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Real estate inventory remains low in Sarasota area

Year begins with even tighter market than in 2021's first month.

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  • | 5:10 a.m. February 25, 2022
Seven days from listing to contract is the median in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Seven days from listing to contract is the median in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
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After a year of historically low real estate inventories in Manatee and Sarasota counties, 2022 has begun with even fewer properties actively on the market, data from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee indicates.

It its first data report of the year, the real estate organization’s metrics show a total of 1,348 homes and condominiums actively marketed in January 2022 in the two counties, 45.4% less than the 2,966 total for January, 2021.

And that’s not to say 2021 started off with large numbers.

2021 homes and condos on the market in January were off by half or more in Manatee and Sarasota counties when compared to January 2020.

Such scarcity has been leading to higher median prices across the region for months, dating back to early 2020.

Sarasota County’s median price for a home in January rose more than 36% to $464,500. The same metric in Manatee rose to $480,000, up 29.7% from January 2021.

Both are records.

"The Sarasota and Bradenton area is growing rapidly with many out-of-state buyers entering our market," said 2022 RASM President Tony Veldkamp, a senior adviser at SVN Commercial Advisory Group. "That is especially true this time of year when more ‘snowbirds’ are enjoying the Florida winter lifestyle. As buyers see the increase in home prices and interest rates, they are in a tough competition to get into the market before their purchasing opportunity is out-of-reach."

With record-low numbers of homes on the market and a large number of buyers seeking them, properties continue to sell quickly. Statistically speaking, 100% of homes sell at or above listing price, and half do so in seven days or less.

Although it's too early to be a reliable trend, Veldkamp said experts are keeping close tabs on some key metrics that might indicate the beginning of a shift.

"New listings tend to rise in delayed response to the increase in prices, and inventory rises when new listings outpace the number of properties that go off-market," he said. "In January, there were more new listings than closed sales in the region. While it’s too early to determine whether this is a trend that will continue through 2022, it is a figure that we will be watching closely. As sellers see a continued increase in home prices and interest rates, which eventually will lead toward more supply, they have to decide whether to take advantage of now being the ‘time to sell’ before the market levels off."


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