Fee-fi-fo-fum, do I smell a recovery?

Castles in the Sand

Recovery, what recovery? That’s a word we left in our rearview mirror a long time ago. It’s true in Florida generally, and Anna Maria Island specifically has recovered nicely since the financial downturn. There are areas of the country that are still struggling, but August may have been the turn-around month.

According to the National Association of Realtors, August was the strongest month for sales of United States homes in nearly a year and a half. Sales of previously owned homes rose 1.3% in August with a median sale price of $278,200, up 4.7% from the previous August. Conversely, the availability of homes for sale fell in August further increasing prices. Add to this the average fixed-rate mortgage for a 30-year loan was 3.73% at the end of September.

Is this the beginning of the national real estate market starting to turn the corner? Real estate sales have been underperforming relative to jobs and the economy as a whole and economists are viewing the statistics for the past two months as a very good sign.

If you’re interested in how the national market compares to our local Manatee County market, keep reading.

Closed single-family homes were up 10.3% from last August and the median sale price continues to be strong at $317,000, 7.1% higher than last year. The average sale price for single-family homes was $408,738, up 4% from last year. The median time to contract is down by 4.5% to only 42 days and the month’s supply of available properties is 3.3 months.

Condos closed fewer properties down at 25.9%, however, the median sale price was higher at $205,000, up 7.9%. The average sale price was also up 13.1% to $251,339. The median time to contract was up 6.4% to 50 days and the month’s supply of condos is at 3.6 months.

Sales statistics are from the Realtor Association of Sarasota Manatee.

Our sales in both the numbers of properties sold and sale prices continue to perform well compared to the national statistics. Nationally, the median single-family sale price for August was $278,200 up 4.7% from last August, compared to Manatee County’s median of $317,000 up 7.1%.

Based on the above, it’s not a surprise that the southern region of the country ended August with an increase of 3.6% in sales, making it the largest annual growth in sales volume in the country. And this may be just the beginning, as more and more high-income residents of high taxed states are just beginning to feel the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and are taking refuge in the South.

There are 41 states that collect taxes on wages and salary, with California taking the highest percentage at 13.3%. The remaining nine states that are income tax-free are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. If you’re a part-time resident of one of these states and are considering full-time residency, check out the individual state’s qualifications to establish permanent residency. Both the state you’re leaving and the one you’re coming to have strict and varied residency rules.

It looks like there will be big changes for Florida and other low tax states right around the corner. Nevertheless, don’t get too comfortable with what you see in the rearview mirror when it comes to real estate markets. You never know when that truck will start gaining on you.

More Castles in the Sand:

Luxury ain’t what it used to be

The fun and not-so-fun of selling a home

The fun and not-so-fun of buying a home