Market Report

Home Inventory Is Up, But Housing Prices Are Still Going Strong

According to the latest numbers, the median price for a single-family home in the Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port region is $490,000.

By Kim Doleatto November 28, 2023

New townhomes on 10th Street in Gillespie Park, Sarasota.

New townhomes on 10th Street in Gillespie Park, Sarasota.

Image: Kim Doleatto

The recent trend of more houses on the market is staying the course. October inventory in both Sarasota and Manatee counties is the highest it’s been so far this year, according to data compiled by the Realtor Association of Sarasota-Manatee.

October sales are also on the uptick. Combined sales for single-family homes and condos in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan statistical area (MSA) increased year-over-year by 4.3 percent, to 1,608.

That’s good news for those who have been waiting on the sidelines because of a shortfall of homes available for sale.

In Manatee County, single-family home sales increased year over year by 6.5 percent, to 609 sales, and condo sales by 7.5 percent, to 215 sales. In Sarasota County, single-family home sales increased by 3.5 percent, to 538 sales, while condo sales decreased by 1.6 percent, to 246 sales.

The balance between inventory, prices and purchases is evening out compared to recent years.

“I’m seeing that some people who panic-bought post-pandemic without taking time to do more research are discovering they might not find their neighborhood ideal [for them] and want to move,” says Jana Marie Gouwens, an agent with Preferred Shore Realty. 

“Buyers are slowing down somewhat due to interest rates [now at roughly 8 percent for a 30-year fixed mortgage],” she continues. “But it almost levels out for the buyer, with prices that have cooled somewhat. Sellers have had to lower their asking price for buyers to afford [the houses] along with the interest rates."

In October, the median price for Sarasota condos increased by 10.3 percent from last year to their highest price so far in 2023, at $426,500. The condo price in Manatee County, meanwhile, increased by only 0.4 percent from last year, to $370,000. 

Median sale prices for single-family homes experienced the largest year-over-year percentage decrease for both counties so far this year. In Manatee County, the median sale price for single-family homes decreased by 12.8 percent, to $479,000, while Sarasota County saw a 3.3 percent decrease, bringing the price to $520,000. Of note: the median percentage of the asking price received for both property types in both counties was at least 96 percent.

Amid other elements, like longer times to contract—now roughly 30 days for both property types in the MSA as compared to January of 2022, when the time seven days for single-family homes—Gouwens emphasizes that it’s a good time to buy.

“Buyers can get more concessions and more negotiating with the sellers now. There used to be none of that, and it was take it or leave it. Now, if the property is priced right you can still get multiple offers," she says.

Many buyers are able to buck the effects of interest rates with cash, and there are still  plenty of those transactions. RASM data shows saw 10 percent more cash buyers than last year for condos and 8 percent more cash buyers for single-family homes year over year. In October, cash buyers in the local MSA accounted for 39 percent of purchases for single-family homes. For condos, it was 63 percent.

The increase in inventory is happening statewide, and new listings for single-family homes rose 14.5 percent in October, while new listings for condos were up by 29.6 percent. State data also showed that the strongest year-over-year growth in new contracts in September and October was in southwest Florida. Indeed, amid all the new construction, Gouwens expects a busy winter season.

“I expect January to be ramped up with people ready to sell once their new construction condo or home is done,” she says.

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