Author Archives: Scott Norris

About Scott Norris

Scott Norris’ meticulous attention to detail, innovative business strategies and genuine love for his hometown add up to success for local home buyers and sellers. As one of the area’s leading agents, he prides himself on using these skills to create the best approach to maximize his clients’ important investments.

Pending Report for 11/11/2017

Generally a slow week compared to last year. The contracts reported in Downtown Sarasota last week probably overstate demand by 50% as 9 of the 18 new contracts were recorded in the Vue. Most likely these contracts were actually executed much earlier. See my notes from the 11/4/2017 report for an explanation. The same issue is affecting both the 4 week and 13 week figures.

Click to download as a pdf

Pending Report for November 4, 2017

This was a big week everywhere but none looking as big as downtown Sarasota. The figures for this year are distorted from 9 listings in the VUE closing this week and being entered in MLS for the first time.  In most large new construction projects, only a few sample listings are maintained in MLS. This keeps MLS manageable and from being overrun, so to speak, by a single building. If all of the VUE listings were entered from the project start, Zillow would be a mess with every other listing being in the VUE.

click here to download as pdf

When listings that were not previously entered in MLS eventually close, the listings are often entered in MLS at closing for agent/broker credit (as was the case with these listings). The listings still have to go through the same MLS progression. The contract date, listing date and sale date are entered the day of closing giving each the same date.  Undoubtedly all 9 of the new construction listings went to contract much earlier, perhaps even in previous years. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, you just have to be aware of it as you study the results. Demand Downtown was not up 1300% last week. (Another unavoidable side result of this is that the days on market stat will be ZERO for all such listings – be leery of any broker or agent including new construction sales in their quoted days on market performance).

Get ready for many weeks like this as loads new construction starts to close.

Another interesting thing to watch with regard to new construction closings, is how much of it ends up back on the market. I will try to highlight that for you.

Top Four Reasons Why You Can’t Sell Your Home

     (Or Why Your Home Didn’t Sell)

Before reading this article, I would recommend reading my blog post: “The 3 Biggest Changes the Internet Has Had on the Real Estate Industry.”

Even in the best of times, not all listings sell. Through the end of June 2017, over 1,250 residential listings have expired across Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you are one of these sellers, then read on for a solution next time. If you are about to put your home on the market, reading this article might help you avoid a long, drawn-out fail.

Listings end without a sale for one or more  of four reasons, more or less in order of frequency:

  1. The asking price is too high
  2. The home does not show as well as it could (in disrepair, dirty, cluttered, etc.)
  3. Inadequate marketing
  4. Limited feedback and follow up

The Asking Price is Too High

Anyone can give away a home. Why should I pay a commission to someone that is just going to give the house away? You have to leave room to negotiate. What difference does the asking price make- people can always make an offer? All of these are old axioms that need to disappear into the abyss. I doubt that they were ever accurate and certainly aren’t now.

First, let’s talk about how high too high is. For starters, in the combined market of Sarasota and Manatee County for the calendar year 2016, the median sales price was a whopping 97.6% of the asking price. That’s pretty tight. On top of that, 32% of sales occurred at or above full price. So if you are priced $1 above the market value, you are overpriced compared to about a third of the market. If you are priced more than 2.4% above the market price, you are overpriced compared to half the market. Who will notice this? Don’t worry; only the prospective buyers will know. Read on.

Market price is usually estimated before you put your home up for sale by analyzing recent sales (not asking prices for homes that haven’t sold). The idea is to compare your home to those that sold and make adjustments for differences that would have a meaningful impact on market value, things like air-conditioned space, levels of upgrades/updating, view, number of bathrooms, etc. If the comps are selected correctly, the adjustments should net to a small number (less than 10% of the price). The larger the adjustment, the more difficult time you will have with price (the more difficult it will be to make prospective buyers see that same value).


