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Good news for homeowners: Values are at post-recession highs in Manatee and Sarasota

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Good news for those who own a home in the Manatee-Sarasota region: Data released Friday shows continued increases in value thanks to a real-estate market basking in the glow of a thriving economy.

According to the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, the median sales price for an existing single-family home in May in Manatee County was $319,995, the highest it’s been since the end of the recession a decade ago.

The previous post-recession high came in December 2017, when the median sales price was $317,500. Since then, the median has been at or above $300,000 in 12 of the 17 months.

Moreover, homeowners saw a 4.9 percent year-over-year increase compared to May 2018, when the median sales price was $305,000.

Homeowners in Sarasota County saw an even bigger increase, with year-over-year prices surging 8.7 percent to $305,305. That also accounts for a post-recession high, topping the $300,000 set in November 2018.

Condo/townhouse owners also saw their values increase — Manatee properties surged 14.3 percent to $210,000, while those in Sarasota went up 1.4 percent to $238,000.

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“Year to date, single-family homes increased, while inventory and median prices are also on an upward trend,” Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee president Amy Worth said in a news release.

“Given that mortgage rates will stay where they are and overall prices will start stabilizing, we can expect moderate growth in this market over the next few months.”

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.07 percent in May, down from 4.59 percent during the same month a year earlier.

Across the state

In May, statewide median sales prices for single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for the 89th consecutive month.

The median sales price for an existing single-family home was $266,000, up 4.3 percent from the previous year, according to data from the Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local realtor boards/associations.

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Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $195,000, up 3.7 percent over the year-ago figure.

“Low interest rates continue to fuel buyer demand in Florida’s housing market,” Florida Realtors president Eric Sain said.

What’s more, sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 30,742 in May, the “highest single-family home sales monthly total for any single month over at least the past 10 years,” according to Florida Realtors chief economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.

Across the nation

The median sales price in May was $277,700, a 4.8 percent increase from last year.

More homes have come onto the market in the past year, but it’s been insufficient to inject a meaningful amount of inventory that would give would-be buyers more choices.

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Sales listings have increased 2.7 percent from a year ago to 1.92 million homes. But the market contains only a 4.3-months supply of properties, well below the six months that were once deemed to be a sign of a healthy market.

Over the past year, homes prices between $250,000 and $750,000 experienced the strongest sales growth. But sales of homes at cheaper price points have been flat or falling, a sign that the lack of entry-level homes has been an obstacle for would-be buyers.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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