Michael Saunders & Company Ranks Among the Nation’s Top Brokerages

Out of the top 500 real estate brokerages nationwide, Michael Saunders & Company was ranked at #70 in terms of sales volume and #96 in terms of sides of transactions.  REAL Trends, a leading authority on news, research and information about the real estate brokerage industry, recently announced these results in the REAL Trends 500 report, an independently verified compilation of the nation’s leading residential real estate companies.

It is important to understand two factors about this report.  First, in order for a brokerage to qualify for REAL Trends 500, that brokerage must close a minimum of 500 residential transactions sides (either buyer or seller) over and above the previous calendar year. Second, this compilation only includes the sales of residential homes; leases, commercial property sales or vacant land sales are not taken into account.

To give a better perspective on what this report means for the nation’s top brokerages, Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends states that while “housing sales in the nation were up 4.9 percent in 2016 from 2015…the REAL Trends 500 firms were up 6.6% in the same period.” This marks the third consecutive year that the nation’s largest brokerage firms gained market share and further demonstrates that “America’s largest brokerage firms have figured out how to grow their share in all kinds of markets.”  In other words, whether a buyer or seller market; a slow or hot market, the agents of the REAL Trends 500 firms are stepping up, conquering challenges, and closing the sales! 

As a company, we are always honored to be recognized nationally; however, we are just as honored to be recognized locally.  When REAL Trends compared our firm with others in the Sarasota real estate market, Michael Saunders & Company showed a strong lead both in the number of transaction sides and sales volume for 2016. 

Sarasota County
COMPANY 2016 Sides
Michael Saunders & Company . . . . . . . .  . 5,857
RE/MAX Alliance Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,470
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate/NRT . . 4,368
Keller Williams Sarasota Lakewood Ranch . . . . . 1,953
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty . . . . . . . . 1,771

COMPANY 2016 Volume
Michael Saunders & Company . . . . . . . . . $2,430,886,648
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate/NRT . . . $1,606,303,000
RE/MAX Alliance Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,249,148,937
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty . . . $878,682,050
Keller Williams Sarasota Lakewood Ranch. $507,941,433

So, if you have been considering buying or selling a home, consider Michael Saunders & Company and contact me today!

US Pending Home Sales are the Highest in Almost a Year

National Association of Realtors logo (PRNewsFoto/National Association of Realtors)

National Association of Realtors logo (PRNewsFoto/National Association of Realtors)

The National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday that the pending home sales index climbed 5.5% in February to 112.3%, which is the highest point in almost a year and the second highest point since 2006.

Lawrence Yun, the Association’s chief economist, suggested that a combination of a rising stock market, an uptick in consumer confidence and warmer weather have all played a part in encouraging prospective home buyers.  It was also suggested that rising median home prices may be urging people to make offers now rather than wait and risk price increases.

Additionally, the Association reported last week that even with the sales of existing homes falling in February after a strong January surge, sales are still solidly ahead from a year ago.  Similarly, local pending sales experienced a slight decrease in February, but 2017 started out strong with a 9% increase in Sarasota County and a 6.4% increase for Manatee County and overall, sales are still up from where they were at this time last year.  Even despite a sharp rise in mortgage rates since last November, the U.S. housing market as a whole is looking very strong.

For the full story from Herald Tribune, click here.

If you have been considering buying or selling a home, contact me today!

When Buying a House, What is a Must-Have for You?

Luxury Portfolio International recently conducted a survey to find out what the wealthy look for in a home.  For some it may be the waterfront views, while others are looking for a gourmet kitchen fit for the top chef in the family. However, this survey revealed that ample privacy, a Master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, and energy efficiency and environmental design are at the top of the list of “must-haves” for luxury home buyers. What are your “must-haves”?

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

A Seller’s Market Remains for Sarasota and Manatee counties

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While the number of overall closed residential sales, median home prices, and inventory are all up from this time last year, the Sarasota/Manatee area continues to be a seller’s market.  Sarasota county residential sales are only slightly up from September 2015 with a 3.3% increase in condominium sales and a 3% decrease in single family home sales. By contrast, Manatee county single family homes sales are up 13.8% from last year, while condominium sales have dropped 6.2%.

Inventory for the two counties is up nearly 20% from last year at this time even though the current levels have followed the expected trend of off-season decline.  According to the September 2016 data, Sarasota county has a 4.2-month supply of inventory for single family homes and a 5-month supply for condominiums while inventory levels for Manatee county are slightly lower; however, neither county is too far off from a balanced market indicator of a 6-month supply.

Pending sales are have also decreased an overall 11% from 2015 but as the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee reports, this was not unexpected since 2015 recorded a historically high number of residential sales. Additionally, Linda Formella, the 2016 RASM® President pointed out other factors that can slow down the rate of pending sales such as back-to-school activities, storm warnings, and the anticipation of election results.

Click here to read the full report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

Median Sale Prices and Inventory Continue to Rise

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The Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee recently released the regional sales numbers for the month of July and while the number of residential sales substantially differ from the record numbers we saw in 2015, Sarasota and Manatee counties are starting to see a more normalizing trend as median sale prices and inventory continue to climb.

