Longboat Key home sales slow with end of season – Your Observer


As the busy season on Longboat Key winds down, so does the demand for properties. The real estate market on the barrier island has slowed down alongside the area’s. 
However, properties staying on the market for a longer period of time isn’t cause for alarm necessarily. Typically, demand wanes during the summer months and ramps up during peak season. 
“There’s always a market,” real estate consultant for RE/MAX Andrew Vac said. “The market is much more aggressive and much more busy and showing activity in our seasonal months when there are more people here. The market is much less busy, less aggressive and showing less demand in the offseason, which is what we are seeing now.”
In spring 2022, properties often stayed on the market for as little as two or three days. Now, two or three months on the market is about average for a property on the barrier island. 
“We’re seeing price reductions pretty much across the board because the demand has slowed down,” Vac said. “Some properties that are priced properly are selling more quickly. … The market is adjusting and listing prices are coming down. The market is slowing down and the demand is less, but there’s still activity.”
After the pandemic, it was common to see houses listed at high prices and buyers offering above asking price in hopes of securing the home. Buyers were waving inspections and contingencies to make sure they could get their hands on their property of choice. Now, Vac said, buyers have returned to being more conscientious with inspections, and negotiations over price have returned.
One thing that has stayed consistent over the years and is expected to continue are cash offers. 
“A lot of people pay cash because they have the cash,” Vac said. “That’s always going to be the case in our market because that is just the way our market is.” 
The typical buyer on Longboat Key has changed slightly. While buyers are still primarily looking for seasonal residences, more plan to stay in the area longer or are hoping to call Longboat Key a permanent residence. 
“What’s happening is people want to come to Florida and they want to be here permanently or at least six months out of the year,” he said. “That’s what created the demand after COVID-19 and the frenzy that we had because everybody wants to live here. They realized they don’t need to be in the cold when they can work remotely through their computers.”
As of May 30, there are 271 Longboat Key property listings on the Coldwell Banker Realty website. There are 221 listings on the Michael Saunders & Company website. Properties are a mix of condos and single-family homes. 

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The Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee compiled data from Florida Realtors into a report focusing on Manatee County and Sarasota County’s specific markets. According to the report, pending sales of single-family homes and condos show signs of positive growth, but closed sales and new listings have declined.  
“The numbers from April represent a market offering both opportunities and challenges for buyers and sellers,” Brian Tressider, RASM President and Strategic Growth and Sales Manager at William Raveis Real Estate, said in a press release. 

Manatee County’s median single-family home sale price hit a record in April with an median price of $570,000. The new record marked a 10.7% increase from the previous year and a 15.8% increase from March 2023 when the median sale price was $491,988. 
For condos in the county, the median sale price increased 8.8% from the previous year to $380,795. 
Paired with the rise in price has come a decrease in closed sales. Compared to April 2022, closed sales of single-family homes decreased by 4.3% to 662 sales. Closed condo sales decreased by 15.8% to 256 sales. 
Amid a decline in sales, pending single-family home sales increased by 30.2% and pending condo sales increased by 4%. Pending sales are measured by the number of homes that went under contract in the time period. 
In April, single-family homes went under contract within a median of 28 days, which is a year-over-year increase of 460%. The condo side had a median of 27 days on the market, a 440% increase from last April. 
The supply of inventory increased across both counties, according to the report. The months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace. Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation. A lower level of supply tends to push prices up more rapidly, according to the National Association of Realtors
In Manatee County, condo supply increased by 337.5% to a 3.5-month supply. Single-family home supply increased 237.5% to a 2.5-month supply. 

Compared to last year in Sarasota County, the median sale price of single-family homes increased 7.7% to $520,000. Condo prices increased 1% to a $399,000 median sale price. 
Continuing with a seemingly less successful month compared to Manatee County, closed sales of single-family homes decreased by 5.7% to 747 sales. Condo sales dipped 22.9% to 383 sales. 
Pending sales also took a hit in the county. Single-family home pending sales decreased 12.5%, but condo sales increased by 6.9% compared to 2022. For condos, 2023 was the first time the market experienced year-over-year increases in pending sales since May 2021. 

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Time on the market increased in Sarasota County compared to last April. The median time a single-family home spent on the market before going under contract increased by 250% to 21 days. Condos spent an average of 22 days on the market, a 340% increase. 
“The increase in median time to contract and month’s supply of inventory indicates a changing market, necessitating informed decision making for all stakeholders,” Tressider said in the release. 
The months’ supply increased for both single-family homes and condos. Compared to a year ago, there was a 3.5-month supply of condos equaling a 337.5% increase. There was a 2.9-month supply of single-family homes, an increase of 190%. 
At the end of April, there were 5,253 active listings for both property types in the North Port-Sarasota-Brandenton area. The number represents a 166.8% increase in active listings compared to April 2022.



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