It’s mid-January and here on the beach there’s nothing but blue skies, warm temperatures, and it’s our happy season!! In fact, we are going stay quite busy for the next several months and likely even well into July- our second busiest month here in Sarasota.
The real estate market has lots of activity. From our experience, as we turned the leaf on a new year, we have lots of active buyers, sellers, properties going under contract, multiple offer situations, and plenty of enthusiasm for our community here in Sarasota.
The 2022 Sales Numbers
First, let’s look at the numbers. How did our market perform in 2022?
Sales were down in 2022 compared to 2021 by 26%. This is in large part a function of the fact that there has been very, very limited inventory. In the fourth quarter alone, sales were down 38% compared to the same period in 2021.
- This lack of inventory has caused a lot of strain. It has caused prices to go higher and has caused buyers to enter into multiple offer situations. We are seeing that loosen a little bit in the past few months. In fact, our current inventory levels are about three to four months based upon our current sales figures. It would actually be great to have a little bit more inventory because this inventory is not spread evenly throughout our marketplace.
- Our affordable segment (property under $500k) continues to get smaller and smaller. It now comprises about 50% of our total market. Less than 6% of our market is under $200k a dramatic change over the last 5 years.
- The luxury market (property above $1M) is 11% of our total market and it’s been very stable over the past few quarters.
- The super luxury market (properties listed for $5M or more) has been very slow. The bright spot in this segment has been new construction condominiums, which will not be completed for two to four years from now. We are seeing resales having a very slow moment. This probably won’t last, but it has been that way for the past couple of months.
What are Buyers Thinking and Feeling?
Well, there’s a huge trough of information that our buyers feed from. Some of them are stepping into the market and finding multiple offer situations. With our own listings, certain listings are getting more attention than others and going under contract, if not in days, in weeks. We are seeing a lot of competition.
Certain buyers are taking a step back because what they are finding in the trough is giving them pause. Other buyers think that the market is a little too strong for them, not by much, but a little bit and they are waiting for some event in the future. I am not quite sure which is the right way. Yes, there are multiple offer situations, however we’re still seeing prices come down about 1-3%. We are seeing inspections and other contingencies return, and yet it is still a very competitive market.
I obviously do not have a crystal ball and there are people on both sides of that fence. What I am seeing is that people continue to move to Sarasota and want to call it home. We have a wonderful lifestyle here and people are investing. As I’ve said before, there may be a hiccup or two in the real estate market, but long term the quality of life in Sarasota only gets better and better.
For any information on ANYTHING related to real estate here in Sarasota, give me a call @ 941.587.0740.