How Has The Red Tide Affected Our Real Estate Market?
3rd. Qtr. Sales Statistics Sarasota County; Sales And Prices Are Up Again.
The severe outbreak of red tide on Sarasota County has been dramatic over the entire third quarter of 2018. Both local and national daily media headlines have kept constant attention on this most unfortunate and widespread event. Throughout the South West Florida region, the red tide has seriously impacted many facets of the local economy but in particular; tourism has really suffered. Many businesses related to tourism such as hotels, restaurants, fishing, boating and all types of retail sales have reported disastrous loss of business. Many people figure that real estate sales would be drastically impacted as well since the red tide has been an issue everyday for almost the last 3 months.
Well, the third quarter sales figures are in. These statistics cover sales, pending listings and median home values and they show no serious impact to real estate activity during the last quarter. In fact sales were up for this third quarter over the third quarter of 2017 by almost 5%. Sarasota County had home and condo sales in the third quarter of 2018 of 2965 units versus 2017 when only 2835 units sold. Plus the median home values are rising as well they are up about 6% over the same period last year. The median sold price and Sarasota County for 2018 was $259,990 versus 2017 when it was $246,000.
The data also shows more homes went under contract this last quarter, 3040 versus the third quarter of 2017 when only 2891 pending sales were reported. This is a 5% increase in pending home sales for this quarter.
Cash buyers are still a big factor in our local real estate market. Almost 42% of all buyers paid cash. This is a slight decrease from previous years when cash buyers were around half of all buyers. This all cash percentage has been declining slowly over the last three years as home prices keep rising and interest rates continue to climb. 30 year fixed rates loans are now around 5% while they were only 4% a year ago.
I think the data indicates that we are still in a seller’s market and that red tide, as bad as it has been in our local economy, has not really seriously affected real estate at all as sales and prices continue to rise.
See the charts below for the 3rd. Qtr. sales and for the sales figures for the year to date in Sarasota County.