A change has come to interrupt a real estate market marked by a dearth of homes amid high demand. For the second month in a row, the inventory of listings in the two-county area increased year-over-year last month—by 17.2 percent for single-family homes and by 12 percent for condos, according to new data from the Realtor Association of Sarasota Manatee (RASM).
At the end of last month, combined listings in both counties saw a 58.5 percent increase from May of 2021. Compared to April, inventory increased last month by 29.8 percent, with 587 more listings reported at the end of May than at the end of April.
But the shift is marginal, and the number of listings is still six times lower than what would be expected of a balanced real estate market, according to RASM president Tony Veldkamp, who's also a senior advisor at SVN Commercial Advisory Group.
Despite the increase in inventory, the residential market is seeing its highest-recorded prices yet, and the time from listing to contract is still measured in mere days. In May 2022, it was six days. Pre-pandemic, in May of 2019, it was 56.
Last month saw the highest median prices reported for both single-family homes and condos in both counties. Single-family home prices in Sarasota increased by 21.6 percent to $495,000, while the median price in Manatee increased year-over-year by 37.5 percent to $550,000. For condos, the median price in Sarasota increased by 29 percent from last year to $403,000, and Manatee prices increased by 51.9 percent to $369,900.
Those prices, inflation and a sudden increase in mortgage interest rates are having an effect on sales.
Single-family sales decreased from last year in Manatee County by 7.3 percent to 685 sales, while Sarasota's decreased by 7.6 percent to 910 sales. In the condo market, closed sales increased by 6.3 percent to 339 sales in Manatee and are down by 1.7 percent to 532 sales in Sarasota.
Still, more than half of Sarasota County sales were closed in cash. In Manatee, just less than 40 percent of sales were closed in cash.