May Day Forecast for the Sarasota Real Estate Market

Today I’m wearing my Zoom video outfit standing on the shores of Big Pass- the body of water between Siesta and Lido Beach that is the gateway from Sarasota’s Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches in Sarasota are beginning to open. However, for those people who are living on the water they’ve had access all along.

So the burning question continues: How’s the market?

First, I want to share 3 quick anecdotes:

(1) Pandemic Purchasing

We are working with a family from Colorado who is purchasing a property remotely. By using multiple ways to experience the property including immersive 360 technology, photography, and FaceTime video they were able to visualize their future home and its lifestyle before going to contract. All the inspections have occurred with masks, gloves, and physical distancing protocols in place. And all the contract and document signing/sharing is being conducted electronically (as we have been doing for years already). In just a few weeks they will be sleeping in their piece of paradise.

(2) Re-evaluating Living Options

We’ve been getting numerous calls these past few days from people in cities such as Chicago and New York. They are tired of sheltering in place in these urban environments, and they’re looking for a better option. Sarasota fits that bill because they’ve learned that they can work remotely and their children are involved in distance learning. The common theme emerging- Why not live, work, and quarantine here rather than those restrictive, and more dreary environments?

(3) Change of Geography

Last week friends from Ohio choose to relocate themselves from their luxurious home there- where they have been sheltering in place for about 7 weeks- to their beachside condo on Longboat Key. They feel a sense of renewal as they can look out/walk out to the beach. They are feeling healthier physically as well as mentally. And they’re seeing that they’re being more attentive to their clients and colleagues just by being in a sunnier and warmer environment.

April Real Estate Numbers

The numbers for the month of April substantiate our anecdotal experiences. While I don’t normally like looking at numbers just for a month, I will give you two quick data points:

  • Pending Sales. The pending sales that occurred in April of 2020 represent about 17% of the properties available for sale in the market. This is really incredible turnover. What this translates to is it we have less than six months of inventory available. We’ve always had a shortage of good inventory over the last five or six years, and this pandemic is exacerbating that problem. We are seeing demand is greater than supply at this moment in time.
    • However, it’s really important to clarify that this applies to properties that have the right location, setting, and structure. And what I mean by that is a structure — the house, the condominium — needs to be either new, close to new, or renovated to feel like new for most of today’s buyers.
  • Median Price. The other statistic that I thought interesting is that the median price has gone up in April of 2020. I compared this both to a year ago in April 2019, as well as March 2020. This is also indicative that prices continue to rise despite the environment that we’re in.

Sarasota’s Philanthropic Community Stronger than EVER

The truly inspiring event that is reflective of the health of our community is The Giving Challenge which took place over a 24 hour period this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Over 58,000 people contributed nearly $18.5 million dollars to hundreds of charities. This is up from the same thing that was done in 2018 when they raised $11.7 million. So, several million more dollars have been raised despite the economic environment that we’re in. Our family chose four different charities and organizations that focus on children and underserved communities.

This news is really remarkable and a great validation for the community of Sarasota.

Sun, warm weather, philanthropy, and an incredible scenic environment. If you are ready to have an additional conversation about selling or buying, please give me a call at 941.587.0740

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