Sarasota Homes Sales Up

March 7, 2008

Having been in a Realtor in Sarasota for the past 20 years it is no surprise to me that the Sarasota/Bradenton area is again bucking the trend and posting increases in home sales volume while all other counties are seeing decreasing volumes in homes sales.  I have always seen that the Sarasota area is the last to see enter the downturn and the first to see things turn around.  Recent numbers indicate that Sarasota home sale increased by 4% and Manatee County increased by 13%.  The Miami area had a 48% reduction in home sales which explains why I have seen so many new clients comming from the Miami area.



  1. The comparison of the Sarasota market to the Miami market is like a doctor comparing a patient with pneumonia to a patient with heart problems. Both patients are very sick, although one is sicker. The Sarasota market is a long way from getting healthy. The baby boomers cannot sell their homes up North. The scarcity of loans in the jumbo category, and the premium interest rates that are required, discourage the few credit-worthy borrowers who can afford to buy a home over $500,000, which constitutes a large percentage of the homes in Sarasota. Foreclosures have gained a momentum that is unlikely to abate any time soon. As a result, the large inventory of homes will not decrease significantly any time soon. For these and other reasons, this market is unlikely to see a true recovery any time soon. Anyone who does not have to buy now should wait a year–prices at this time next year will be 15-20% lower.

  2. Increased in sales volume equals more sales. Everyone I speak with in real estate from builders, title companies, to realtors and homes inspectors is seeing an increase in activity. The transactions that my clients have been completing are great deals priced below the average market price of most homes. Foreclosures are on the rise but these homes are quickly clearing the market. The foreclosures that are coming to market do not constitute new inventory as most of these homes were one the market as short sales prior to foreclosure. I have had many short sale properties with multiple offers that did not close because the banks were unwilling to allow a short sale. In many cases these homes went into foreclosure and were later sold for far less than what was originally offered.

  3. Obviously, you are seeing what you are seeing and I am not trying to discount that. However, there are too many negative forces in play for me to believe that the Sarasota market is on the cusp of recovery. Prices are still high relative to the prebubble years and the number of qualified buyers is low. Lets check back in 6 months and see who was correct.

  4. I tend to agree with Mr. Donnenwirth’s posting. There are so many factors that we have never faced before influencing our market. It seems one home sells, two go on the market. Unfortunately, many who sell in our area, do not re-purchase in Florida. Instead, bitter about rising insurance, taxes and reduction in employment, they go back to where they came from for family support and to start over. Greed has put us all in a situation that does not have any satisfactory answers. Where WILL we all be in 6-12 months? I think the answer is anyone’s guess.

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