Click HERE to view the full report.

SARASOTA, Fla. (February 9, 2017) – According to recent data from Florida Realtors® Industry Data and Analysis department, Sarasota and Manatee County wrapped up 2016 with fewer distressed sales, an increase in traditional closed sales, an expanding inventory and higher median prices as compared to the year before.

The combined 2016 closed sales of single-family homes and condos in Sarasota and Manatee County totaled 20,091, a 2.6 percent decrease from 2015, which was a record year. However, total sales in 2016 exceed each of the four years prior to 2015.

Condo sales in Manatee County bucked the trend, with 2,606 closed sales in 2016, a 7.7 percent increase over the previous year. Condo sales in Sarasota County decreased 4 percent, with total sales of 3,603.  Single family sales in Manatee County decreased nearly 1 percent, for a total of 6,057, while Sarasota County showed 7,825 sales, a decrease of 6.3 percent.

While record sales were not achieved, the health of the market is shown by the fact that traditional sales increased while sales of foreclosures and short sales declined in the two-county area. Distressed sales totaled only 1,290 in 2016 compared to 3,004 in 2015, a decrease of 57.1 percent. As a share of total sales, distressed sales represented only 6.4 percent of total sales in 2016, approaching the more normal level of about 2.5 percent for distressed sales.

“With a steep decline in distressed sales and indications of a balancing market, 2016 closed out as a healthy and sustainable year for our market,” says Xena Vallone, 2017 President of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

Both Manatee and Sarasota County experienced an increase in median sales prices. In Sarasota County, the median sales price was $250,050, up 11.4 percent from the previous year. The median sales price of single family homes in Manatee County was $275,146, up 5.8 percent. The median price for condos in Sarasota in 2016 was $210,000, up 7.7 percent over the previous year. As for Manatee, the median price in 2016 was $170,000, up 6.3 percent. The median price is the mid-point of all sales reported for the year, with half the sales above the median, and half below.

“Tight inventories continued to put upward pressure on median prices, as demand exceeds supply,” adds Vallone. “Median price increases are not solely caused by changes in the value of real estate, they also reflect the mix of the homes that sold in that year. In our case, the decreased inventory of homes for sale in lower price ranges because of fewer distressed sales, is having an impact, too.”

Inventory experienced a 24.9 percent increase from last year in single family homes and condos in the two-county area. Manatee single family homes increased by 12.5 percent and Sarasota increased by 22.3 percent. Manatee condos increased by 17.2 percent and Sarasota condos increased by 38.5 percent.

Month’s supply of inventory also increased across both counties. Sarasota condos now sit at a 5.5 month’s supply (an indication of a balanced market) as compared to a 3.8 month’s supply in 2015. Manatee condos are at a 4.4 month’s supply, an increase of 10 percent from last year. Single family homes in Sarasota county increased by 28.6 percent to a 4.5 month’s supply while Manatee increased by 13.9 percent to a 4.1 month’s supply.

At the recent Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Meetings, nationally acclaimed economist Elliot Eisenberg shared three factors that may be attributing to tight inventory. He explained that investors are holding on to properties acquired during the recession for cash flow from rentals, builders are not building at a pace to keep up with the needs of a growing population, and that owners who bought or refinanced a home during the period of low interest are choosing to stay where they are.

Click HERE to view the full report.