Finally, consider that today’s buyer is probably the most market educated person in the room when it comes to the market for your home. If someone has been considering an offer on your property, then you can bet they have looked at dozens of homes online, seen many in person, and made countless comparisons between homes. If there is too much fluff in your price, at best, you will make other listings look like deals (see next section in this article), or at worse, they will never consider your listing because you have it priced out of their range (even though you would gladly sell it for a price in their range).

To recap, pricing high will not work, and there is no reason for it. As demonstrated in the data, buyers will pay at or above full price. You don’t need to lard up your asking price for any reason.

The Home Does Not Show Well

You can’t just blow this off, even in a great sellers’ market.  Builders spend hundreds of thousands of dollars staging a single home. They wouldn’t do this if it didn’t add to the bottom line. The good news is that you don’t have to spend much money. But you will have to devote time and elbow grease.

The idea here is not to spend thousands updating your home with the latest fads but doing common sense things that cost little and will add thousands to your selling price. Most home improvements do pay off, including ones you make right before selling.  Your home doesn’t need to look new and modern to sell, but it should be (and look/smell) neat, clean, and well-maintained. Maintenance is different than improvement. You don’t need to replace your 20-year-old laminate cabinets and counter tops with solid wood and granite. But the cabinet doors shouldn’t be hanging from one hinge and counter top should not be delaminating. Carpet is fine if it is stain free and not threadbare.

A must-read for anyone about to sell a home is Martha Webb’s book, Dress your House for Success. You can get it on Amazon for about $5.00. I could add nothing to what Martha has created in her book. So, rather than just repeat what she says, I will send you free her 13-page guide to dressing your house for success. Just visit scottnorris.com/order-your-copy-of-dress-for-success and order your free copy of Martha’s checklist. Enter your mailing address, as the checklist is copyrighted. I can only mail you an original (no email).

Inadequate or Ineffective Marketing

Most people, agents and consumers, know the internet is a popular place to search for homes and every listing should be on the internet. That assumption is correct, but there is much more to it.

Each year, the National Association of Realtors conducts a national survey designed to track trends in the real estate industry. The results are compiled and published in an annual report, titled “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.”  Consider these survey results from the home BUYER section from the 2016 report:

  1. How did you first learn about the home you eventually purchased
    • 51% – Internet
    • 34% – My Real Estate Agent
    • 8% – Yard Sign
    • 5% – Friend, Relative, Neighbor, Knew the Seller
    • 2% – Homebuilder
    • <1% – Print media, direct mail, open houses, all else
  2. Value of Website Features – % very useful
    • 89% – Photos
    • 85% – Detailed info about the home
    • 55%- Floor Plans
    • 50% – Virtual Tours

The biggest and, unfortunately, most common mistake made in marketing is the photography. You would think that, with pictures being the most helpful item to consumers, photography would receive the most attention 100% of the time. Yet, countless listings treat the photos like they don’t matter. Either the quality is horrible, critical shots are missing (like the view, even in waterfront listings you see this), or only a couple of pictures are provided. All listings should have the photography professionally shot and the maximum photos allowed should be uploaded. Cell phones or cheap digital cameras can never get the lighting right and don’t have a lens wide enough to shoot small rooms (you usually end up with pictures of furniture).

The next biggest issue is often half-hearted and hurried attempts to complete the listing, which leads to only the mandatory MLS fields being entered, with a couple of meaningless phrases entered in the public remarks section. Detailed information about the home is the second most helpful item on the list above. The MLS data is used to syndicate the listing across the internet. It needs to be completed and hit all the big selling features of the property. The public remarks section is critical because it will likely be read first.

The internet has made the yard sign a huge tool for sellers. For years, real estate agents have hung sign riders with a web address, where consumers can obtain pictures and other info about the home. However, current technology is to offer a number and property code on the sign that, when sent as a text by the consumer, will instantly deliver pictures and ad copy about the home to the customer’s smart phone.  No fumbling with a long URL; just text a 6-digit code to a 5-digit number and all the data and pictures are immediately texted to you, all while you are sitting in front of the home.

