cool down

The Housing Market Is Showing a Return to 'Normalcy'

For the first time since 2021, the median percentage of single-family homes sold at or above the list price was below 100 percent. A longtime Sarasota realtor shares how that's affecting sellers.

By Kim Doleatto September 23, 2022

A modern exterior of a Sarasota home.

A Sarasota home

Image: Kim Doleatto

Following a two-year real estate fever that sent prices skyrocketing and deals closing at never seen before speeds, the latest numbers point to a cool-down. According to August data from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM), the local housing market showed a decrease in sales and a rise in the median number of days from listing date to contract. August's numbers are similar to July, indicating a steady but leveling market trend.

Closed sales for both single-family homes and condos in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area decreased year-over-year by 15.6 percent to 1,794 sales.

In Manatee County, single-family sales decreased by 17 percent, to 576 sales, and condo sales decreased by 11.3 percent, to 244 sales. In Sarasota County, there were 678 single-family home sales in August, a 16.8 percent decrease from August of last year, and 296 condo sales, showing a decrease of 13.2 percent.

At the end of August, there were 4,288 active listings combined in the two counties, a 133.6 percent increase from last year. But the increase in inventory isn't having much of an effect on pricing for now. 

Prices are shifting both ways. In Sarasota County, the median sale price for single-family homes increased year-over-year by 21.8 percent to $475,250—but that's lower than the record-breaking price of $525,000 in July.

In Manatee County the shift was less notable. The median sale price for single-family homes was $525,000 in August, a 22.1 percent increase from the same month last year, compared to $521,000 in July of this year.

What is notable, however, is that for the first time since March of 2021, the median percent of single-family homes sold at or above the original list price was reported below 100 percent in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area, dropping by 2 percent to a 98 percent list-to-sale ratio.

In the condo market, prices are still climbing. Sarasota County reported a median sale price of $375,000, an increase of 19 percent from last year, while the median condo price in Manatee County increased by 28.2 percent, to $352,495.

The time to contract is still fast, at only two weeks, but is a slow down compared to last year, when single-family homes in Sarasota County were seeing just six days to contract. In Manatee County it's similar, with August seeing 13 days to contract versus just five during the same month last year.

Although it's still a good time to sell, Sarasota realtor Brandy Coffey points to a few things that have changed with sellers. 

Contingencies are back

"Compared to the last two years, we're no longer seeing waived contingencies, regardless of price point," she says. "In the past, it's as though buyers had a fear of missing out and were rushing in."

Common contingencies are items like home inspections, appraisals and financing that guide both the buyer and seller through a more time-intensive process that may determine closing or pulling out of a deal. "With interest rates up, buyers are more cautious," Coffey adds.

Bye-bye bidding wars

"We've been playing catch-up. During the last two years, it almost didn't matter how you priced a home, you would get bids," Coffey explains. "Now, if you're motivated to sell, listing it slightly under market value is best to gain more offers."

Homes need to dress up

"It's best if homes are showroom-ready," Coffey says. "People weren't concerned how things looked and would buy just about anything, but that's now changed."

Show Comments