U.S. Home Sales Uptick in October

Home Sales UpAccording to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales rose in October 2019. The four major U.S. regions were split last month, with the Midwest and the South seeing growth, and the Northeast and the West both reporting a drop in sales.

Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.9% from September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in October. Despite lingering regional variances, overall sales are up 4.6% from a year ago (5.22 million in October 2018).

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said this sales increase is encouraging and he expects added growth in the coming months. “Historically-low interest rates, continuing job expansion, higher weekly earnings and low mortgage rates are undoubtedly contributing to these higher numbers,” said Yun. “We will likely continue to see sales climb as long as potential buyers are presented with an adequate supply of inventory.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $270,900, up 6.2% from October 2018 ($255,100), as prices rose in all regions. October’s price increase marks 92 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of October sat at 1.77 million units, down approximately 2.7% from September and 4.3% from one year ago (1.85 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.1 months in September and from the 4.3-month figure recorded in October 2018.

“The issuance of more housing permits is a very positive sign and a good step toward more inventory,” said Yun, citing the latest data for housing starts. “In order to better counter and even slow the increase in housing prices, home builders will have to bring additional homes on the market.”

Properties typically remained on the market for 36 days in October, up from 32 days in September and consistent with October 2018 numbers. Forty-six percent of homes sold in October 2019 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 31% of sales in October, down from 33% in September and identical to the 31% recorded in October 2018. NAR’s 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2019 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 33%.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in October 2019 unchanged from September but down from the 15% figure recorded in October 2018. All-cash sales accounted for 19% of transactions in October, up from 17% in August but down from 23% in October 2018.

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 2% of sales in October, unchanged from September but down from 3% in October 2018.

“It is great to see home sales rise along with an increase in housing permits,” said NAR President Vince Malta. “Both home buyers and the home sellers are being rewarded by these developments, and we see that conditions remain extremely favorable for real estate investment in America.”

Realtor.com’s Market Hotness Index, measuring time-on-the-market data and listing views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in October were:

  • Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Pueblo, Colo.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Rochester, N.Y.
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.

Active listings on Realtor.com increased by over 1% from one year ago in only a few of the largest metro areas:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (16%)
  •  Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise (14%)
  •  San Antonio-New Braunfels (9%)
  •  Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (5%)
  •  Atlanta-Sandy Springs (5%)
  •  Denver-Aurora-Lakewood (4%)
  •  Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (4%)
  •  and Myrtle-Beach-Conway (4%).

Mortgage rates were trending downward since July through September, but slightly rose in October.  According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.69% in October, up from 3.61% in September. The average commitment rate across all of 2018 was 4.54%.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales sat at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million in October, down from 4.77 million in September, but up 5.4% from a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $273,600 in October 2019, up 6.2% from October 2018.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000 units in October, about even with the previous month and 1.7% lower than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $248,500 in October, which is an increase of 5.6% from a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

Compared to last month, October sales increased in the Midwest and South regions, but sales are up in all regions from a year ago. Median home prices in all regions increased from one year ago, with the West region showing the strongest price gain.

October 2019 existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 1.4% to an annual rate of 690,000, with no change from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $296,700, up 5.7% from October 2018.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 1.6% to an annual rate of 1.29 million, up 2.4% from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $209,900, a 6.7% jump from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 4.4% to an annual rate of 2.35 million in October, up 7.8% from a year ago. The median price in the South was $234,900, a 6.0% increase from this time last year.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 0.9% to an annual rate of 1.13 million in October, 3.7% above a year ago. The median price in the West was $410,700, up 7.8% from October 2018.

World Property Journal, November 22, 2019

Umbrella House Nominated for National Designation

Umbrella HouseBacked by the state Bureau of Historic Preservation, the Umbrella House has been nominated for a slot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The two-story home in Lido Shores, designed by Paul Rudolph and built in 1953, is frequently cited as one of the standout works from the mid-century Sarasota School of Architecture movement.

A local icon, the 1950s Lido Key home is a defining work of the Sarasota School of Architecture.

Although dozens of structures within the city are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, most of them date to previous waves of development in the early 1900s. The Umbrella House is set to become one of the few Sarasota School works on the National Register, joining the Rudolph-designed Sarasota High School addition and the Scott Building at 265 S. Orange Ave.

The Umbrella House already has a local historic designation, which offers incentives for rehabilitation and requires city review of proposed changes to the home. In 2015, the Umbrella House was renovated to re-create its namesake “umbrella” structure, designed to shade the residence.