Feedback and Follow up

Feedback comes in a variety of forms. The best is from a conscientious agent that has just shown the home.  However, with the internet, everything is quantifiable. Each week provides little pieces of the puzzle in online showings, emails sent, emails opened, saved as favorite, number of showings etc. Looking at all these items each week will often point to some form of action required.

As you will read in the blog post referenced at the beginning of this article, the internet has sped up the sales cycle. By the end of the first 7 days, virtually everyone looking for a home like yours will know about it. By the end of 30 days, all interested enough to visit your home will have done so. Each week after week 2, your showings, online views, and calls will drop off significantly. Depending on the time of the year and the seasonality of your area, the decline in showings could be to where you receive more showings in the first month than you do the rest of the listing period combined. That’s why follow-up is so critical. If you are getting online views but no showings, showings but no offers, something is wrong. You need to reevaluate things quickly.

Tax Appreciation Rates on Longboat Key Condos

As in the Sarasota property tax article I posted last month, this post analyzes the change in the Property Appraiser-determined Just Values (market values before any exemptions or Save Our Homes cap) between 2015 and 2016 (latest available data). The Property Appraiser equates Just Value with market value. Since the valuations are always AS OF January 1 of the tax year, the change in value discussed relates to calendar year 2015 (the change in value that occurred between January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016).  The 2017 valuation should be finalized later this year.

Also in the Sarasota post, I characterized the Property Appraisers valuation as good as any I could have derived, at least in a reasonable amount of time.  The Florida PA offices revalue every property every year using a mass evaluation technique.  The process is to assign a value to large sections of land and then use statistical techniques to allocate that value across individual parcels with each section. At first, the methodology sounds rough, especially compared to the typical Realtor® market analysis approach, where recent sales are analyzed and adjusted based on differences between the homes being sold and the subject property. Furthermore, the big swings in appreciation rates between buildings and across years in the schedule below cast doubt on the validity of using the Property Appraiser’s valuations for anything other than coming up with a tax bill.

However, consider that many condominium communities on Longboat don’t have a sale every year. In fact, of the 92 communities listed on the schedule below, only 70 had sales in 2016.  This means, for over 23% of the buildings, anyone appraising for any purpose would have to rely exclusively on sales in the surrounding area – much like what the PA office does. So wild swings or not, the PA calculations may be the best.

Whether the tax Just Value derived from the Property Appraisers’ approach is anywhere near the real market value is anyone’s guess. The same thing also can be said about the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller numbers, generally the basis for all media reports of appreciation and taken as fact. They both are the result an estimation process.

In summary, the County PA offices figures (Just Value) are what I summarized below. I refer to the changes in value as appreciation as though it was a certifiable fact. You can make your own decision about the validity of calling this market appreciation. All references I make about appreciation here will be the year-over-year changes in Just Value.

Summary of Property Tax Just Value changes Longboat Key

The overall level of appreciation on Longboat Key condominiums during 2015 was 4.8%, down slightly from the 5.9% in 2014. Buildings on the west side of Gulf of Mexico Drive increased 5.2%, while those on the east side increased 3.7%. The Manatee end of the Key increased 8.6%, while the Sarasota end increased only 3.8%.

Other notes on the rate of change:

  • Condominiums in Bay Isles increased 3.6% or .8% better than other bayside communities on the Sarasota end.
  • Island-side condominiums in Longboat Key Club increased 2.2%, just a little more than half the average rate of all Sarasota-end communities on the west side of GOM.
  • The 2 age restricted communities changed as follows:
    • Case del Mar 8.3% or .5% points less than the average Manatee County west-side-of-GOM average.
    • Spanish Main 11.9% or about 4% points above the average Manatee County east-side –of-GOM average.

Percentage Change in Longboat Key Taxable Values by Condominium Building

This is the schedule I was referencing in the opening paragraph, regarding the variations between buildings and years. Some of the swings are hard to believe. Look at Harbour Links as an example.  In 2014, Just Values increased 56%, on average, in that community. The next year, they dropped 11%. It is hard to believe the market works this way.

