Q2 2018 Market Snapshot: Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties

If you tuned into the Q1 market snapshot for Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties earlier this year, you’ll remember that Q2 is often dubbed “The decision quarter.” This means that seasonal visitors who may have entertained the idea of owning a piece of paradise all winter long are coming out of hibernation ready to activate on their real estate goals #MostProductiveVacationEver.

From what we see with the tri-county numbers, that theory holds weight. Gulf Coast real estate continues to grow in all areas – but remains balanced for both buyers and sellers. Drayton Saunders, President of Michael Saunders & Company, dives into this and other trends we saw between April and June in our latest market report video:

Key Trends:

  • Inventory levels in June were just below 4 months’ supply, allowing prospective buyers to test the market
  • Median sales prices continue a steady and stable appreciation
  • Luxury sales continue to climb across all counties and the world is noticing
  • New luxury construction in Manatee County yielded re-adjusted pricing strategies

Q2 Market Snapshot

Luxury Market:

As in the first quarter of 2018, the luxury market saw another healthy period of growth. Though it paced just slightly behind the extraordinary numbers of the early year, Q2 saw a savvier luxury buyer emerge, causing sellers and their agents to adjust prices and go to market with this new trend in mind to remain competitive with new construction.


Luxury Q2 Market snapshot

Among the sales highlights: the second highest sale on Longboat Key, the highest resale in The Islands on the Manatee River and an impressive waterfront remodel. Also reported in Q2 was the annual Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Defined report in which Sarasota was named the Third Hottest Second-Home Market globally.

Our luxury sales spotlight showcases all sales over $1 million in the Manatee, and Charlotte counties and all sales over $2 million in Sarasota County.

I’d Like to Thank the Academy…

Beyond positive statistics, the Gulf Coast garnered a tremendous amount of national and international attention in Q2, and with good reason. Our beloved tri-county area is growing at an exponential rate across all sectors and price ranges. Some might say the accolades helped sales…or is it that the numbers fueled interest? No matter what side you take in this “chicken or egg” scenario, we can all agree Florida is a great place to call home.

Top 10 Fastest Growing Luxury Markets by Realtor.com – Sarasota (1)

Top-selling Master Planned Communities by RCLCO – Lakewood Ranch (2) and West Villages (5)

The Coolest Film Festivals in the World by MovieMaker Magazine – Sarasota Film Festival

2018’s Best Beach Towns to Live In by WalletHub.com – Sarasota (3) and Venice (15)

Best Places to Buy by Smart Asset – Sarasota-Bradenton (2nd in Florida)(24th nationally)

Top 5 Florida Beaches for Seashells by Nuovo Bride – Venice Beach


Learning from Our Past

As mentioned in the last quarterly report update, we wanted to use our time in Q2 to watch the continued upward movement of median sales prices. Looking back, we’ve certainly come a long way from the challenging circumstances that defined the real estate industry a decade ago, but many have interpreted this current price appreciation as foreshadowing for dark days ahead. Like searching for medical diagnoses on the internet, there are a lot of opinions out there that may lead you to believe the worst.

The good news? To get a sense of market health, a lot of other factors come into play. Here are some (of many) things to consider in addition to median price metrics:

  • We now have more homeowners versus home speculators in the market
  • Lenders are requiring more of borrowers, and sub-prime loan products are non-existent
  • Nationally 70% of all closed loans had FICO scores over 700. The average for the month of June increased 2 points to 726 (according to the June 2018 Origination Insight Report).

As we look toward the end of summer, we’ll continue to monitor these trends and more. For a more detailed look at the market in your neighborhood, contact one of our experienced real estate agents. Don’t forget to comment below and on the market report video with questions about the current condition of Gulf Coast real estate. We’ll try to answer as many as possible and keep you aware of the latest and greatest updates in the Q3 Market Report this fall.