Every year at Sarasota Management & Leasing, we dive into the data we’ve gathered about new trends and projections for our local area. We look at the sales and rental markets and identify the strengths and weaknesses that help us stay in front of the curve and keep our clients updated on what we are seeing in the local real estate market. 

In 2020, we were not expecting a global pandemic. We want to discuss the impact of COVID-19 and how we have seen it affect our industry. 

State of the Sales Market in Sarasota and Manatee Counties 

When it comes to real estate sales, we are seeing a high demand from investors trying to find investment properties in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The problem they’re experiencing is that there’s a low inventory of available homes. 

This was caused by the timing of the coronavirus. 

The pandemic arrived just before what is normally the best time of year for sellers to list their homes. The inventory remained low but the number of buyers looking to purchase has only continued to increase. This trend remained into the fall, which is a season that normally favors buyers over sellers. 

The good news is that these market dynamics allow your property values to increase. 

According to data for November 2020, which was compiled by Florida Realtors® and provided by the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee, single-family home prices in Manatee County increased by 7.2 percent while Sarasota prices increased by 19 percent. Average homes prices are around $350,000, and condo prices have also increased in both Manatee and Sarasota. 

This inventory challenge as well as the increased pricing of homes for sale will continue keeping your investment property in high demand because those who want to buy are unable to. Renters are staying in your properties longer, thus providing consistent rental income and low turnover rates. 

The expectation for 2021 is that the increase in home prices will begin to slow as more sellers come to market and mortgage rates settle and eventually begin to turn higher. 

State of the Rental Market in Sarasota and Manatee Counties 

The rental market has shifted in a couple of ways, and we expect this trend to continue into 2021. 

First, we have seen a considerable increase in transplants from closed and locked down states and districts. These are generally cities with affluent people who have high salaries and net worth. Investors are arriving with the desire to move their real estate investments to Florida, and renters are coming in with an increased demand for high-quality homes.

These new renters are generally able to work remotely, and they value the freedom to attend events and go to restaurants and entertainment attractions. Sarasota is well-positioned to take advantage of these new opportunities and has a lot to offer those willing to make the jump. 

We have also seen the completion of many luxury apartment complexes all across Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice. These communities are creating a lot of supply and they need to quickly fill their units. So, many of them are offering move-in incentives like two months free in order to fill their communities. 

This has resulted in a short term impact on the demand for older apartment communities. In general, the properties in these older communities have not seen the same growth in rental value this past year because of the surge in luxury apartments. 

Even with a global pandemic, we have seen a lot of growth in the real estate industry and the local markets. We are optimistically looking forward to 2021, and hope that the investments our clients have made will continue to grow and produce a quality return in the years to come. 

We are here to work alongside those clients. We ensure their homes are well-cared for and that we place high caliber residents who are diligent in helping us maintain the home while paying rent on time and in full. 

If you have any questions about the market and what it means for your investments, please contact us at Sarasota Management & Leasing.