City Planner Cliff Smith said the national designation was another way the property owners are attempting to secure the Umbrella House’s historic legacy. On Tuesday, the city’s Historic Preservation Board voted unanimously to endorse the application, which a national committee will consider in August.

Smith said the designation would add to the significance of an architectural movement in which the community has taken great pride.

“The Sarasota School of Architecture, that unique form of building that’s indigenous to the city of Sarasota — we’re very happy that’s reached national status,” Smith said.

On a local level, city staff is working to create more incentives for preserving historically significant structures. Staff also hopes to update an index of city buildings to include those built in the mid-century period during which the Sarasota School thrived.

“We’re looking to make significant advances in historic preservation,” Smith said


Sarasota Observer July 12, 2018

Most Home Sales in Southwest Florida Still Cash

cash sales SarasotaCash buyers remain major players in the Southwest Florida housing market.

The Sarasota-Manatee area ranked fifth among the largest U.S. metro areas for cash home sales at the end of 2015, according to a new report by data provider CoreLogic.

Cash sales accounted for 51 percent of all home deals in the two counties, CoreLogic said, reinforcing other reports that buying without borrowing is still the most popular way to acquire residential real estate here.

That was up from 47.2 percent in September, but down from 54.3 percent one year earlier.

Cash buyers have dominated the regional real estate market for several years, even leading the nation for the top share early last year.

While the impact of large institutional investors — who dominated the market during its early rebound — has slowed, smaller investors have become more active. Baby boomers at or near retirement also are selling homes up north and paying cash for homes here.

Florida tied for third nationally for the share of cash sales at 46 percent, CoreLogic said.

Nationwide, cash sales made up 33.4 percent of all homes sales in December and 33.9 percent for the full year, the lowest annual level since 2008.

“The cash sales share peaked in January 2011, when cash transactions accounted for 46.6 percent of total home sales nationally,” CoreLogic said. “Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25 percent.

“If the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in December 2015, the share should hit 25 percent by mid-2017,” it said.

Herald Tribune March 24, 2016

Two great events end today!

Did you hear that? It’s the sound of Thunder by the Bay – Sarasota’s motorcycle festival! Today’s downtown festival features live music, food and of course, bikes, for free from 11:00am to 6:00pm. More info here: http://www.thunderbythebay.org/



And don’t miss the Sarasota Orchid Society’s “Symphony of Orchids” show and sale. Hurry to the Municipal Auditorium between 10:00am and 5:00pm, because the show ends today! More info here: http://www.sarasotaorchidsociety.org/orchid_shows_events/current_SOS_show.html



For updates on exciting events, sign up for my newsletter and discover fun things to do in Sarasota that you won’t want to miss! Its quick and easy to sign up: just click here!  And follow me on Facebook for downtown Sarasota event news!

Labor Day Regatta on Sarasota Bay

Watch sails unfurl and excitement unfold at this weekend’s Labor Day Regatta on Sarasota Bay. The action starts Saturday at 11:00am from City Island (at Sarasota Sailing Squadron).

Carreño Festival Dancers at the Opera House this weekend

This Saturday morning escape your errands and take in some stunning flamenco and ballet at the Sarasota Opera House. Dancers are trained by the world-renowned former principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre, Jose Carreño.


See more and buy tickets at the Sarasota Opera House website.

New Play Festival at the Player’s Theatre

Love the theatre? Sarasota’s acclaimed Players Theatre is bringing the freshest plays right here to downtown.
The New Play Festival will give up and coming playwrights candid audience feedback and begins this weekend with scintillating drama in last year’s festival winner “Stay.”

Read more about the festival from Arts Sarasota.

Spacious new park is coming to Legacy Trail

Sarasota residents are getting yet another way to be active and enjoy the weather with the new 10.5 acre park coming to the already expansive Legacy Trail. Bikers, skaters, runners and speed walkers rejoice!

More from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Saint Armand’s Circle: a Sarasota favorite

Visitors and residents alike enjoy strolling around St. Armands Circle, browsing the more than 120 shops and dining of every sort, from elegant local seafood to ethnic fare to sweet desserts. Learn more about St. Armands’ history and how it became Sarasota’s favorite rendezvous in this Herald Tribune article.

Caviar – a local luxury

If you’re a fan of caviar, then you’ve heard of Petrossian. But did you know that they source their sustainable Royal Siberian Caviar from our own Mote Marine sturgeon? You can purchase fine Mote Marine caviar at Whole Foods and Morton’s Market in Sarasota and be pleasantly surprised (as I was) to find this gourmet treat in our own city!

Learn more about the Mote Marine Laboratory’s sustainable aquaculture systems on their website.