The always-evolving real estate market

Castles in the Sand

Not everyone wants to own a home of their own. Those of us who have always owned rather than rented understand the challenges faced in ownership, whether you’re in a single-family home or a condo. I know the feeling; there have been many days when I wished I didn’t have the responsibility of home ownership, and an interesting concept floating around the country may be right up my alley.

There are high-end rental communities being built by top single-home builders catering to individuals who do not feel they need to buy a home. This trend is increasing and appealing to a variety of people ranging from young professionals who have not been able to fight their way into the housing market to empty-nesters who are taking their equity and opting for a turn-key lifestyle.

These “build-to-rent” single-home communities are designed exclusively for rentals with high-end finishes and amenities that are geared to appeal to the luxury market. Rents in the $2,500 to $3,000 range can make sense for people with good incomes who may not be worried about accruing wealth in their homes. It’s kind of the perfect arrangement for seniors who aren’t dependent upon building equity and want a fresh high-end home to live in.

And so far, it appears this is not going away. The build-to-rent segment of the real estate market is growing. In 2020, 60,000 build-to-rent homes were constructed, and in 2021 it is expected that the number will increase to 80,000. Renting is looking better and better to a large segment of the population, allowing for a quick relocation for job or family responsibilities.

Before we go over the June sales statistics, I thought I would share yet another “best place” report recently published by Southern Living Magazine. This one is America’s best beach towns for retirement. Thankfully, Bradenton and Anna Maria Island were not on this list; however, five other Florida cities were, three of them on the west coast – Naples, which came in number one, Sarasota, Venice, Vero Beach and Stuart. And let’s give recognition to our neighbor Lakewood Ranch for being named the best-selling community in the country with 1,535 new home sales through the end of June.

Here are the June Manatee County sales statistics reported by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

Closed single-family homes were up 24.3% from last year; cash sales were up 129.9%; the median sale price was $405,305, up 24.7%; the average sale price was $576,522, up 37.5% and the median time to contract was five days.

Condos closed 38.8% more this June compared to last June; cash sales were up 61%; the median sale price was $280,000, up 30.7%; the average sale price was $331,691, up 39% and the median time to contract was six days.

Available inventory continues to be low; about a six-month supply for both single-family homes and condos. Sarasota County is also experiencing higher sales prices every month and low inventory as well. Also impressive is the percentage of cash sales from last year for single-family properties, up just under 130%.

Obviously, it’s still a great seller’s market, but don’t assume the market and personal family issues can’t change on a dime, making renting very attractive to some. The real estate market continues to evolve, offering more and more lifestyle options. In an ever-changing world, it’s always nice to leave your options open.