Home sales in the Bradenton-Sarasota area took a hit from Hurricane Irma, falling a combined 16.8 percent from September 2016 to September 2017.
Sales fell from 535 a year ago to 422 last month for the two-county area, according to the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.
Factors included office closures, reinspections and tight scheduling for new appraisals.
September’s decline in sales is directly related to the business and school closures around the storm, the association said in a press release on Friday.
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“With Labor Day and office closures, there were 20 percent fewer business days in September to complete a sale,” said 2017 association President Xena Vallone. “When a storm like Irma comes around, our focus shifts from day-to-day business to the safety of our homes and loved ones.”
With Labor Day and office closures, there were 20 percent fewer business days in September to complete a sale.
Xena Vallone, Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee
Weather and other factors also contributed to a decrease in the number of properties put on the market. New listings for single-family homes in the two counties decreased by 31.8 percent. New condo listings decreased by 20.9 percent in the two-county area.
“We typically start to see more listings in September as buyers prepare for season,” said Vallone. “But when the storm started its path toward Florida, sellers weren’t preparing to list their house, they were preparing to keep it safe.”
While inventory wasslightly down from August, overall inventory showed slight improvement from this time last year. The number of single family homes in the combined two counties increased by 1.9 percent, while condos increased by 2.9 percent. Inventory supply typically starts to grow in the fall.
Irma’s arrival also brought fewer shopping days for buyers to select their purchases. New pending sales, or the number of properties that went under contract in the month, decreased in both counties. Sarasota County experienced a 29.8 percent decrease in new pending sales, while Manatee County decreased by 26.2 percent.
Pending sales are an indicator of future closed sales. With so few pending sales this month, Irma’s impact on closed sales will trickle into October.
Median sales prices were up, an indicator that Florida’s housing market is experiencing a delay, rather than a crash. The median price of single family homes in Sarasota County increased by 8.4 percent to $269,900, while Manatee County increased by 9.3 percent to $295,000.
Sarasota condos increased by 11.2 percent to $220,000. Condo prices for Manatee increased by 2 percent to $181,500.