Pending Sales Portend Better Months Ahead

The market for properties in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties continued it’s slow but steady rebound from the drop-off in sales that occurred in the first months immediately following the cessation of the first time homebuyer tax credit in late June.  Stronger pending sales portend better months ahead, but recent unexpected developments centered around the foreclosure crisis could easily have a profound effect on future sales since foreclosures account for a large percentage of today’s transactions.

“We fully anticipated a softening in sales in the months immediately following the end of the tax credit,” said Michael Saunders, founder and CEO of Michael Saunders & Company.  “The tax credit was designed to stimulate sales in the short term to hasten the market’s recovery.  It’s June 30th deadline essentially motivated buyers who might have otherwise acted more leisurely to speed up their timeframe for buying, leaving a temporary gap in the market that new buyers are gradually rushing in to fill.”

TRENDGRAPHIX latest report shows that combined sales for the tri-county region of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties were down 2.4% in September 2010 as compared with the previous month; and down 1.3% versus September 2009.  September 2010 pendings, on the other hand, were up 6.6% versus last month; and up 9.6% versus last September.  The combined inventory of properties for sale rose 1.5% from August to September 2010; and rose 4.2% versus last September.

“One of the most telling signs that a significant number of buyers continue to have a outdated sense of their home’s value in today’s corrected market is the wide gap that still exists in the average list price versus the average sale price in all three counties,” adds Saunders.  “That gap has to narrow considerably in order to reflect a trend in correct pricing across all price ranges.”

Sarasota County:

September 2010 sales in Sarasota County were up 1% percent versus August, but were 2% behind the same month a year ago when the tax credit was in effect.   Pendings had a stronger showing in September, up 7.4% vs. last month; and were 7.6% ahead of the same time last year.  The number of properties for sale rose marginally in September (2.6%) versus the previous month; but were essentially unchanged from a year ago.

Of the 629 homes sold in Sarasota County during the month of September, 72% were under $200,000, 18% were between $200,000 and $400,000; and 10% sold for more than $400,000. 

September’s median price of $125,000 for a home in Sarasota County declined by 3.8% from August; and by 10.7% since September 2009.

Manatee County:

September sales in Manatee County were down 5.4% versus August, and 1% behind the same month a year ago.  September pendings were 3.1% ahead of August and 12.7% ahead of last September. The number of properties for sale county wide remained virtually unchanged from August to September, but were 2.3% higher than last September.

Of the 439 homes sold in Manatee County during the month of September, 66% were under $200,000, 26% were between $200,000 and $400,000; and 8% sold for more than $400,000.

September’s median price of $153,000 for a home in Manatee County was up 4.8% versus August; but was 7.3% less than in September 2009.


Charlotte County:

In Charlotte County, September 2010 sales were down 4.9% vs. August; but 5.4% ahead of last September.  Pendings for September were up 10.9% vs. last month; and up 9.3% vs. last September.  The number of properties for sale in September was up 1.4% from August; and up 14.5% vs. last September.

Of the 293 homes sold in Charlotte County during the month of September, 84% were under $200,000, 14% were between $200,000 and $400,000; and 2% sold for more than $400,000.

September’s median price of $95,000 for a home in Charlotte County was down 3.1% from August; and down 12% from September 2009.


Trendgraphix, Inc. is a California-based real estate research and reporting company that uses actual local MLS data to provide highly-visual statistical graphs that help real estate brokers, agents, their customers and real estate associations across the U.S. interpret the latest trends in their respective market areas.  Trendgraphix is used by 100 brokerages and 48 MLS systems; and by tens of thousands of agents and real estate executives in 18 states.

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