Record inventory, high prices reported in Sarasota, Bradenton

SARASOTA-BRADENTON, FL – The housing market in Sarasota and Manatee Counties started the year with its lowest inventory level on record.

In January, the number of sales closed in the region increased slightly for single-family homes, while it decreased for condos, according to data compiled by the Sarasota and Manatee Realtors Association. At the same time, the inventory of active listings hit an all-time high – just 1,348 reported at the end of January.

This means more buyers are vying for the limited inventory available, making it difficult to find a new home, according to some local experts.

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“I think it’s getting worse. Prices keep going up and we keep seeing multiple offers – cash offers – above the asking price being made on homes and people still not winning them,” Linda Johnston, real estate agent with Century 21 All Aces Real Estate in Bradenton. “I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.”

She added, “It’s like a dog-eat-dog world now with what shoppers are going through.”

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Take a look at the numbers

The number of single-family homes sold in the area rose 2% year-over-year in Sarasota County in January and 4.7% in Manatee County, according to RASM. Meanwhile, condo sales were down about 15.1% in Manatee County and 23.5% in Sarasota County.

At the end of January, all active listings in both counties were down 6.4% from December and 54.6% from the same time last year.

In Sarasota County, single-family home inventory declined year-over-year by 46.7% in Sarasota and 39.1% in Manatee, RASM said. For condos, inventory fell 69.9% in Sarasota and 67.8% in Manatee County during the same period in 2021.

New listings put on the market in January rose 1.2% year-on-year for single-family homes, but fell 19.6% for condos, the organization said. Compared to December 2021, more new listings were added to the market in the first month of the year. Month-over-month, new condo listings were up 35.6% and new single-family home listings were up 26.5%.

Tony Veldkamp, ​​President of RASM and Senior Advisor to SVN Business Advisory Groupsaid there were more new listings in January than closed sales in the area.

“While it’s too early to tell if this is a trend that will continue into 2022, it’s a number we’ll be watching closely,” he said. “As sellers see a continued rise in home prices and interest rates, which will eventually lead to increased supply, they need to decide if they are taking advantage of the ‘time to sell’ before the market hits. stabilizes”.

Even with these new listings, the area is seeing record inventory as prices continue to climb. For the third month in a row, median home prices in the region rose month over month, RASM said.

Single-family home prices rose 36.6% year-over-year to a median of $464,500 in Sarasota County, while Manatee County saw a 29.7% increase for reach $480,000, the organization said. For condos, prices in January were $350,000 in Sarasota, a 15.8% year-over-year increase, and $301,000 in Manatee, a 30.3% increase.

Unsold inventory is currently only a 0.6 month supply for single family homes in both counties. For condos, the supply is 0.6 months in Sarasota and only 0.4 months in Manatee.

In this seller’s market, homes move quickly, RASM added. The median time from listing date to contract date is seven days for single-family homes and condos. And in January, all homes sold at or above their original list price.

Local real estate agents respond to market data

All of this makes buying a home in the area a frustrating time, said Bill Geller, realtor and office manager at RE/MAX Platinum Realty of Florida in Sarasota.

“Inventory is at an all time low which makes it frustrating for buyers looking for homes. I personally know myself that over the weekend I had a buyer who made offers on two different houses that he really liked relative to the listing price, and they got neither,” he said. “It’s just an interesting deal. Things sell very quickly if priced accordingly… Many offers are made on the same property.”

Johnston doesn’t see the market slowing anytime soon.

“I have a client myself who bid $50,000 to $60,000 over list price and still didn’t win the purchase,” she said. “It’s very frustrating – frustrating for buyers and frustrating for agents. We sympathize with those buyers. And I’m talking about cash buyers. I’m not even talking about someone who has to get financing.”

Sarasota has been a prime area for out-of-state shoppers since the pandemic began, Geller said. “People are finding out through COVID that they’ve been able to live or work remotely and for a lot of professionals they can do that permanently. So a lot of people living in big cities said, ‘Why do we live in snow while we can live in the sun?'”

He added, “And Sarasota is so desirable because of the arts community and the offerings and because of the golf and the proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the boating. There are so many things that are attractive in Sarasota . It’s a big, small city, so that makes it very desirable and increases the demand.”

Geller hopes the area’s real estate market will stabilize this year and there are already signs in some areas that this could be happening, he said. “If things stabilize, calm down a bit, then 2022 should be a very good year, a very strong year for real estate sales.”

In the meantime, however, buyers should expect more of the same, Johnston said. “I’ve been in real estate for 16 years and I’ve never seen more cash buyers than last year. It continues to increase, the demand for people wanting to move to Florida. The problem is that we don’t don’t. have the supply.”