If you ask me how the Sarasota real estate market is right now I’d say it is healthy as indicated by the level of showing activity, sales, and a slow rise in median prices. However, the more germane question is what is happening in any given specific niche geography. It’s even more specific than the neighborhood. We have to get down to the exact street. To illustrate this point, I want to share two anecdotes from Lido Beach and Bird Key- specifically focused on Blvd of the Presidents and North Warbler.
A recent sale on Blvd of the Presidents on Lido Key was listed initially for $4.99M then raised to $5.5M. The Seller tried three different Realtors and after 20 months, the property sold for almost $3,000,000 less than its high list price. The selling price was actually 25% less than its final list price.
What does this tell us? First, the property was way overpriced, yet more importantly, it demonstrates the intelligence of the market and how it values different attributes unequally. This historic home- the former Van Wezel estate- has an incredible setting off of Otter Key, yet the location feels just a bit removed from Lido Beach and St. Armand’s Circle. There is no garage, a lack of landscaping, and the property is a bit disjointed. So even though the households tremendous historical significance, the market is speaking loudly to this Seller that having historical significance and a special setting was in the endless valuable than the condition of the house and the location.
As the Pelican flies, just 1200 meters away on North Warbler Lane on Bird Key, there is a home that was built in the 1970s. Reminiscent of Brady Bunch architecture, this property went under contract in 4 days. This is 20 months faster than the previous example. There were multiple bidders and yet the property still sold for less than asking. The market is smarter than we give it credit for. Fortunately, the market is not emotional. The Bird Key property could be torn down or lived in, but being that it was on a cul-de-sac street, had a functional layout, ample square footage, a pretty view, and a neighborhood with a proven track record, the owner was able to choose an offer and move on with their life.
When we list properties, our philosophy continues to be to price it appropriately for showings and exposure. The market with all of its wisdom will show sellers the correct selling price. We ask that Sellers choose a broker who will steward the sales process, give honest and constructive feedback, and most importantly let the market provide unfiltered information to be used in the decision-making process.
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Sarasota Real Estate Sales up in Q2
All of this to say once again that the market is doing well, there are many people searching, and properties are closing. Let’s take a look at Sarasota’s sales numbers for the Q2 of 2019.
- Sales overall were up 3.4% from the same period a year ago.
- Affordability continues to decrease as properties in this segment (under 200k) decreased by 10%.
- Interestingly, distressed sales increased by 40% compared to the second quarter of 2018. Something we will watch in futures quarters, though a bit confusing since prices continue to rise. Distressed sales occur in 1 of every 40 properties sold.
- The luxury market (properties listed for $1M or more) had an increase of 3.3% for the quarter.
In the most established and desired neighborhoods on the barrier islands and close to the art and culture centers in Downtown Sarasota, good properties are selling well — especially those that are new, are choice lots, or require little to no work. The others are selling once the prices are adjusted to the market.