Lonboat Key Changes in Tax Values by Buidling – click image to download complete list as 3 page pdf file

But it could. The only sale in Harbour Links during 2014 was for $425k, which worked out to $241/ft. The Just Value of this property on 1/1/2014 was $335k or $140/ft. The new valuation on 1/1/2015 came in at $596k or a 78% increase in Just Value.

To recap the history of this property:

1/1/2014   – Just Value is set at $317k ($132/ft)

6/19/2014 – sells for $425k ($177/ft)

1/1/2015    – Just value is set at $596k ($249/ft)

On the surface, it looks like the PA overshot the value. I am sure the new owner thought the same.

However, the next year (2015) saw 2 residences sell in Harbour Links for $576k and $528 ($241/ft and $334/ft), a range that makes the 1/1/2015 Just Value of $596/$249/ft for the 2014-sold-home seem more reasonable (effectively saying the buyer got a great deal).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tax Appreciation Rates on Downtown Sarasota Condominiums

I have looked at appreciation by building a couple of times since starting my blog. In the past, I have calculated the average sales price in each building over the course of a couple of years and compared one year to the previous to get the appreciation level. The trouble with this approach is the limited number of sales in each building. There are not enough sales during a single year in most buildings to add a shred of validity to numbers.

So, this year, I am taking a shortcut that should make things a lot more interesting and, I believe, more accurate. I will use the Just Value figures from the Property Appraiser. The Just Value is supposed to be the market value of the property before any exemptions or Save Our Homes reductions. There aren’t many details about the process the Property Appraiser uses to calculate Just Value (read about it here), but the results can be no less accurate than auto-valuation models used by Zillow or other websites.

The biggest negative about using the Property Appraiser’s figures is timing. We pay our property taxes in arrears. The last tax bill we paid, sometime between November 2016 and March 2017, was for the calendar year 2016. The valuation date for that year’s tax bill was as of January 1, 2016. The comparison I am making here is between this 2016 valuation and the 2015 valuation. The appreciation I refer to is what occurred during calendar year 2015. This timing issue is also the biggest reason people think the tax valuations are always wrong. If you expect them to represent the current value of your home, they are always wrong. The tax values are always somewhere between 10 and 22 months stale.

Finally, in the interest of word economy,  I will refer to the change in the Just Value as appreciation. It may not reflect the real change in market value of the properties being discussed and would probably best be described as what it really is – the change in Just Value as published by the property appraiser.

Appreciation by Building and Area of Downtown

The chart below shows the buildings that account for most of the sales downtown. I have grouped the buildings by area of town. The one thing you can say about the numbers is that the property appraiser did not paint everyone with the same brush- The rates of appreciation varied considerably.

The hottest place to be in 2015 was almost anywhere on Golden Gate Pointe.  While the area tied the group (of 2) that was adjacent to Ritz Carlton Drive, Golden Gate was home to the seven buildings with the most appreciation. Every building with an appreciation rate above 15% was on Golden Gate Pointe. All but 5 buildings on Golden Gate experienced double digit appreciation.

Interestingly, the central downtown and North Trail buildings brought up the rear, with each area showing a 3% appreciation rate. Except for the Renaissance, the 8 buildings in these 2 groups are made up exclusively of buildings from the previous wave of new construction.

Waterfront/view was apparently not the sole driving force in the appreciation. In terms of quality views and the percentage of residences in each building with high-quality water view, I don’t know that many places can beat Condo on the Bay. The buildings are so close to the bay that on a sunny day the inside of every residence looks blue because of the water reflecting in through the sliders. Yet the appreciation rates were a fraction of most other Bayfront buildings like ones on Gulfstream or Golden Gate.

Apprecaition Based on Beginning of the Year Just Value

This one is interesting and explains a lot about the schedule above. Here, I went residence by residence, regardless of building, and sorted each residence into 4 groups based on the 2015 tax values (as of 1/1/2015). The schedule below shows you appreciation ranges grouped by the beginning of year Just Value. Properties that started 2015 with over a $1M Just Value appreciated 50% more, on average, than properties valued at under $1M.

