January 2013 Sales Up 22 Percent Over Last January
According to the Sarasota Association of Realtors - The Sarasota real estate market saw sales leap by 22 percent in January 2013, compared to January 2012 - a great start for the new year, and evidence that the 2012 real estate market boom is continuing unabated.
Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® sold 626 properties in January - 466 single family homes and 160 condominiums. That compared to 365 single family homes and 148 condos sold in January 2012. The January sales represented a drop off from the December 2012 total of 828 sales. A similar decrease was seen last year from December to January. In 2012, sales increased markedly in February, March and April, climbing to 886 closed transactions in April before dropping off slightly in the summer months.
Pending sales, which predict future closings, were at 1,047 in January - the highest level in nine months, and well above the pending sales reported in January 2012 (963). This statistic, which represents properties that went under contract during the month, indicates the February sales could also be at a healthy level.
The available inventory remained near the lowest level in a decade, but rose somewhat in January 2013 to 3,846 from the December 2012 total of 3,657. The figure was still 1,000 fewer properties than in January 2012.
"We are seeing some sellers returning to the market to take advantage of the spring buying season, so our inventory level has increased slightly," said SAR President Roger Piro. "The biggest current trend remains the high level of market activity - foot traffic at open houses, competitive bidding for available homes, and tremendous volume of sales."
The median sale prices for single family homes dropped slightly in January to $183,800 from the December 2012 figure of $189,500. But the figure was 14 percent higher than last January's median of $162,000. Condo median sale prices dropped markedly in January 2013 to $130,000 from the December 2012 figure of $182,500, and were also much lower than last January ($180,000). A closer examination of the condo category showed many sales in the sub-$100,000 price range, which pulled down the overall statistic. In 2012, the full year median prices were 13 percent higher than in 2011.
The January 2013 months of inventory were 5.4 months for single family and 8.4 months of inventory for condos, somewhat higher than the December 2012 figures of 3.9 months and 5.4 months, respectively. The increase can be attributed to two factors - a large increase in new listings on the market (988 compared to only 596 in December); and the decrease in sales, both of which resulted in a larger inventory and smaller percentage of closed sales.
Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate. Last January, there were 8.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 11.3 months of inventory for condos. At the worst point of our market in November 2008, there were 24 months of inventory for single family homes and 41.7 months for condos.