While area closed home sales saw an overall decrease in May, record-low inventory levels are pushing prices upward — a sign the market continues on a steady road to recovery, housing experts said.
According to local home sale figures released this week, Charlotte and Sarasota counties both saw drops in closed sales for the month of May in both the single-family and condo categories. At the same time, median prices went up in May from the previous month. The Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association of Realtors reported 295 closed sales in the single-family market, compared with 352 in April. In the condo category, the association reported 86 closed transactions in May, versus 80 in April. Those numbers are tallied using the new statewide system of reporting that the Florida Realtors recently implemented, and that the local boards now are using. In Sarasota County, the sales breakdown amounted to 591 single-family and 263 condo sales transactions in May, compared with 589 and 297 in April, respectively. Housing experts say the slowdown is normal for this time of year, when seasonal buyers head back north for the summer months. Still, the lull in sales hasn’t dampened experts’ spirits, as prices steadily rise and inventory levels drop to the lowest they’ve been in years. Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate. Experts say inventory levels typically are around seven to eight months in a healthy market. The median price of a single-family home in the Charlotte County-North Port area rose in May by 12.6 percent, to $111,500, according to the Realtor association, while the median price of condos rose by a whopping 30.9 percent, to $111,250. The median price is that level at which half of the homes sold for more, and half for less.
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