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December & 2020 Year End Real Estate Market Report

Sarasota & Manatee Counties

Best of Both Worlds for Buyers and Sellers

The past year has proved to be one of the real estate world’s greatest sales phenomena, spurred by COVID and buyers’ desires to find their next best place. According to the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM), December continued the year-long unprecedented momentum, with year-over-year single-family home closings exceeding 40 percent in the two-county market.  Coupled with lower inventory levels as buyers outpaced sellers’ interest to list their homes, properties also continued to spend less time on the market.

RASM President Alex Krumm’s comments about the current market providing a unique opportunity for both buyers and sellers shows a promising landscape. “If this trend continues – and data is showing that to be the likeliest forecast – then sellers can get top dollar in record-short timeframes, while buyers can lock in record-low interest rates and buy a home that is going to be worth much more a year from now. And if they do both, they can get the best of both worlds,” Krumm said.

 Year-Over-Year Sales Trends

Year-over-year single-family home sales continued to command the lead in closed sales, up 41.6 percent in Manatee County and 39.1 percent in Sarasota County.  Condo sales also rose, with a 45.1 percent increase in Manatee and 19.4 percent in Sarasota. 

Cash closings also remained very active, jumping an additional 44.1 percent for single-family home buyers paying cash in Manatee County and 33.9 percent in Sarasota compared to 2019.  Condo and townhome cash sales in Manatee increased 19.5 percent, with just a slight .8 percent increase in Sarasota.  

Manatee County condos and townhomes saw the largest jump median sales prices climbing 19.5 percent.  Single family homes still showed solid gains, increasing 6.8 percent.  The reverse was true for Sarasota County, where single-family home median prices increased 17.8 percent and condos/townhomes 7.3 percent for 2020 as compared to 2019.


What it means for buyers

No better time to buy!  With historically low interest rates and more inventory coming to market every month, including an 11.9 percent increase in December over 2019, there continues to be excellent opportunities to buy.  Many new communities are now taking early offers, which often come with discounts or cash incentives.  Building a relationship with an experienced local realtor who knows the market can help you leverage opportunities even before they hit the MLS.  Another key factor to successfully finding the right home and getting an offer accepted is to make sure all financing is in place at the onset of a search.  This also includes being flexible on closing terms.

What it means for sellers

The market is hot and it is prime selling season.  The past year demonstrated that momentum is high and with inventory and days on the market at historic lows, the opportunity to get top dollar based on fair market value and close in a short time period make this an ideal time to list your home. A good realtor can assist with pricing and also negotiating flexible closing and move-out dates based on your specific needs. 

As a Florida native and 35+ year Sarasota resident, I have dedicated my professional career to providing expert knowledge and personalized service to both buyers and sellers. I would be happy to discuss your specific needs and interests and how I might assist you in finding your next dream home, selling your existing one or working with a friend, family member or neighbor who make also be looking to buy or sell in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

To learn more about the market and benefits of being a member of the #1 Most Trusted Real Estate Brand in the U.S. as well as receiving future market reports,  please visit www.sarasotahomesandlifestyles.com, email me at sarasotasuze@gmail.com or call/text me at 941-726-2227.

I look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

Susan Phelps