How Has Hurricane Irma Affected Our Real Estate Market?
1st. Qtr. 2018 Sales Statistics Sarasota County. Sales and Prices Up.
After hurricane Irma struck our area in September of 2017 there was a lot of debate how that event would affect our local real estate market. Many brokers, agents, buyers and sellers I spoke with felt Irma would have a lasting negative impact on real estate sales in our area. Others were not so sure.The only real answer to that question of course is to watch sales trends and compare the data over a long enough time frame that will allow you to answer the question.
Well now six months after Irma’s pounding of Sarasota County the data is clear. Sales and prices are up significantly. First of all in the fourth quarter of 2017 right after Irma’s landfall, sales were up 6.4% and prices were up 11.4% over the same quarter from 2016 in Sarasota County. Now the first quarter 2018 sales statistics are available as well.
Sales are up 9.3% over the first quarter of 2017. In the first three months of this year there were 3078 closed sales. In the first qtr. of 2017 there wer2816 closed sales.
The median sold price in Sarasota County for all housing units was $254,990 vs. $240,000 in 2017. This is an increase of 6.3% year-over-year.
New listings for the first quarter are also up over 2017 by 6.3%. To some observers this may seem like a rising inventory. Which in theory could be a sign of a market that is beginning to cool. However, since we have many more buyers in our market than in previous years, the total number of Active listings available to purchase is actually down by 2.7%.There were 4971 active listings for sale in the 1st Qtr. of this year vs. 5111 in the first qtr. of 2017.
Cash deals continue to predominate in our market. Slightly over 51% of all sales were cash buyers so far this year.
So I guess the question is, when will our market slow down? The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent estimates (July 2017) of the total population in Florida is now 21,000,000. Furthermore there are now about 1000 new permanent residents moving into Florida EVERY DAY. Studies also show that the majority of these newcomers are relocating on the West coast between Tampa and Naples. So I don’t foresee cooling off in our hot market for the foreseeable future as baby boomers and new arrivals seek their dream home in the sun.
An interesting side note here: these sales statistics above do not even count the newly constructed homes and condos that are everywhere in Sarasota County especially in south county. Estimates vary on this total since some builders and developers list their new homes in the MLS system. However, recent city and county building permits for new construction show that there are about 3-4 new homes permitted for every 10 resale homes during recent quarters.
See the chart below for the 1st Qtr. Sarasota county sales data.