I have done several posts on this subject, and the results are always the same. The higher the value (on average), the better the property appreciates, the lighter the hit it takes in a downturn (the only 1 I have ever witnessed anyway), and the faster it bounces back after a setback. So, if you are considering the purchase of a luxury property, you can write this chart in the “reason to buy” column. The million-dollar condo you considered but missed out on last year will have a neighbor on the market asking about $100k more this year.

People that put off upgrading also didn’t do themselves any favors. Consider people thinking about an upgrade from their existing home. Maybe they are just seasonal visitors, but are considering the sale of their homestead and getting something larger, nicer, or with a better view to live here full time. The chart below shows how prices moved against this group during 2015.

Let’s take two people, both wanting to move up from existing properties but at different price points. One person owns a condominium downtown valued at $750k and is looking to sell that and buy a different condominium in the $1.5M range for a permanent home. The second person is doing the same thing but at higher price points – going from a $1.5M property to a $2.5M property.

At the beginning of 2015, the parties above must come up with $750 and $1M, respectively, in addition to the sales proceeds from their existing homes (closing costs excluded). By the end of 2015, they would need $850k and $1,125k, respectively, to buy the same properties they were considering at the beginning of the year. The spread increased by $100k and $125k under these two scenarios, due to difference in appreciation rates between the properties.  This is a 13% increase in the amount of money each would need to raise to buy the same condo a year apart.

Again, the figures here are nearly 2-year-old tax valuations. If you have questions about the current market value of your property, call a real estate professional.

Pending Report as of August 12, 2017

Pending sale volume was mostly up last week compared to the same week last year with every area showing increased activity except condos on Longboat and single family homes in west Bradenton.

The past 4 weeks were mostly flat with last year with single family home sales in west Bradenton being the only significant exception. The problem here is lack of inventory. The level of unsold single family homes in west Bradenton dropped below 200 for only the 3rd time 3 years.

For the past 13 weeks every area showed increased activity other than the aforementioned west Bradenton market. Even areas with large amounts of new construction are having strong existing home sales growth. In downtown Sarasota, existing home sales were up 19% over last year while Lakewood Ranch was up 16%

Pending sales report for Sarasota, Bradenton, Lonboat Key

Pending sales as of 08/12/2017
Click image to enlarge. Click Here to download as pdf

 

Top 3 Ways the Internet Has Changed Real Estate Sales

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Many people expected the internet would dramatically change the real estate industry and significantly lower real estate commissions. So far, this has not happened, nor really shown any signs of doing so. Still, the real estate industry has experienced a revolution, just not what was predicted. Here’s what’s happened so far.

The Internet Empowered the Consumer

First, the internet took considerable power from the hands of the brokers/agents and gave it to consumers. In the old days (up to the early part the 21st Century), if you wanted to know what was for sale, you had to call a real estate agent. If you drove past a home with a “For Sale” sign in the yard, you had to call the real estate office just to find out the asking price. If you wanted to make an offer, the real estate agent provided you with recent sales. If you were a seller during this period, you faced the same wall. The real estate agent shared the active listings and recent sales with you.

In every case, you had to trust you had a capable and honest real estate agent. One hundred percent of the information you received about listing availability, pricing, recent sales, and valuations all came from the real estate professional, and virtually all of it was unverifiable. I am sure the vast majority of the time customers received fair and quality information but equally sure there were varying flavors of quality, like everything else in the world.

Those days are over. Most buyers and sellers are well-informed about the market before they even contact a real estate agent. Active listings and recent sales, with photos, video, and considerable home and neighborhood data, are available on multiple real estate websites. Today, real estate agents and their customers have access to the same information. This means both parties to a real estate transaction (buyers and sellers) are also looking at the same data. Each party (buyer, seller, and real estate agents) may evaluate the information differently, but all the data is available to everyone.

