Real Estate report

Sarasota-Manatee Home Sales and Inventory Show Month-Over-Month Growth

March saw nearly 50 percent more sales than February, while median home prices still hold steady amid increased inventory.

By Kim Doleatto April 24, 2023

In March, the median price for a single-family home in Sarasota County was $528,013, the second-highest median price recorded in the county with the previous record being $537,500 in October, 2022.

Image: Kim Doleatto

Home values are generally holding steady even as inventory continues to increase. Sales were up last month, and single-family home sales in Manatee increased year-over-year for the first time in 12 months, according to the latest report by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM).

Not only did Manatee County see the first year-over-year increase in sales since February 2022, but the area also had the first year-over-year decrease in median prices since February 2019.

Despite the increase in inventory, the median price for single-family homes in Sarasota County was $528.013, an 8.3 percent increase over last March when it was $487,500—it's the second-highest median price recorded in the county with the previous record being $537,500 in October 2022. In Manatee County it's $491,988, representing a 6.3 percent drop compared to last March when it was $525,000. Condo prices in both counties saw more than 10 percent growth compared to March of last year. Sarasota condo prices are $423,245. Manatee County's are $353,000.

And while the number of sales in March increased compared to February this year, the year-over-year numbers look different. For single-family home sales, Sarasota County sales decreased by 3.8 percent to 826 sales compared to last March, while Manatee County's increased year-over-year by 4.4 percent to 756 sales. Condo sales decreased by 11.7 percent to 414 in Sarasota, year-over-year and by 7.7 percent to 275 sales in Manatee County.

At the end of the month, in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton MSA, there were 5,541 active listings, an almost 250 percent increase from the same time last year. When compared to the previous month, the total inventory for both property types increased by 5.7 percent.

One contributing factor affecting inventory growth may be due to pricing that has yet to respond to the current market.

"Half of sellers think we're still in the high market we recently saw. But that started to shift around last April so they're still aiming too high and not selling," says Marlin Yoder, a local realtor with Harry E. Robbins Associates. "The transactions that are happening are being negotiated down." 

And that's evident in the report with numbers showing that last year, asking prices were being honored in full, with the median percentage of the original price holding at 100 percent last March. This year, the median percentage of the original price received by sellers was down to 95 percent across the North-Port Sarasota-Bradenton MSA.  

As for factors contributing to increased inventory, Yoder is also seeing pandemic-induced investments take a pivot.

"A lot of people bought short-term rentals in 2021 after the pandemic due to a boom in the tourism industry because people could suddenly travel and work remotely. But it was a bit of a fad and many were managed half-heartedly and they're not making money and being offloaded now," he adds.

Indicating the pacing of sales, the month’s supply of inventory continues to increase across the two counties. In Manatee County, condo supply increased by 428.6 percent to a 3.7-month supply and by 400 percent to a 3-month supply for single-family homes. Sarasota County had a 3.3-month supply of condos and a 3.1-month supply of single-family homes, a year-over-year increase of 450 percent and 287.5 percent respectively.

Despite the increases and shift toward a balanced environment of five to six months of inventory, it's still a seller's market, but buyer behavior is responding. 

"They're not waiving inspections and appraisals like they were during the pandemic rush to buy. They have options now and they're being wiser and moving on when the seller doesn't cooperate," Yoder says.

In fact, the report highlights a significant uptick in the median number of days between the listing date to contract date. In both counties, for both home types, the number of days from listing to contract increased. Last March they all stood at five days. This time around, they're 18 to 45.

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