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The number of single-family homes showed a positive change last month, the first year-over-year increase for the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area since May of 2019. In fact, Sarasota County has its highest home inventory in 12 months, with its second month in a row of positive year-over-year increases. Last month, the number of properties added to the market increased year-over-year by 5.1 percent for single-family homes but decreased by 0.2 percent for condos, according to data from the Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee, (RASM).
It's a change for the better, but it's still marginal. "Some of the increase in inventory is seasonal, due to the summer months which are classically slower," says Tony Veldkamp, 2022 president of RASM and senior advisor at SVN Commercial Advisory Group. "Some of these numbers are due to that. The other part is rising interest rates." The average fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage reached 5.27 percent earlier this month, the highest level in more than a decade.
Inflation also plays a part, as many have to reshuffle financial priorities as the costs for basics like food and gas spiral, Veldkamp notes.
Closed sales, combined for both property types in both counties, decreased year-over-year by 23.6 percent to 2,285 sales in April. Single-family sales decreased by 18.3 percent to 692 sales in Manatee County and decreased by 25.3 percent to 792 sales in Sarasota County. In the condo market, closed sales are down by 26.7 percent to 304 sales in Manatee and 25.7 percent to 497 sales in Sarasota.
But "sales remain very strong, and it's still a great time to put your house on the market to sell, Veldkamp says,
Prices for single-family homes in Sarasota County rose year-over-year by 27.1 percent to $482,803, while in Manatee the median price increased year-over-year by 27.2 percent to $515,000. For condos, the median price in Sarasota increased by 27.4 percent from last year to $395,000, and Manatee prices increased by 48.9 percent to $350,000.
And although more homes on the market increase competition, Veldkamp says he's still hearing it's a challenge for home buyers. "Instead of 20 multiple offers, there may be five or 10," he says. And there's still a large share of cash buyers, with 47 percent of closed sales for single-family homes paid for in cash last month in both counties.
This is the second month in a row there's been a positive increase, but "it's too early to call it a trend," he says. "But we think it might be."
What hasn't changed is lighting fast sales, with properties going under contract within a median of five days in April–a year-over-year decrease of 28.6 percent for single-family homes and 54.5 percent for condos.