The Internet Sped Up the Sales Cycle

Prior to the internet, real estate agents depended on direct mail and print advertising to get the word out about their inventory. Print advertising often took 1-2 weeks just to get the property in the local newspaper and maybe a month or longer to get the home into a home magazine. From there, there was a lag as buyers poured over the all the ads and identified the ones that appealed to them. Further, the information available was so thin, about the only action a buyer could take was to call the real estate agent. Most print ads (then and now) just have one small photo and two lines of text.

Price changes went the same way.  It took months for the entire buyer pool to get notified about a new listing or a price change that might put an existing listing within their reach.

Now, consumers sign up for automated listing updates through their agent or on their own with third party sites. Listings matching the customer’s requirements are emailed to the customer within minutes of being posted on MLS.  The listing information includes dozens of high resolution photos, video, pages of statistics and ad copy about the property and more. The result is that, within a week of entering the listing, the entire buyer pool is notified and fully educated about the listing. To get one customer this far along in the buying process 10-15 years ago took months.

The median days on market for a home (time between listing date and contract date) was just 47 days in 2016 for Sarasota and Manatee counties combined.  46% of all homes that sold, only required 30 days or less of marketing time.

The Internet Made Obsolete All Other Forms of Mass Media Marketing

The 2016 National Association of Realtor’s 2016 report, “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers”, states 85% of home buyers said they first learned about the home they purchased either from the internet (51%) or from their real estate agent (34%). The yard sign accounted for another 8%, with friend, relative, neighbor, or homebuilder making up another 6%. That leaves 1% for newspapers, home magazines, open houses, TV, and direct mail. A few years ago, this “1%” constituted the entire marketing plan for the typical Realtor®.

The reason for print media’s disappearance is obvious. Relative to the internet, it has the following disadvantages:

  • Print media is not searchable. You can’t ask the newspaper only to show you homes under $500,000, for example.
  • It’s not complete. The Sunday ads only show a tiny percentage of all homes on the market.
  • The images are limited and poor (usually one in a print ad compared to 25 or more online, with video).
  • Print media is stale. Newspaper deadlines are close to a week and magazines may be over a month out.
  • Your only option to find out more about the listing is to call the agent. Online listings will contain most of the information the average person needs.

Implications for Sellers

If you are trying or about to try to sell your home soon, here is how these changes will affect you:

  • The amount and level of information available online is ideal for people that like to research a major purchase (that’s just about everyone). Most buyers are students of the market and often better informed than sellers. Today’s buyer is unlikely to pay you more than your home is worth. Pricing your home at more than it is worth will fool no one.
  • Plan on going to contract in 30 days or less. This is the new normal for the typical home because by 30 days, everyone in the market for your home will have a chance to see it. Many listings will literally receive thousands of online views during this period. After the initial 30 days, however, everything slows down exponentially. Now, you are only receiving views from new people entering the market, which is usually a fraction of the existing pool of buyers (everything comes in 1’s and 2’s). If your home hasn’t received at least 1 offer in 30 days, you need to take action, most likely, a price reduction.
  • Pricing your home has always been important, but now, it’s critical. And you don’t have to price your home high to get a good price. During 2016, 32% of all residential real estate that sold through MLS in Sarasota and Manatee counties did so at a price equal to or above the listing price. This also means pricing your home above market will make you look overpriced (or a poor value) compared to one third of your competition. Pricing your home at or just a few dollars above the market makes many people believe they are potentially “leaving something on the table”, a feeling amplified when they go to contract quickly. However, selling quickly no longer means you gave away your home. It means you sold into the largest audience you would ever have. It has to mean that you received the best price. If this initial pool of buyers didn’t like the value you were offering, what are the chances the next buyer entering the market will see it?
  • Internet marketing is much more passive than print advertising. Sellers often complain their agent is “doing nothing” because they don’t see the home in a print ad every Sunday or the agent is not holding an open house twice per month. Just know that, if all it took was two print ads or an open house to move a home, there wouldn’t be enough paper to print all the ads. Real estate professionals don’t favor these methods anymore because they don’t work (not for selling homes- building real estate brands, maybe). Same for open houses.

