More homes for sale, but median price for Sarasota-Manatee breaks record – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Science & Technology

For the second month in a row, the number of homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee counties increased, a trend that indicates some cooling of the local housing market, according to a monthly report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.
But, while homeowners put more properties on the market, prices remain at record highs for the two-county area, the report noted.
The median single-family home sold in May in Sarasota-Manatee closed at $522,888, while April’s figure was $500,000. Last May, the median sales price in Sarasota-Manatee was $403,745, which was the first time in the area’s history that median sales price broke the $400,000 milestone.
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Manatee County reported a median sales price in May of $550,000 for single-family properties, a 37.5% increase from May 2021. Sarasota County reported a median sales price of $495,000 in May, up from the $407,000 figure reached 12 months ago.
The combined sales across the two counties, including condo properties,  decreased year-over-year by 4.6% to 2,466 sales in May but increased by 7.9% from the previous month.
About 1,600 single-family homes sold in May — also an increase compared to April’s data, but still down 7.5% year over year.
Tony Veldkamp, the 2022 RASM president and a senior advisor at SVN Commercial Advisory Group, said some of the decrease in sales is cyclical, but home sales are also being impacted by “everyone talking about rising interest rates and inflationary pressures.”
“Prices, both average and median, remain very strong and are still increasing, while we continue to see the time from listing to contract measured in days, not weeks,” he said. “Our active inventory of single-family homes has finally exceeded one month of supply in both counties, but we deem a healthy balanced market as a six-month supply.”
Joe Murphy and his wife Molly have been involved with Sarasota real estate for about 20 years.
The Coldwell Banker Realty agent said in January and February, the number of new homes entering the market every day was in the single digits. Over the past week, he’s seen 30 or 40 each day come to market.
But even with the increased number of homes on the market, the number of properties for sale is still very low compared to what the Sarasota-Manatee market historically has seen.
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Murphy said a major issue is that so few of the number of homes changing hands are being completed by home owners looking to upgrade to larger homes as their families grow.
Murphy said that someone who bought a home six years ago may be looking for more space because of an additional child, but with interest rates rising, it may not make financial sense to sell the current home and buy a larger house.
He said that Sarasota’s second home and retiree markets still appear very strong, with nearly half of the area’s homes being paid for in cash in May.
As long as that segment remains strong, interest rate hikes will not have as large of an impact on price in the Sarasota-Manatee market.
“It may work (raising interest rates to slow price growth) in more traditional markets,” Murphy said, “but it is not going to work here.”
Murphy said that even though interest rates have increased, if someone is thinking about buying a home, they should do so, since prices are not likely to come down.
Veldkamp, the local Realtor association president, also noted that “if the time is right for someone to purchase a home, they should not let interest rates deter them.”
“Homes can be permanent, whereas interest rates are temporary,” he said. “You may live in the home for the next 20 to 30 years or more, but you can refinance that loan in two years, five years, or 10 years; whenever interest rates become more favorable.”

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