Manatee County home values fall for first time in 2017

For the first time in 2017, home prices in Manatee County have dipped — but they’re still up from a year ago.

According to figures released by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee on Monday, the median sales price for a single-family home in the month of June is $297,750, down from $299,000 in May. This ends a four-month run that saw a steady surge in prices that delighted homeowners.

Despite the slight dip, these figures still represent a 4.5 percent increase from June 2016. The data, which is compiled each month from My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service, also indicates an increase in pending sales and a decrease in closed sales as compared to last year.

“With most sellers aware of the market being a sellers’ market, they are testing the waters with higher listing prices,” said Xena Vallone, 2017 RASM President. “And now we’ve been seeing a longer period of time between the listing and the contract.”

This “sellers’ market” has seen median prices in Manatee County rise by more than 50 percent since 2012 as the market continues to recover from the housing meltdown caused by the recession.

In following this trend, the time between the listing date and the contract date has been increasing for the last three months. Manatee County condos spent an average of 54 days on the market, while single-family homes spent 47 days there — both increases from the previous year. Data shows that the median time to sale (94 days) is actually down 10.5 percent from 2016, despite increasing by two days from May.

With inventory, it was the opposite: While it showed a year-over-year increase, it is actually down when compared to last month. Condos decreased by 6.2 percent and single-family homes dropped by 3.6 percent.

Number of listings increased on a monthly basis, but shows a year-over-year decrease. Despite showing improvements over the months of May and June, June’s figures are down 0.5 percent from 2016.

Dollar volume and average sales price are both up from the previous year. The 608 closed sales for the month of June is exactly on pace with June 2016.

Sarasota County is also potentially seeing the effects of a “sellers’ market” — for instance, the condo market saw a significant 36.2 percent increase in pending sales as well as a jump in new listings; however, median price decreased.

Vallone, however, doesn’t necessarily see this as an issue.

“An increase in median prices isn’t always favorable for a seller,” said Vallone. “While they are able to sell their home at the higher price, the challenge is finding a replacement home and at the right price.”