properties was up to five months.

Keep in mind these types of statistics are a snapshot in time and there are a variety of things that can influence sale prices and sale numbers in any given month. It’s the overall picture for a sustained period of time that really tells the story, and the year over year story for Manatee and Sarasota Counties is spectacular.

The months of March and April traditionally experience the most closed sales, so I look forward to when those numbers are compiled before we head into our slower summer season. That said I may have to revise that statement down the road since there doesn’t ever seem to be a slow season anymore.

It goes without saying that Florida’s Gulf Coast is one of the most beautiful areas in the country.

We have beaches, sun, culture, low taxes and great choices when it comes to purchasing a home. And what comes along with all that is more people, more cars and overbooked restaurants, even Sarasota Airport is reporting a 35 percent increase in traffic during February this year, but would you change anything?

It just might take a little better planning.

More Castles in the Sand:

Should you digitally – or actually – renovate?

Technology can’t replace real estate brokers