The past year was a good one for real estate in Manatee and Sarasota counties, with single-family homes gaining nearly 9 percent in value across the region.
According to statistics released Tuesday by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, median home prices in Manatee County rose 7.5 percent during 2016 to end the year at $285,000.
Meanwhile, there was a double-digit increase of 10.3 percent in Sarasota County, which closed 2016 with a median price of $264,500.
$285,000The median price for a single-family home in Manatee County in December 2016.
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Both counties were well above the national growth rate of 4 percent, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
But with the good comes the bad: Rising mortgage rates and a supply shortage that has helped push prices higher led to a retreat in year-over-year December sales. Homebuyers have fewer choices, as new construction has yet to meet demand and existing homeowners have been reluctant to list their properties for sale.
Manatee County experienced an 8.2 percent decrease and Sarasota County had a 6.1 percent drop in December. Manatee had 491 sales close on single-family homes last month, and Sarasota had 617.
“Home buying is likely to face additional headwinds going forward, which include low inventory levels, rebounding prices and higher mortgage rates,” said Admir Kolaj, an analyst at TD Bank.
$264,500The median price for a single-family home in Sarasota County in December 2016.
Kolaj added that these factors are unlikely to “completely derail” the housing market.
The local market for townhomes and condos showed strength in December, with Manatee (7.8 percent) and Sarasota (12.5) both showing significant increases in year-over-year closed sales.
“It’s a case of supply and demand,” said Xena Vallone, the president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. “Inventory is showing an improvement over last year’s low levels while median sales prices rise to meet this demand, ultimately gearing us up for a balanced market.”
It’s a case of supply and demand. Inventory is showing an improvement over last year’s low levels while median sales prices rise to meet this demand, ultimately gearing us up for a balanced market.
Xena Vallone, the president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, on the area’s condo market
The median sales price for condos in Manatee County rose 3.8 percent to $185,000, while Sarasota County had a slight dip of 1.1 percent to $217,000.
“This is the time of the year ... when the largest pool of buyers are in the market to purchase (a condo),” Vallone said.
SUPPLY HURTS NATIONAL SALES
Across the nation, Americans retreated from purchasing homes in December, as the number of properties listed for sale sank to its lowest level since 1999.
Sales of existing homes fell 2.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million. For all of 2016, sales posted an annual gain of 3.8 percent to 5.45 million.
Just 1.65 million homes were listed for sale in December, a 6.3 percent drop from a year ago to the smallest total since 1999.
Homebuyers were able to manage the rising sales prices in part because of low mortgage rates in 2016, but those rates have climbed upward and settled above 4 percent since Donald Trump’s presidential victory. The Realtors estimate that rising mortgage rates in recent months increased the typical monthly payment by $75, or $900 a year.