First, let’s start with the good news for area homeowners: Home prices across the Manatee-Sarasota region continued to climb to start 2018, increasing nearly 3 percent year-over-year in January.
Now, for the somewhat sobering part of the story: For the ninth consecutive month, prices in the two-county area trailed gains accumulated across Florida as well as the United States.
According to figures released Tuesday by real estate researcher CoreLogic, home prices in the Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port metropolitan area jumped 2.7 percent year-over-year in January.
That’s well behind increases enjoyed across the state (5.6 percent) and the country (6.6 percent).
The median sales price for an existing single-family home in December in Manatee County was $300,145, according to the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, marking the second consecutive month that prices topped $300,000 and only the third time they reached that mark since the Great Recession in 2008.
In Sarasota County, the median sales price in January was $275,900.
First-time buyers, in particular, face mounting challenges as they continue to be forced to compete for a low inventory of properties.
300,145The median value for an existing single-family home in January in Manatee County, according to the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.
“Entry-level homes have been in particularly short supply, leading to more rapid home-price growth compared with more expensive homes,” Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist, said in Tuesday’s report.
“Homes with a purchase price less than 75 percent of the local area median had price growth of 9.0 percent during the year ending January 2018. Homes that sold for more than 125 percent of median appreciated 5.3 percent over the same 12-month period.”
Looking ahead, CoreLogic analysts see another big year of growth across Florida, where prices are projected to increase by more than 7 percent through January 2019, outpacing the 4.8 percent forecast for the U.S.
Entry-level homes have been in particularly short supply, leading to more rapid home-price growth compared with more expensive homes.
Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist
When looking at the top 50 markets based on housing stock, CoreLogic analysts say that 48 percent were overvalued in January, 14 percent were undervalued and 38 percent were at value.
“A rise in mortgage rates coupled with home-price growth further erodes affordability,” said Frank Martell, the president and CEO of CoreLogic. “... Millennials who are looking to become first-time homeowners find it particularly challenging to find an affordable home in these areas.
“Our projections continue to show tightness in the entry-level market for the foreseeable future, which could further prevent millennials from purchasing homes in 2018 and 2019, even as much of that generation reaches its prime home-buying years.”
Four states – Washington (12.1 percent), Nevada (11.3), Utah (10.8) and Idaho (10.3) – saw prices rise by double digits in January.