Since 2010 I have published a quarterly review of Sarasota’s real estate market sales and activity. I then combine that quantitative data with my own qualitative experiences in the field working with sellers and buyers.
These insights help those looking to enter, exit, or change residences make informed decisions on the Sarasota real estate market.
For the 3rd quarter of 2016- this is what I have observed and learned:
- The distressed market made up just 6% of sales. This number is 2 ½ times less than it was this time a year ago.
- Sarasota continues to get more expensive with now less than 40% of the transactions under $200k. However, 88% of all sales were for properties listed at $500k and less.
- Sales were down 12% from the 3rd quarter of 2015 to the 3rd quarter of 2016. In the luxury market, sales were 16% lower from the same period a year ago.
Inventory Shortage or Buyers with High Expectations?
There has been much discussion about lack of inventory in our market. This is not a new phenomenon. Buyers have been more discerning for years as their wants have become more refined. There is a renewed emphasis on location and lifestyle. We also find that thanks in large part to HGTV, many buyers want more from their home.
What Ultra Luxury Segment Reveals About Our Market
One of the highlights during the first 9 months of this year is that the sales in the ultra-luxury market- those properties sold for $3M or more- grew by over 40% from the same period a year ago.
The significance of this is that people are willing to pay more for Sarasota real estate. These types of numbers can easily be found in places like Miami and Naples, but now Buyers see the value in our market. For Sellers, this is validation that the top end of the market is growing.
More than 55% of these sales were for beachfront properties, which I find interesting because it reinforces that the waterfront aspect of Sarasota living is still a pivotal criteria for more than half the buyers.
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Make Your Home Easy to Buy
Note to Sellers: if you are interested in selling and getting top dollar it is imperative that you make it easy for a Buyer to move-in to your home. Today’s Buyer is not interested in doing work. Our team can advise you on specifically what upgrades, renovation, and staging will net you a higher selling price.
The summer in Sarasota has been slower, though there are buyers in the market. The election uncertainty may be playing into their delaying their purchase decisions. I think we will see many start to pull the trigger, though, as the “season” unfolds.