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Longboat Key Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 1 month ago

Sarasota-Manatee real estate prices keep climbing, supplies keep falling

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Less than a month's inventory drives up median prices.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

As summer drew to a close in September, the availability of homes and condominiums for sale in Sarasota and Manatee counties continued its downward slide, taking a bite out of closed sales but driving up median prices.

Combined between the two counties, new listings decreased year-over-year by 3.7% for single-family homes and decreased by 17.2% for condos.  Active listings fell to less than a month’s supply of homes in Sarasota and Manatee. Condos were down to close to half a month’s supply. Supplies of properties for sale in Sept. 2020 were above two months.

Real estate agents in Sarasota and Manatee counties represented a total of 2,072 closed sales in September, an 11 percent decrease from the same month last year. Broken down by category, single-family home sales in Sarasota County decreased by 5.1 percent to 835, and Manatee County single-family sales decreased by 4.5 percent to 675.

 Condo closed sales decreased by 22.3 percent to 331 sales in Sarasota and decreased by 26.4 percent to 231 sales in Manatee.

As for pending sales, the combined data showed a 16.2 percent decrease for single-family homes and a 24 percent decrease for condos.

“This year, our market was driven by a tsunami of buyers who wanted to own real estate,” said Alex Krumm, president of the Sarasota-Manatee Realtor Association. “Next year we'll still have the buyers, but this time, there aren't enough homes to sell to them—and we won't be able to build enough homes to assuage the pressure. The forecast is very, very strong for higher prices in 2022.”

As the law of supply and demand dictates, median prices continued climbing as they have in recent years in Southwest Florida.

Median home prices in Sarasota County climbed to $407,000, up nearly 28%. Condos were up nearly 29% to $325,000. In Manatee County, home median sales prices were up 23% to $430,000. Condos were up to $285,000.

Cash deals and sales prices at or near asking price are becoming common place.

“Cash offers are still dominant in our market but there is hope for buyers who need mortgages. It's also telling that our average list-to-sale-price ratio has held steady at 100 percent for months—buyers should be prepared to be patient and work through multiple offer situations, but ultimately the list price tends to be the final sale price for most homes,” Krumm said.

Buyers also would do well to act quickly. The average time on the market for listed homes is between six and seven days to contract, as compared to close to a month in September of 2020.

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