December also showed a significant increase in inventory in the two-county area, with condo inventory increasing by 30 percent over last December and single family increasing by 18 percent.
“With increased inventory in the condo market, it appears our sellers started early in anticipation of northern visitors wanting to escape the harsh winters,” says Xena Vallone, 2017 RASM President. “This is the time of the year they wait for, it is truly when the largest pool of buyers are in the market to purchase their product.”
While many markets have been reporting a decrease in cash sales, that is another area of strength for the two-county condo market. This December, 63.1 percent of all condo sales were cash sales, compared to 66.1 percent last December. Cash sales of single family homes were 34.1 percent of all single family sales in December, compared to 40.9 percent last December.
Median prices for single family homes are up in both counties, with Sarasota County up by 10.3 percent to $264,500 and Manatee County up by 7.5 percent to $285,000 from last December. Median condo prices are down slightly in Sarasota by 1.1 percent to $217,000, while Manatee County experienced a 3.8 percent increase to $185,000.
The months’ supply of inventory continues to rise toward a balanced market, favoring neither a seller or a buyer. Sarasota condos hit the balanced threshold of a 5.5-month supply, while single family homes are at a 4.5-month supply. Manatee County condos are at a 4.4-month supply and single family at a 4.1-month supply of condos.
“It’s a case of supply and demand,” says Vallone. “Inventory is showing an improvement over last year’s low levels while median sales prices rise to meet this demand, ultimately gearing us up for a balanced market.”
While total closed sales are down from last year, so are distressed sales, indicating a healthier market. Distressed sales for single family homes and condos in both counties experienced a 63.4 percent decrease from December of 2016. Respectively, the traditional sales (non-distressed) in the two-county area experienced an increase of 6.5 percent.