If you have lived in the Manatee County area for a few years (you don’t have to go back too far), you probably have seen and experienced an influx of new homeowners, all the new construction and the traffic that goes along with it. To say that we have had growing pains is putting it mildly. But, who can blame someone who wants to live in a warm climate by the sea in one of the happiest places in the US?
For those of us who have owned property in Sarasota or Manatee County, we can all be thankful that the dreaded real estate downturn is over. Our real estate market has been booming for the past 6 years and there seems to be no end in sight. Perhaps you have even heard about friends or family members losing out on the house they wanted to buy because someone outbid them.
You wonder are we still riding the real estate wave or is there a shift coming to our beautiful Suncoast? Will the recent National Flood Insurance woes, the near miss of a major hurricane or the changes to the tax code rain on our parade?
Having been in real estate sales for over 22 years in three different markets, there is one thing I know for sure: what comes up, must come down. The question is, when? I am not trying to be one of those gloom and doom people. But, having worked through the most recent real estate crash as a listing agent for bank foreclosures (REO), I have seen what happens when people over speculate in a market.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for Sarasota County and Manatee County has released December’s sales data and it appears a shift may be coming. I just read in the local paper this morning a headline that basically stated that prices are booming in Sarasota and Manatee County. Are they really? Not everywhere… In fact, some zip codes are actually seeing prices decline, while others have experienced major windfalls. Tell sellers in Longboat Key that prices are great, and some will beg to differ.
The MLS reports monthly sales data for every zip code in Manatee and Sarasota County. If December’s sales data is a precursor for the new year, some areas in Manatee County may start to see the shift and overall prices decline.
Below is a table taken from the MLS reports and shows the average sales prices for all zip codes in Manatee County. You can see December sales data shows several areas where the average sales price was less for December as well as the entire year. On the good side, areas like Ellenton have shown big gains in sales prices, which may be contributed by all the new construction sales.
You can also see the overall average sales price for the entire year in each zip code. Some areas are still showing a price decline and thankfully most are still in the green. Let’s see how January sales go and if the trend continues.
The last graph here shows the total number of homes sold and pending sales (homes with an accepted offer, just not closed yet) for December for the past 5 years. The first 3 years of the past 5 years show really good sales figures. However, the past 2 years have just slightly declined. That may be attributed to certain buyers being pushed out of the market due to price increases or other factors. Some would say it is due to the lack of inventory, but according to our MLS records, there are currently 2,987 homes listed for sale in Manatee County, which is just a little above the 5-year average.
Here’s a real estate market snapshot for Manatee County, looking at the number of active listings, months of inventory and the sales price to list price (what it was listed and what it actually sold for). The number of listings currently available for sale exceed the 5yr average, so does the inventory count and the list price to sales price has actually declined.
So, some good news and some bad. Outlying areas such as Ellenton and Arcadia have shown significant price increases while other areas such as Longboat Key have declined. In addition, overall sales in Manatee County for the past 2 years have flattened. Perhaps the Manatee County real estate market is showing signs of a shift, only time will tell. I hope prices stay strong and there is an ample selection of homes to choose from (but not too many). This is something to watch for sure!
Sandy Williams is a licensed Broker Associate with EXP Realty and sells in the Sarasota area. With over 22 years of experience, Sandy and her team have sold over 2,100 homes. Nationally recognized. Sandy is originally from the Midwest but calls Lakewood Ranch her home.
photos from 2018 Market Stats by Showing Time