Metrostudy’s first-quarter survey of the Sarasota housing market shows continued steady growth in the region, even as the price composition of the market is changing.  In Sarasota-Bradenton, 918 single-family units were started in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 2.7% over 1Q13’s rate of 894 units. The annual start rate compared to last year increased by 32.8%, to 3,785 annual starts. Total single-family inventory, which is composed of units under construction, finished vacant and models, equaled 1,834 units on the ground at the end of the first quarter, a 6.4 month supply. Inventories increased by 21.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

Compared to last year, the under construction inventory rose by 289 units to 1,318. Finished vacant inventory decreased by 1.5% from 325 units last year to 320 this year. However, the number of completions exceeded move-ins during the quarter and FV inventory increased by 52 units.

This quarter 1,142 lots were delivered to the Sarasota-Bradenton market. Vacant developed lot inventory stands at 38,272 lots, a decrease of 1.5% compared to 38,855 lots last year. Based upon the annual start rate, this level of lot inventory represents a 121.3 month supply, a decrease of 42 months compared to last year. At the end of 4Q2013, Manatee County had a 26.3-month supply, down from a 38.4-month supply of VDL in 4Q2012. Sarasota County had a 39.7-month supply at 4Q2013, down from 61.2- month supply at 4Q2012. Housing activity increased in all three Counties, thereby reducing VDL months of supply.

The top three counties based on annual starts are Manatee (up 32%), Sarasota (up 35.6%) and Charlotte (up 25.7%).

For the twelve months ending March 31, 2014, new homes starts in price ranges under $250k totaled 1,561 units. This was down 5.4% from the 1Q2013 annual activity in prices less than $250k. Annual new-home starts in prices over $250k were up 85.3% for the twelve months ending March 31, 2014 versus 1Q2013. The marginal 935 unit increase in the annual start pace was split: 89 less units under $250k and 1,024 additional units above $250k (110% of the growth came in price points above $250k).  The “pause” mostly affected Manatee County. During 1Q2014, Manatee County recorded 495 housing starts, the lowest level in five quarters. During 1Q2014, Sarasota County recorded 378 housing starts versus 348 starts in 4Q2013, an 8.6% increase.

Starts in 1Q 2014 were down 11.7% from 4Q 2013 levels. The price increases pushed thru in early 2013 peaked with 4Q closings and so far, 1Q pricing was down in Manatee and Sarasota County, 3.5% and 3.3%, respectively. “The major factors going forward will continue to be consumer confidence and general continued improvement in the national economy and the job market, which help retirees sell northern homes,” says Tony Polito, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Sarasota market.

For information contact: Tony Polito at 813.888.5151


About Metrostudy

Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide.  Established in 1975 in Houston, Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services that help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Bradenton, FL.