Equilibrium Has Arrived

In Commercial Market, Construction, Florida Real Estate Market, Market Analysis, Residential Market by Patricia Staebler

The No. 1 question in real estate of the last years was “are we there yet?” Buyers who were sitting on the fence could not wait any longer and sellers who could wait will now wait even more, after the big news reached the broad public. Yes, we are there. We reached the bottom of the seemingly bottomless pit of real estate bubble burst or in other words the recession is over, at least in real estate and at least in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

After the Manatee and Sarasota Association of Realtors released their statistics up to the month of November 2012, we now can see the condition of our real estate market.

The numbers for the Manatee single-family market speak for themselves, but the most convincing fact is the current inventory of only 4.6 months of supply, which means if no new properties would be offered for sale, the current inventory would be sold in 4.6 months. Economists and appraisers consider a 6-month supply as the equilibrium. The median sales price increased nearly 25% comparing November 2011 with November 2012 and about 12% comparing the year 2011 with 2012 as of November. Buyers who are still “sitting on the fence” missed the boat and are finding themselves competing with other buyers for properties coming on the market through normal listing procedure, short sale or foreclosure. The East County Observer reported only 16% of all sales to be distressed sales in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.

The Manatee condo market shows similar improvement with 5.8 months of inventory (remember six months is considered the equilibrium) and a median sales price increase of 20% between November 2011 and 2012 and nearly 13% comparing the years up to the month of November.

The Sarasota single-family market developed similar with a current absorption rate of 4.1 months and 10.5% increase in median sales price, comparing year-to-year.

The Sarasota condo market mirrors the Manatee market with 6.1 months of supply and 10% increase in median sales price.

All statistical data were taken from the Manatee and Sarasota Association of Realtors and reflects existing homes sales only.

The numbers even more interesting are the new home sales, because they drive the local economy. The East County Observer reported that in Lakewood Ranch currently 304 homes are under construction, which ranks second high out of all master planned communities in the state, according to Metrostudy (//www.metrostudy.com)

Neal Communities conducted research, which shows that an expected 264,000 people will move to Florida per year which translates into 115,000 homes of demand. Neal expects to close on 680 sales in 2013, two hundred more than in 2012. The average closing price increased from $223,020 to $277,011.

Carlos Beruff with Medallion Homes reports already 220 building permits for 2013 compared to just 170 for the entire years 2011.

Soon builders will run into labor shortage for skilled trades, who relocated to the west and New England to find work. According to Reed Construction Data, new residential construction spending increased the seventh consecutive month. In areas like Florida we will soon not only face labor shortage in the construction industry but also increasing material prices. This is especially true, when the Jersey coast will start rebuilding come spring.

Taking the commercial development, spearheaded by the long anticipated Benderson “SuperMall” development on University into consideration, everything points to an improving real estate market in both Manatee and Sarasota counties.

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