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “Expired Listings- Don’t Become a Statistic“]

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About Scott

For 45 years, Scott Norris has lived in the Sarasota/Manatee area and has watched it flourish into one of Florida’s most highly sought-after residential real estate markets. Through his myriad of business experiences, including being a licensed CPA, working for a Big 4 accounting firm and a large national retailer, and selling real estate in the area for over 16 years, Scott has accrued a unique cache of knowledge and experience that enables him to serve as a dependable, invaluable resource for his clients. His understanding of business and finance, his knowledge of the local marketplace, with his professionalism and relationship building skills provide Scott with the foresight to address issues proactively before they become a problem and provide him with the ability to take a multidisciplinary approach to navigating today’s complex real estate environment.

 

Scott Norris
Broker/Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
201 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Ste. 1
Longboat Key, FL 34228
941-545-8706
Scott@ScottNorris.com

Downtown Sarasota Pending Sales Up 40% Last 13 Weeks

Downtown Sarasota pending condominium sales are up 40% over last year for the past 13 week period. Existing home sales accounted for most of the increase, up some 36% over last year. New constructions sales for the past 13 week period were less than 10% of total sales

Longboat Key pending condo sales were up 13% over the past 4 weeks and 26% over the past 13 weels. Pending sales were down most of the season and worked their way back to even with last year by the end of April. Most of the increase came during June.

In the Lakewood Ranch area (not all homes in the 2 zip code area are in Lakewood Ranch) pending home sales were up 14% over last year for the past 13 week period. New home sales were flat  during this period so the entire increase came from resales. New construction pending sales are a much larger component of total sales than in Downtown Sarasota. For both 2017 and 2016, the last 13 weeks had 62 pending new construction sales or about a quarter of all home sales in the area.

 

Pending Report as of June 24, 2017

A strong May and June is making for a huge second quarter.

The West Bradenton condo market was down for the week and only up 1% for the past 13 weeks largely due to the lack of inventory. May ended with just 257 condominiums on the market, not world record but low none the less. Worse, however was the lack of new listings during May. Only 51 condos were listed during May in West Bradenton, the least amount in any month over the past 10 years.

The big quarter in Downtown Sarasota is being powered by resales. While new construction pendings were up big (10 this year vs only 1 LY), existing home sales were up 35% with huge increases in the over $1M price points.

Click here to download pdf of report.

PENDING REPORT JUNE 10, 2017

Pending sales (new contracts executed) are the best indication of current demand. The pending report provides a current week, 4-week, and 13-week view of this important statistic across 6 markets by price point range. The biggest difference between pendings and actual sales is timing. The contract or pending date is the date the contract was executed. The contract is not considered a “Sale” until it closes, on average, about 30 days after the contract date. Another difference is that not all pending sales close.

 

Pendings for the week ended June 10, 2017

Pendings (New Contracts) for Lonboat Key, Downtown Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and West Bradenton ~ June 10, 2017

Pendings (New Contracts) for Lonboat Key, Downtown Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and West Bradenton ~ June 10, 2017

This was another solid week, compared to last year, in nearly every area followed. Bad weather must have sent people shopping, rather than beaching.

The “over a million” price point in downtown continues to grow. For the past 13 weeks, pendings with prices over a million dollars amounted to 20% of the total. Last year, they accounted for only 16% of all pendings. For the past 4 weeks, the top of the market listings has accounted for 27% of all pendings Downtown, compared with only 8% last year.

Next Quarter

If you have your home on the market or are thinking about putting it on the market, it’s always interesting to look ahead at what the next few weeks may bring.  The consensus is that the third quarter is slow, but that’s not the case everywhere.

 

The chart shows last year’s percentage of pending sales by quarter.  There is surprisingly little seasonality in any of the markets, other than Longboat Key.  Even the Longboat Key condo market is not horrible. Last year, 66 condos went to contract in the 3rd quarter, compared to 91 in the 2nd quarter. That works out to about 22 per month in the third quarter, compared to 30 per month in the second quarter.  Next quarter should provide plenty of opportunity for a well- priced listing to find a buyer.