The Sarasota real estate market continued an amazing streak in July, with members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® closing 911 sales during the month – a 30.3 percent increase over July 2012, and 3.2 percent higher than the June 2013 total. The first seven months of 2013 are still tracking to make the overall year one of the biggest in SAR’s history.
The other major news of the month was the major rebound in the median sale price for single family homes. The price went from $200,000 in June 2013 to $227,500 in July 2013, a 13.75 percent increase. For the 12-month rolling median price, the single family home figure was at $195,000, a 16 percent increase over last year at this time when the rolling median price was at $168,500. If current trend levels continue, this will be the biggest year-to-year increase for single family home prices in four years.
“With sales up dramatically and prices also trending upward, the popularity and strength of the Sarasota market is unquestionable,” said SAR President Roger Piro. “The quality of the properties on the market, plus our overall attraction to both domestic and foreign buyers, has made this one of the best years on record to this point.”
The condo market put a slight damper on the news, as prices dropped from $192,500 to $162,900 from June to July 2013 – a 15.6 percent drop. Condo prices have been up and down throughout the year, hitting a low of $130,000 in January and a high of $194,500 in May.
An increase in condo sales below $100,000 in July, coupled with a decrease in sales of properties over a million dollars, caused the statistical lull. The 12-month rolling median was at $170,000 for condos, 2 percent higher than last year at this time when the figure was at $167,000.
The inventory rose slightly in July to 3,152, a mere 1 percent higher than June’s figure of 3,114, which was the lowest level in longer than a decade. July’s inventory represents a 13 percent drop from last year at this time. Declining inventory generally results in greater competition for available homes and condos and subsequent price escalation.
Pending sales stood at 909 in July 2013, down about 10 percent from the 1,024 figure in June 2013 and slightly lower than last July’s total of 919. Pending sales represents properties that went under contract during the month, and indicates sales in August and beyond could also be at near record high levels.
“The fact that we saw sales 30 percent higher this July than last July seems to be the biggest news this summer in local real estate,” said Piro. “Most agents are clearly not taking the summer off and vacationing, because the buyers are here and they are anxious to buy in this area. This is a positive, historic time, and the moderate rise in single family home prices coupled with the fluctuating condo market prices indicates we are not seeing a new bubble. This is just a genuinely popular place to live and invest in real estate.”
The July 2013 months of inventory stood at 3.1 months for single family and 4.6 months for condos, with both property categories very near the lowest level in the past decade (achieved in May 2013 – 3.0 and 3.9, respectively). Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate. Last July there were 4.5 months of inventory for single family homes and 7.5 months of inventory for condos.
Currently, 364 properties listed for sale in the MLS are short sales or foreclosures, down from last month’s figure of 379. This represents 11.5 percent of available properties, down from last month’s figure of 12.2 percent.
Sales of distressed properties represented about 24.9 percent of the overall sales in July 2013, up slightly from the June figure of 23 percent, but much lower than the 51 percent figure experienced in the fourth quarter of 2010. For single family homes, 25.8 percent of sales were distressed last month, and for condos, 22.3 percent were distressed.
“Last year we saw the market continue to show strength through the end of the year, so I’m hoping for the same in 2013,” said Piro.