April 2010 sales top March – May 14, 2010

This week, the Sarasota Association of Realtors reported April 2010 sales figures.  The press release follows.

April 2010 Sales Best in Over Four Years  

Property sales in April in the Sarasota market hit the highest total in almost five years, while pending sales were the highest in four years, likely fueled by the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit on April 30.  Median sale prices continued the steady pace reflected in recent months.
The 757 sales exceeded the March 2010 total of 753.  It was the highest total since December 2005 and 50 percent higher than April 2009.
Pending sales were once again strong, hitting 1,160 – better than March 2010’s total of 1,060. It was the highest total in the past four years.
“There was clearly a sense of urgency in April, reflected in higher closed sales as well as contracts written,  as buyers attempted to purchase properties before the expiration of the  homebuyer tax credits,” said 2010 SAR President Erick Shumway. “There is a lot of enthusiasm and optimism among local real estate agents that the trend will sustain in the months to come.”
Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® sold 529 single family homes and 228 condos in April 2010, a huge jump over April 2009, which saw only 367 single family homes and 138 condos sold. Pending sales, at 1,160, were about 18 percent higher than last April, when only 981 were reported. This statistic is a strong indicator for the next two or three months of sales, as pending sales reflect current buyer activity.
The median sale price for a single family home was steady at $165,000, up from last April’s figure of $160,000. For condos, the median price was $193,975, higher than last April’s figure of $182,750. Both figures were slightly lower than March 2010.  For the last 12 months combined, the median sale price for single family homes was $163,800, while the median sale price for condos was $192,000.
The level of distressed property sales (foreclosures and short sales) dropped again in April 2010 to 38 percent of the overall market, from 41 percent in March 2010. The downward trend is a sign that the market is returning to health after topping 48 percent in late 2009. The downward trend in the percentage of short sales and bank-owned foreclosure sales in the Sarasota market, if it continues, would be a harbinger of a market in full recovery, and should bring greater appreciation for the overall median sale prices.
The property inventory level remained steady in April 2010 at 6,160, the lowest level since late summer of 2005.
The months of inventory for single family homes in April 2010 was 7.3 months, the number of months it would take to sell all available homes at the current pace. This was a huge drop from April 2009 – 15.2 months – and very near equilibrium. For condos, the figure was 9.9 months, much lower than last April’s figure of 19.1 months. Once the market reaches the 6 month level it is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market.