Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sales Still Strong

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sales Still Strong

Article excerpt

Othe things are changing, including a decrease in cash-only deals

Home sales sustained a strong pace during the second quarter in Southwest Florida, although they didn't quite keep up with statewide gains.

Sales of existing single-family homes rose by 9.9 percent in Sarasota and Manatee counties and by 8.9 percent in Charlotte County during the April-June period, while sales throughout Florida jumped 15.0 percent, according to new data from the Florida Realtors trade group.

Local Realtors say the Sarasota-Manatee region could set another record for sales volume this year, with deals rivaling the numbers put up during the pre-recession boom.

In Sarasota-Manatee, buyers closed on 4,173 single-family homes in the second quarter. The median sale price was $240,000, an 11.6 percent increase over the year.

In Charlotte, 1,351 home sales were recorded. The median sale price rose 8.9 percent to $167,000.

Statewide, 77,724 homes changed hands at a median price of $200,000, which was 11.1 percent ahead of last year.

"The second-quarter statistics confirm the tightening of the real estate market in Florida," said Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo. "Homes are selling for higher prices in less time and at prices closer to the original list price. We clearly have a sellers' market developing.

"Of note here is the drop in cash sales. We've spoken in the past of the retreat of bulk investors in Florida, but now we're seeing less interest on the part of foreign buyers, who are discouraged by the appreciation of the dollar against their currencies. And, as noted before, the greatest pressures in the market are located at the low end of the price spectrum," he said.

Sales of condominiums in Sarasota and Manatee counties outpaced the state.

Buyers closed on 1,931 condo units in the quarter, a 10.5 percent gain over the year. The median sale price was $180,000, a 7.8 percent increase.

Charlotte buyers snapped up 344 condos, a 7.2 percent increase for the year, with a median price of $151,000, up 14 percent. …

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