Despite the pandemic keeping people home, median sale prices for single-family homes rose in April.
According to Florida Realtors, the median sales price, or midpoint value, rose in both Sarasota and Charlotte counties last month compared to April 2019:
• Sarasota County (8% increase): $313,250 in April 2020; $290,000 in April 2019
• Charlotte County (4.2% increase): $242,500 in April 2020; $232,700 in April 2019
The average price also rose in Sarasota County by 4.3% from $417,774 in April 2019 to $435,531 last month. Charlotte saw a slight dip in average price from $279,367 in April 2019 to $278,136.
The big drop is in inventory and number of homes sold.
New single-family home listings
• Sarasota County (34% decrease): 550 in April 2020; 833 in April 2019
• Charlotte County (21.1% decrease): 388 in April 2020; 492 in April 2019
• Sarasota County (20.3% decrease): 632 in April 2020; 793 in April 2019
• Charlotte County (24.7% decrease): 381 in April 2020; 506 in April 2019
Inventory or active listings
• Sarasota County (23.6% decrease): 2,532 in April 2020; 3,313 in April 2019
• Charlotte County (16.7% decrease): 1,596 in April 2020; 1,916 in April 2019
This low inventory has led to a kind of frenzy to buy, with deals closing in record time, and sellers receiving multiple offers, said Bill Dryburgh, president of the Board of Realtors for Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, North Port and DeSoto County.
“If you hesitate, you lose it, and it’s gone,” he said.
“I am calling this a seller’s market,” wrote Realtor Robert Goldman, of Venice, in The Rob Report on May 21. “The supply of homes for sale is declining more dramatically than home-buyer demand.”
With the competition for homes, everything is moving quickly.
Median Time to contract April 2019 vs. April 2020
• Sarasota County: down 40% to 33 days.
• Charlotte County: down 54.2% to 27 days
• Englewood: down 16.7% to 50 days.
Dryburgh thinks buyers may be coming from coronavirus-stricken urban areas in New York and New Jersey, although he does not yet have data on that.
“A lot of people in those areas were going to try to move away,” he said.
Goldman sees housing as the bright spot in the economy.
“I see no evidence that the COVID-19 crisis is adversely affecting homes sales,” he wrote.