Mid-range condos selling well in Manatee; cash buyers grab 64% of all home sales

Cash buyers make up for 64 percent of all home sales in Sarasota-Bradenton metro

cschelle@bradenton.comOctober 24, 2013 

MANATEE -- Sales of condominiums priced $500,000 to $700,000 are seeing a surge in Manatee County, according to the latest report commissioned by Michael Saunders & Co.

Condo sales in that price range are up 250 percent year-over-year for the month of September, and up 18.7 percent over last year, according to the latest Trendgraphix report. Seven condos in that price range sold this September compared to two sales in September 2012, according to the report. Condos priced at less than $150,000 sold the most, with 74 sales in September, up 5.7 percent compared to September 2012.

"As September is traditionally a quiet period for most of our region's economic sectors, it is not uncommon for real estate sales to soften this time of year," says Michael Saunders, founder and CEO of Michael Saunders & Company. "Additionally, with prices on the rise and inventories low, the large institutional investors -- who helped jump-start our market to begin with -- have become less of a presence in the market, at least for now. This is enabling more purchases by buyers who plan to occupy the homes, a sure sign that our market is edging closer to normal."

Mid-range single-family homes continue see an increase of sales for homes priced $200,000 to $1 million, according to the report, with homes priced $700,000 to $1 million seeing a 75 percent jump from last year with 14 sales.

Another report by RealtyTrac, a real estate data website, shows that cash is again king for those sales. Cash buyers made up 64 percent of the sales in the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice metro area in September, with short sales making up the next highest percentage at 29 percent. Tampa's 33 percent of home purchases being short sales was among the highest in the nation for metro areas with more than 1 million people.

The median distressed home sale price in the metro area is also up 14 percent year-over-year at $105,001, according to RealtyTrac, while non-distressed home sales sold at a median price of $167,000 last month, up 10 percent from last year.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.

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