Real independence

Castles in the Sand

July 4 is Independence Day, representing this country’s desire to be independent of not only the British but also to be self-sufficient, able to make to our own decisions and to live in freedom. We’re a lucky people living in the United States and we’re also lucky to be living in Florida, especially if you own property here.

Manatee County real estate values and activity continue to grow practically every month, and May was no exception. These are the May sales statistics reported by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, which reflect the multiple listing services recorded sales numbers.

Single-family home sales in May compared to May of last year increased by 13.3%. The median sale price, half above and half below, increased by 4.9% to $319,995. This is the highest median price in 10 years. In addition, since December of 2017, the median sale price for single-family sales in Manatee County has been at or above $300,000 for 12 of those months.

The average sale price for single-family homes compared to May of last year was $388,672, down by 4%. The median time to sell was 97 days, down 1%, and the month’s supply of properties was down 11.6% to 3.8 months. As a side note for single-family properties, cash sales were up 10.8%.

Sarasota County’s numbers are also good for single-family sales. The median sale price for May compared to May of last year was $305,305, up 8.7%, and the average was $411,199, up 8%.

Condo sales in Manatee County were up 6.1% and the median sale price was up 14.3% to $210,000 compared to last May. The average for May was up 5.2% to $246,381, the median time to sell was up 15.1% to 107 days and the month’s supply was down 6.7% to 4.2 months. By comparison, Sarasota’s median condo sale price was $238,000, up 1.4%, and the average sale price was up 5.5% to $361,732.

These are fabulous numbers for both Manatee County and our close neighbor Sarasota County. It was reported that these are the highest post-recession sales numbers for single-family properties for both counties. It’s hard to imagine things getting much better, but it is expected they will, based on the stable interest rates below 4% and the fact that the Federal Reserve has indicated it could cut interest rates further in the months ahead.

The state of Florida is also experiencing upward mobility in the sales of both single-family homes and condo sales. Statewide in May compared to last May there were 9.6% more closed single-family homes with a median sale price of $266,000, up 4.3%. Condo sales in the state in May closed 1.6% more properties with a median sale price of $195,000 up 3.7%.

Nationally, existing single-family home sales increased by 2.5% in May as reported by the National Association of Realtors. It also points to falling mortgage interest rates being beneficial to the housing market and is optimistic that the spring selling season will give the somewhat sluggish national housing market a well-needed push.

The national median sale price for single-family homes was $277,700, up 4.8% for last year and the strongest monthly pace of growth since last August. The National Association of Realtors also reported that there have been 87 straight months of year-over-year gains in the national housing market.

So, enjoy your holiday and the good news about the real estate market. We are indeed lucky in so many ways. Happy Independence Day.

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