A Market Out of Recovery

It’s difficult to remember when our paradise was looking not-so-sunny during the recession. The seasonal nature of our area, the sheer volume of second-homeowners, and our reliance on tourism to sustain our economy meant that during the Great Recession, we took a massive hit. In times of plenty, few readily recall the havoc that we have spent the last decade pulling ourselves out of. If we take a look at now compared to 10 years ago, we will see that it might finally be time to say loud and proud: We are out of recovery!

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Back Then: 2008

Nearly a year after the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, our area was highly affected by this time of the year in 2008.

  • Twice as many homes were listed then as opposed to now.

  • Homes were only garnering about 80% of list price when they finally sold, after an average of 130 days on the market.

  • The average list price for a home was just under $500,000 and had been on a steady decline since April 2007.

Now: 2018

Ten years have brought several waves of recovery to Sarasota County, starting with inventory being bought up, to homes being “flipped”, to the market switching to a seller-dominated market, and now back to neutral, with a big increase over the past year in new construction.

  • Twice as many homes sold in August 2018 than in August 2008, with HALF the inventory!

  • Homes are able to garner about 92% of list price at time of sale, and spend less than 80 days on the market on average.

  • The average list price is over $630,000 and our average sold price is up $30,000 over 2008.

Major Changes

The Mortgage Market.

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Depository banks held about 50% of all mortgages in 2008. There was little competition to these “big banks” for home loans, and the process hadn’t changed in a very long time. Think: lots of paper, lots of applications, lots of faxes. After the big banks had tremendous fallout from the Great Recession, it was out with the old and in with the new! Competition in the mortgage arena has meant a wide variety of options for potential homeowners, pushing this used-to-be-overwhelming area towards user-friendliness and consumer-centric. This competition, in turn, has lowered fixed mortgage rates, which is great for those seeking to purchase in 2018!

No More Excessive Flipping.

There will always be investors who are willing to buy the delapidated homes and fix them up for quick profit, but in 2008, our market was flooded with flipping. In 2018, there is a moderate amount of flipping still occurring (naturally, given that it is generally a good investment to buy and sell property around here), but nowhere near what we had mid-recession.

Balanced Housing Market.

Inventory—the number of listed properties—skyrocketed during the recession, from our general average of 3-6 months to over 34 months. (Inventory is counted in how many months it would take to deplete the number of properties currently on the market, so at our worst, we had nearly THREE YEARS of inventory!) Now, we are solidly in a balanced market, with August’s average at 3.9 months.

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Outlook Good

To conclude, it appears the Sarasota County area is solidly out of recession recovery and back to a normal (for us, anyway) real estate market. If you are interested in buying or selling in Sarasota, I can help you value your investment so your longterm choice will be one you'll be happy with for years to come.