A Six-Year Snapshot

A picture is worth a thousand words.  But it takes a graph to provide a snapshot of Sarasota County’s housing market over the past six years.

 The inventory of properties as of the latest quarter—which ended June 30th—bears a passing resemblance to late 2005, as shown by Trendgraphix* in its latest monthly report based on actual MLS sales.  Back then the “boom’ was at its peak, with buyers reducing the number of properties for sale to just a 3.8 month supply.  With demand far exceeding supply, sellers had a grip on the market; and prices soared.

We all know what happened next.  Buyers eventually said “no” to overinflated prices, inventories of unsold properties began to pile up, and prices began their long steady correction.  Today’s average “sold” price is now less than half of what it was during the height of the boom; and buyers—motivated by a restored sense of value—have reduced inventories by nearly 60% from their boom-time highs.

At present, there is a 6.2-month inventory of properties for sale, just shy of the 6-month supply indicative of a balanced market; and down considerably from the 30-month range of unsold inventory that existed throughout much of 2007.   There still exists a substantial inventory of properties priced above $1 million, but priced-right properties are selling at a faster pace with each passing month.

Our market’s recovering balance is reflected by the fact that it is both a good time to buy, with prices bumping along the bottom; AND a good time to sell, with competitive inventories running at a 5-1/2 year low.  Plus, the number of new listings has dropped by 20% since May; and the number of foreclosures—though expected to gradually increase—is at its lowest level since late 2009.

 *  Trendgraphix is an independent, unbiased source for the latest trends in monthly home sales and other data, based on information reported monthly by the MLS.

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