More than $15 billion changed hands in residential real estate deals across Manatee and Sarasota counties in 2021, a year that included prices that rose to unprecedented levels while the number of closed sales still managed to break levels set a year ago.
In a year propelled by historically tight inventories and rapid sales speeds, virtually every measure of the real estate market in the two-county area continued a steady ascent that began in 2016.
"The real estate market was running on all cylinders in 2021 with a massive migration of home buyers from the Northeast, Midwest and California, while international buyers were few and far between," said Roger Pettingell, a Coldwell Banker Luxury Realty agent who MLS year-end data says was involved in the sale of $206.8 million in 2021, a personal record and the highest total of any individual agent selling residential properties. "Buyers were looking to escape high-tax states, choosing Florida as a safe, more affordable, healthy place to live."
Some numbers from 2021, according to the MLS data report:
Overall sales volume for single-family homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties was $11.1 billion, a 42% increase from 2020. Condo sales volume rose 57.9% to $4.6 billion.
The region’s median time to contract in 2021 was seven days for single-family homes, 76% faster from the 30 days seen in 2020.
Virtually every sale was for list price, down from 97% in 2020.
While the median price for single-family homes rose 20.9% to $405,000, the average price rose more, 25.7% to $573,804, indicating faster growth in the segment of properties on the high end of the range. A home on Casey Key sold for $16.5 million as the region's highest price, which tied for the highest price ever in the area for a residential sale.
- Of the 19,405 closed single-family home sales, 42% of them were in cash. In 2020, the cash percentage was closer to 29% of total sales.
Both Pettingell and Tony Veldkamp, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota Manatee, said they see a potential flattening of the upward trend in 2022 with the local market remaining strong.
"We anticipate the price growth and velocity of sales to start leveling off, helping to increase inventory," Veldkamp said. "Now is a great time to consider selling your home if you’ve been thinking about it."
That the year should end on such a high-dollar note shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. The benchmark median price for condos and single-family homes rose month to month throughout 2021, often breaking a record set the previous month.
In December, the median sales price for a single-family home in Sarasota County reached $435,788 and $460,000 in Manatee. The region closed out 2021 third in the state behind Miami-Dade-Palm Beach counties and the Naples area.
Median sales prices for condos were $360,000 in Sarasota and $302,965 in Manatee in December, also all-time highs.
"Sellers remain in control," Pettingell said, adding that Sarasota remains among the top destinations for people retiring or relocating to work, either in-person or remotely.