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Sarasota Real Estate Market for October Outpaces Last Year
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Property sales for October 2011 in the Sarasota real estate market outpaced last October, with 577 this year compared to only 487 at the same time last year. This represents an 18.4 percent increase, and could be a harbinger for a busy season.

There was also a small increase in transactions compared to September 2011, when 570 sales were recorded. Overall, sales in 2011 are on pace to exceed last year, a remarkable fact considering that 2010 sales were at the highest level since 2005.

The inventory of available properties for sale in Sarasota, after dropping precipitously over the course of 2011, was again up slightly in October to 4,525 from last month's 4,430 level. The inventory sunk to a 10-year low of 4,408 in August 2011.

The October 2011 median sale price for single family homes dropped to $149,838 from last month's figure of $165,000. But the amount was higher than last October, when it was $147,500. The condo figure has been fluctuating for several months, and rose slightly in October 2011 to $143,000 from last month's figure of $140,000. Last year at this time, the figure stood at $158,525. The year-to-date median sale price was $155,000 for single family homes and $162,000 for condos. These figures have remained remarkably steady for the past year, indicating a more stable market.

"There is no doubt that agents are reporting a very active marketplace, with many showings, good foot traffic and high interest in Sarasota properties," said SAR President Michael Bruno. "The start of the season has been busy and productive, and we hope this trend continues in the coming months."

The months of inventory rose slightly to 7.1 months from 6.7 months for single family homes, and dropped considerably for condos, to 9.7 months from September's 11.1 months. Both figures are close to a market in equilibrium between buyers and sellers, and again remained far below the highs of 25.3 months for single family (in early 2009) and 41.7 months for condos (in late 2008). This statistic represents the time it would take to sell the existing inventory at the current month's rate of sales.

Pending sales were up in October 2011 to 772 from 723 last month, approaching last October's total of 819. Last month, 585 single family homes and 187 condos went under contract.

For distressed property sales, the market for foreclosures and short sales remained at 43 percent, the same figure as in September 2011. The figure has stabilized this year, and is much lower than the rate in the second quarter of 2010 when it rose to over 51 percent.

On the national scene, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted home sales would increase by 4 percent next year and home prices would inch up 2 percent. He made the statements during the Economic Issues & Residential Real Estate Business Trends forum at the NAR annual conference on Nov. 11th. In 2013, he projected sales to pick up another 6 percent and prices to rise another 3 percent.

Bruno, who attended the NAR conference in California, said he was encouraged by what he heard regarding the future outlook.

"We remain optimistic for the near and long term due to the strength of our local market in the midst of continuing national and regional economic weakness," said Bruno. "We are all hopeful that the financial health of our feeder markets in the northeast and overseas also starts to improve. If this happens, it would be logical to assume a stronger late 2011 and early 2012 buying season here."

Sarasota Association of REALTORSĀ®



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About the Author

Ed Martinez, CDPE, SFR, REOS, CHS, A Bright Realty
5218 Station Way
Sarasota, FL 34233
941.378.0202

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