It depends on whether you were buying or selling in determining if the 2010 Sarasota real estate market was good or not. Buyers are probably very happy as prices have come down and seem to be holding steady in many segments of the market. While most sellers are probably kicking themselves for not selling sooner and for a higher price. What a difference 5 years can make. Like many other parts of the country Sarasota homes and condos were worth so much more in 2005.
From a Realtor’s perspective things were pretty good in 2010. The Sarasota real estate market is liquid with a good supply of buyers and sellers. If you priced something competitively there was a strong chance the property would sell. Buyers still have plenty to look at and still have the leverage over the sellers. However, the supply of good properties is dropping and the buyers don’t have the control they once had as the market seems to be bottoming and as the inventory is being eaten up.
The chart below shows inventory, sales and pending sales for the last 5 years in Sarasota county.
As you can see from the light green bars inventory levels are far lower than the highs established from early 2006 to the middle of 2008. As of December 2010 Sarasota county had 6,922 properties for sale which is a far cry from the 13,477 properties for sale it had in March of 2007. Notice how the sales and pending sales have increased in 2010 as home prices have declined. Other interesting statistics:
- 8.8 months of inventory based on closed sales
- $222,000 – average sold price
- $131- average sold $/square foot
- 95% – sold/list price
- 116 – average days on market
- $135,000 – median sales price
Is the Sarasota Real Estate Market Bottoming?
Of course no one knows for sure but it sure does seem like the market is bottoming. I personally think we are dragging along the bottom. If we could get rid of a good chunk of inventory then I would be 100% convinced. One thing I have noticed recently is how hard it is to find a good property for a buyer. Depending on your criteria it is getting more challenging to find good properties that are priced well. Buyers do not have the selection they once had. Again, another sign of a bottoming market.
Take a look at the chart below. It represents the average sales price of homes for sale and home sold for the last 5 years in Sarasota county.
Notice how the average sales price has been holding steady since early 2009. That is a great sign for the real estate market. It may show market equilibrium. From a buyers perspective things are looking very attractive. Notice how the average sales price in December 2005 was around $600,000 and now it is $222,000. What an amazing drop in price that virtually no one predicted.
Regardless, if we are at the bottom or not now is a good time to be a buyer if your time horizon is several years. We might see further slipping in price however a holding period of 5 years or more should negate any loss. Prices will eventually start rising again. They almost always do.