The Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee is on pace to record the highest number of sales in its 100-year history. In 2014, a total of 19,389 properties were sold in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. With 19,020 sales recorded in the first eleven months of 2015, only 370 property sales are needed in December to break the record. Sales have exceeded 1,000 every month this year, so it seems assured that 2015 will be a historic year for real estate sales.
 

Sales in November were 2.6 percent higher than last November, but were down from October in both counties, a very typical trend. Median sale prices have increased from November 2014 compared to November 2015. Sarasota county saw an 18.5 percent increase in single family home median sale prices; while Manatee County experienced a 14.9 percent increase. In addition, condo median sale prices are up in both counties, Sarasota coming in with a 13.17 percent increase, and Manatee County with 12.8 percent.

"We are enjoying a strong and healthy market, with sustainable gains, and the traditional buying season has just begun. We should anticipate a busy market in the coming months with staying power throughout the year," said Stafford Starcher, 2015 President of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

November saw a much-needed growth in Inventory. Available properties rose 9 percent in Sarasota County and about 5 percent in Manatee County. Despite the increase this month, inventory is still about 2 percent lower than in November 2014, mostly reflecting in single family properties, as condo inventory remained relatively unchanged from last year.

The two-county area saw the month's supply of inventory remain well below the 5.5-month level, which typically defines a market in equilibrium between buyers or sellers. Single family in Sarasota County has a 3.7 months' supply, compared to 3.9 in Manatee County. The months' supply of condos available is the same for both counties, at 4 months. Median days on market continues to decline, as homes sell more quickly, another sign of strength in the market.

Another sign of health in the market was the drop in the percentage of foreclosure and short sales. Single family distressed sales of both counties combined were down 55 percent from last year; and the same is true for condos, which were down almost 38 percent. During the foreclosure and short sale market crisis in 2008, almost 50 percent of the sales were distressed. Today, distressed sales account for less than 12 percent of sales.

New Pending sales, which reflect new contracts written in the two-county area, followed the typical trend for this time of year, and were down about 8 percent compared to last November in both single family and condo. The decline should result in fewer closed sales over the next thirty to sixty days.

"Based on our sales to date, we are looking at record-breaking numbers to round out the year," noted Starcher. "We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I am enthusiastic about the future of our thriving real estate market."