2015 is likely to see the hottest home sales year in a century and real estate agents in Manatee and Sarasota counties are already looking forward to a healthy 2016.
Having watched sales drop slowly since July, market professionals are cautiously optimistic that homeowners who have been waiting to bring their properties to market will start doing so soon to capitalize on the annual influx of winter residents. That, they say, would bolster existing home inventories that have been low all year.
Sales of existing homes have dropped off in the last few months of 2015 but remained well ahead of 2014 sales which held the all-time sales record of 19,389 homes sold. In November 2015, 1,304 existing homes sold between the two counties, pacing the market to a sales total of 19,020 for the first 11 months of 2015.
Sales for the year peaked in midsummer at about 1,700 per month in June and July.
Real estate professionals at all levels of the home market are expecting more homeowners to list in January. Realtors are waiting on several promised listings to start the year. At the moment, the number of homes in the $400,000 range is “really low.” Overall inventories for existing homes are sitting between three and four months in Manatee and Sarasota.
Approximately 1,700 homes priced less than $400,000 were sold in Manatee County compared with 55 priced more than $1 million.
Cash sales were largely up for November, with more than 70 percent of condos and townhomes selling in cash transactions in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Little more than 38 percent of single family home transactions in Manatee County were for cash. Almost half of Sarasota single family sales were cash transactions.
Florida as a whole has largely mirrored trends in Manatee and Sarasota. The 18,102 single family home sales recorded in November were slightly ahead of a year ago, while the median selling price of those homes jumped 13.6 percent to $200,000. Condos and townhome sales were up 5.7 percent at a median selling price of $150,000, MLS numbers show.
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