I know this may come as a shock to many potential Sarasota real estate buyers, especially those from Canada. Here's the bad news: we are experiencing the beginning of a shortage in real estate listings and available housing. Read more here about Tampa Bay and the Sarasota area, and here about South Florida and the Miami area.
About a year and a half ago, we had well over 1500 bank owned foreclosure listings for sale in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte Counties. As of this writing, there are a total of 521.
I could give a lot of statistics about how many months inventory of homes we have now versus a year ago, but in the real world, working with buyers, the situation is frustrating. The hot properties are receiving multiple offers, from first time buyers and real estate investors looking to get into the market now. Cash buyers are beating out those that are getting a mortgage.
We haven't quite experienced the full swing to a seller's market. Buyers seem hesitant to make a decision right now in the middle to upper price ranges above $250,000. I'm also hearing buyers say they will go to other markets in search of "better deals", but the situation is the same all over Florida.
With a shortage of inventory and continued strong demand from international buyers and investors, prices will increase. If you want to get in the market, the time is now.