Closed sales in Sarasota and Manatee County fall short at the start of 2019. Median prices continue to rise and a jump in inventory and new listings point to a more balanced market.

Combined, closed sales in the two-county area decreased by 17.2 percent from January 2018. Single-family home sales in Manatee County decreased by 16 percent, while Sarasota decreased by 11.4 percent. Condo sales in Manatee decreased by 6.9 percent and Sarasota sales decreased by 33.1 percent.

The combined two-county inventory increased year-over-year in January by 12.3 percent. Single-family home inventory in Manatee County increased by 5.7 percent from last year, while Sarasota increased by 18 percent. Condo inventory increased by 15 percent in Sarasota, while Manatee increased by 5.5 percent.

“Although January sales may seem less than positive, the market remains healthy overall,” said Amy Worth, second generation REALTOR® and 2019 President of the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee. “Additional inventory could ease rising prices, creating a more balanced market between buyers and sellers.”

Median sales prices increased overall across the two counties. Manatee County single-family home prices increased by 3 percent to $309,000 and Sarasota single-family prices increased by 3.9 percent to $286,600. Sarasota condo prices increased by 0.8 percent to $240,000, while Manatee condos increased by 13 percent to $195,000.

A balanced market is indicated by the months supply of inventory. If supply falls under 5.5 months, the market favors the seller and if supply is over 5.5, the market favors the buyer. In Sarasota County, single-family homes are nearly balanced with a 5.4-month supply, while the condo market has shifted to favor the buyer with a 6.1-month supply. As for Manatee County, the market favors the seller with a 4.4-month supply for single-family homes and 4.7-month supply for condos.

Pending sales, or the number of properties that went under contract during the month, decreased year-over-year in January. Single-family pending sales decreased by 11.3 percent in Manatee County, while Sarasota decreased by 5.5 percent. Condo pending sales decreased 16.1 percent in Sarasota, while Manatee decreased by 15.3 percent.

When compared to last month, total pending sales increased by 56 percent from December 2018 to January 2019. Under the right market conditions, this positive change in month-over-month pending sales may indicate future closed sales.

“Pending sales typically slow down in December as many buyers wait for the new year,” said Worth. “This month-over-month change in pending sales is expected as we head into our regular season.”

When combined, the two counties experienced a 4.7 percent increase from last year in new listings. New listings for Sarasota single-family homes increased by 8.6 percent, while Manatee single-family homes decreased by 3.1 percent. Sarasota condo new listings increased by 5.8 percent and Manatee condo new listings increased by 7.9 percent.

The median time to contract, or number of days on market, increased for the condo market in January 2019. Sarasota condos increased by 21.4 percent to a median 51 days on market and Manatee condos increased by 39 percent to 57 days. Single-family homes in Manatee spent more days on the market with an 8.5 percent increase to 51 days, Sarasota experienced a 2.2 percent decrease to 45 days on the market.

Monthly reports are provided by Florida REALTORS® with data compiled from My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service. For comprehensive statistics dating back to 2005, visit