April 2021 Market Stats

SARASOTA, Fla. (May 21, 2021) – The Sarasota and Manatee housing market continues the trend of more home sales and rising prices in April 2021. According to data from Florida REALTORS® and compiled by the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM), April reported more sales, more new listings, and record-high prices. 

Something to remember when looking at these stats is we are comparing April 2021 to April 2020. Florida went into lockdown in April, and while there was some activity, it was greatly slowed down. 

We have a record number of people making the move to Florida now. Historically low interest rates, lockdown, work from home, etc. are all contributing to many people picking up and moving. A few things are contributing to the lack of inventory.

  • People are moving here in droves. For many their home state taxes and cold weather were enough. For the rest, quarantine, working from home, and politics drove people from thier home state to Florida. Couple that with interest rates that are turning some cash buyers into borrowers, and you have a migration. 
  • There is a huge lack of new homes. The supply lines, cost of lumber, and lack of employees ground new construction to nearly a halt earlier this year. Some communities went a month or two without the ability to sell anything. The builders put sales on hold and just recenlty opened communities back up. Even then, lots are being released at a trickle, and many builders are auctioning them off. Building times are longer because of lagging supply chains. New home construction will not pull us out of the inventory drought. 
  • As you can see from the above stats, new listings are up, which makes sense with the lockdown. Even on a current basis, there are so many buyers, that what inventory we do have usually goes under contract in days. So, while every month has more new listings, we are still trying to catch up with buyer demand. 

What's a seller to do??

For many in our area, this is a second home market. They have the luxury of selling, then taking their time to find another home. For those that aren't in that situation, there are options. You can do a leaseback, you can write in the contract that you need xx days to find your next property, and other options. 

Do you want top dollar? Clean up your home, declutter, have professional photos taken, and market! Don't take the lazy way out and allow your home to go on the market with no photos, hazy photos, disheveled rooms, and so on. Even in this market, that could hold you back from getting the most out of your house. 

A lot of REALTORS® (myself included) will list a 'hot' property on a particular day then have 2-3 days of showings and/or open houses. This inconveniences you the least, and you will have a few offers by the end of it. Examine your offers carefully. The highest offer may not be the best option for you. 

What's a buyer to do?

I know, you feel beat up and are tired. We are right there with you. There are things you can do to encourage your offer getting accepted. If you are paying cash, have your proof of funds ready. If you are getting a loan, have a current pre-approval ready. Make sure you understand your pre-approval. What will your approximate monthly payment be? Will an HOA or Condo fees throw that off enough that you'd have to lower your purchase amount? How much are you putting down? Are you getting a home that is turnkey or something that needs work? Do you have the funds to pay for the updating? 

Bottom Line

The market is moving fast. This is an historic time in housing history and may last a while. Economists are predicting that the current interest rates will last through the end of 2021. It could be a year, or more, before inventory levels rise enough to end the supply and demand craziness we are all experiencing. Don't go it alone. Have a REALTOR® in your corner that knows what is going on today, not a few months ago. 

You can read the full RASM article here:

 

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