Sarsaota Housing Market Still StrongPosted by Brandy Coffey on Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 at 9:17am.
Although the number of sales were down slightly in July, the smallest quarterly decline in more than four years, the overall big picture indicates that we may continue to have a strong market in terms of pricing heading into the fall. It is expected that availability of homes will drop somewhat as the trend of higher demand vs amount of available properties is expected to continue. We know from past history that this will likely increase prices of available properties.
Home Sales in July 2011
In the month of July, 2011, there were 445 single-family homes and 154 condos sold. This is down from June, 2011, when sales reached 728 (June was one of four months during this year that saw more than 700 units sold). Interestingly, the Sarasota Association of Realtors noted a pattern that started to emerge over the last number of years where sales in July dipped compared to the spring and early summer buying seasons.
Median Sales in July
Though the median price of a condominium unit leveled off at $145,000 - down from $185,000 in June - it remained 14% higher than the year previous ( July 2010 ) when the median sale price came in at $127,000. The price of a single family home, however, remained stable - down just over $5000 from the month previous when it's median value was $175,000. Overall, the median condo price has fluctuated since January, whereas single family dwellings have remained relatively stable.
Sarastota Home Inventory Stabilizing
There are also signs on the horizon of housing markets (and the market in general) beginning to stabilize. Typically, over the past few years, what were sporadic and unpredictable variations in buying and in prices, are slowly coming around to seasonal trends which are indications of a relatively stable market.
In July 2011, the total inventory of available properties dropped from 4,485 (2,829 single family homes and 1,656 condos) from 4,830 in June of this year - more than a 7 percent drop. This is a significant decrease in available properties from July of 2010 when there were 6,054 properties on the market.
The months of inventory is an ever-changing number, but in the short-term, is an indication of how many months it would take to sell the existing properties on the market at the present rate of sell-through. At six months availability, it is generally considered that there is a balance of buyers to sellers in the market. With this in mind, the July measurement was at 6.4 months for single family homes - a slight increase over June, 2011 - and condos increased from 8.2 months in June to 10.7 months in July.
Compared to 25.3 months for single family dwellings in early 2009, and 41.7 months for condominiums during late 2008, this is a significant decrease.
Distressed Sales Down
Another high point is that the number of distressed sales and foreclosures decreased slightly to 38 percent of the July 2011 sales, signaling a down-ward trend from 47 percent at the beginning of the year, and 51 percent in November of last year.
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