Residential home sales surged for the second straight month in Southwest Florida. There was a minor improvement during September, while the volume of sales differed by location.
Strength in Sales
Homebuyers bought around 2,110 existing condominiums and single-family homes in the Charlotte and Sarasota-Manatee counties in September. According to the information revealed by the Florida Realtors trade group, there was a minor surge of less than one percent or 40 sales in comparison to the same period last year.
A Tale of Two Regions
In the Sarasota-Manatee metropolitan statistical area, sales grew by 2.5 percent, while the Charlotte metro area fell by 5.3 percent. The sales surged by 3.8 percent in the three countries in August, which reversed the eight-month decline in volume.
Varied Increase in Prices
There were different surges in prices during the past two months. Charlotte revealed they had a 22 percent increase, while Sarasota-Manatee reported an eight percent surge during the year for single-family homes.
There was an even volume of real estate sales between the Sarasota-Manatee counties in September. Sales in single-family homes increased by 13.8 percent in Manatee County, but dropped by 3.2 percent in Sarasota County. Meanwhile, the sales in condominium units surged by 3.3 percent in Sarasota, but fell by 6.2 percent in Manatee.
The pending sales, which include signed purchase contracts that are still open, shrank by 11 percent in the two counties during September. Linda Formella, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, explains that the regular September slowdown may have caused the decline. During this time, most home buyers concentrate on storm warnings and back-to-school activities.
Formella adds that investors, who are exhausted from the long political term, are resting while they are preparing for the results of the election. She further comments that some buyers are just waiting for the prices to drop and the inventory to increase.
During the last month, the average rate of single-family homes in Sarasota-Manatee rose to USD 259,200, while condo rates increased to USD 188,000 or by 4.4 percent. Charlotte homes sold for an average of USD 195,000, while the rates in condominiums increased to USD 195,000 or by 7.8 percent.
The Limited Inventory
The inventory available is around 20 percent in Sarasota-Manatee during the year. This led to the huge hike in prices, but it still continued to be a seller’s market because of the 4.2 month supply of homes for sale. Formella says the listing inventory will continue to increase in the next few weeks like it did in the past, while sellers prepare themselves for the approaching season.