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March property sales highest since August 2005 in Sarasota

According to the Sarasota Board of Realtors, property sales in the Sarasota real estate market remained hot in March 2013 and for the first quarter of 2013. The March 2013 sales figure of 887 was the highest total since August 2005, and for the full first quarter, sales were 11.3 percent higher than in 2012.

Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® sold 628 single family homes and 259 condominiums in March 2013. That compared to 504 single family homes and 229 condos sold in February 2013, for a 21-percent increase over last month and 6.7 percent higher than March 2012.

The huge number of sales coincided with an impressive increase in the median sales price, especially for single family homes. The figure of $210,000 for single family homes was the highest since August 2008 – nearly five years ago. For condos, the median was $182,000. The condo figure has fluctuated substantially over the past few years, dropping to a low point of $127,000 in July 2010 after soaring to $420,000 at the start of 2007.

Pending sales, which predict future closings, were at 1,221 – the highest figure in the past seven years, and one of the highest in SAR’s history. Pending sales stood at 1,138 in February and 1,047 in January, continuing the amazing streak since the start of 2013. The statistic represents properties that went under contract during the month, and indicates sales in April and beyond could also be at high levels.

The available inventory remained near the lowest level in a decade, declining to 3,643 from February’s figure of 3,790. The inventory is 18 percent lower than in March 2012.

“We are in the middle of an historic sales period, and the pending sales total indicates we could continue to see closings at near record highs,” said SAR President Roger Piro. “Agents are reporting very high activity at open houses, and the seasonal surge of buyers has been at the highest level in many years. If this continues, as it did last year, the year 2013 could end up in the record books.”

The March 2013 months of inventory were 3.8 months for single family and 4.7 months for condos, with both property categories at or equal to the lowest level in the past decade. Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate

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