Over the past year, Manatee County increased in sales from 2015, with a 0.7 percent increase in single family homes and an 11.5 percent increase in condos, but by contrast, Sarasota County sales are more than 20 percent down for both single family homes and condos.  Additionally, in 2015 pending sales remained very strong through August, but this year, we saw significant slow-down in pending sales as early as May.  In July, records showed that pending sales are 18.5 percent lower than last year for Sarasota and Manatee counties.

However, median sale prices for single family homes in Sarasota County are up 10.5 percent from 2015 to $242,500, while Manatee County experienced an 11.7 percent jump from 2015 to $279,250. Year over year, condo median sales prices rose 7.9 percent from 2015 to $205,000 in Sarasota and 21.9 percent to $185,250 in Manatee.

Inventory is steadily rising as well with single family homes in Manatee and Sarasota each showing a 19.5 percent increase from July 2015, which equates to over 4 month’s supply of inventory.

“July marks the seventh month this year where pending sales are down. This is also the sixth month where listing inventory has been higher than the same period last year. It’s reasonable to expect that the prices will adjust to the slowing demand,” says Linda Formella, 2016 President of the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

Click here to read the full report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

Michael Saunders & Company Ranked #1 in Sarasota County in 2015

Michael.Drayton.HeadshotRealTrends recently released its 2015 statistics for real estate brokerages in Sarasota County and Michael Saunders & Company ranked at the top of the list.  Saunders had 3,378 residential transaction sides (representing either the seller or the buyer), with a volume of $1.566 billion. It represented the seller in 1,664 sales and the buyer in 1,714 sides.

We are so proud to share our company’s accomplishments and could not be more proud to work with our amazing team of professionals under the awesome leadership of Michael and Drayton Saunders.

Click here to read the full report from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

Signs of a Healthy Market: 2015 Hits an All-Time Record in Real Estate

Dec2015_StatsThe numbers are in and it’s official!  2015 closed out the year with an all-time record of 20,691 in combined closed residential transactions, which is 1,302 sales above last year’s numbers.

Additionally, median sale prices have increased across the board.  Single family home prices rose 22%  in Sarasota County to $239,900 and nearly 12% to $262,963 in Manatee County, and condo sales rose 22% Sarasota County and 6% in Manatee County to $217,000 and $178,249 respectively.

Another sign that our market has become healthier is the drop in the percentage of distressed sales. Distressed sales for single family homes were down 49% from last year in Sarasota County and 46% down in Manatee County.  In December, there were only 195 distressed sales reported in the two counties, which is just under 12% of all reported residential sales and certainly, a significant drop from the peak of 48% from just a few years ago.  Dec2015_Stats_Manatee

New Pending sales were down 11.3% for single family homes and remained unchanged for condo sales year over year.  The declining inventory is likely to be the cause of the decline in new pending sales, as buyers face the challenges of not only finding the right property but also the probability of competing in multiple-offer situations. Inventory of available properties continues to decline for both counties and the two-county area saw the month’s supply of inventory remain just below the 4-month level.

Nevertheless, referring to the historic year in residential sales for our two-county area, RASM President, Linda Formella credits the hard work and dedication of our area’s professional Realtors® as well as the many industries that support the real estate community.  She states that more people are eager to be part of this southwest Florida paradise in which we live and work and looks forward to a healthy year of steady growth in 2016.

Click here to read the full report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

Employment Growth Leads to Surge in Real Estate

The Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee has released the sales numbers for May, and what has been said for months now still rings true: 2015 is on track to be another record-breaking year!

SAR_May2015Total reported residential sales in May for Sarasota county stood at 1,182; which is only 42 sales less than the all-time monthly record and Manatee county’s sales for May are at 827, which is a 10% increase over last year.

MAR_May2015Along with sales trending at historically high levels for both counties, the median sales price has steadily been on the rise. May 2015’s median sales price for Sarasota county is up 20% from last year and up 14.3% for Manatee county.

As sales and median prices continue to increase, so too has the demand, causing a decrease in inventory and in the length of time homes are remaining on the market.  Based upon this market statistic, sellers remain in command.

This continued upward trend in real estate sales may have some worrying about another “housing bubble;” however, the Chief Economist for Realtor.com, Jonathan Smoke recently reported that the housing market is on track to have its best year since 2006, but unlike 2006, there is no evidence of a “bubble.” Smoke states that it is job growth that is fueling this housing surge; citing that more than 3 million jobs have been created in the past 12 months; with more than 1 million of those jobs having been created for 25- to 34-year-olds, the age range at which most Americans buy their first home.

Association president, Stafford Starcher says, ““Once again, the market statistics are clearly showing the strength and vitality of Sarasota and Manatee counties.  We are living in a golden era for local real estate, and the future continues to look bright.”

Click here to read the full report from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

2015 Sarasota & Manatee Residential Sales Already Outpacing 2014

rasm_logoThe Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee just released February’s closed and pending sales and it appears that Sarasota and Manatee county real estate is already outpacing the record number of sales for this same time period in 2014.

In short, Sarasota’s 837 total closed residential sales are up 12.3% from 2014 and Manatee’s 593 total closed residential sales are up 6.1%, and pending sales for both counties are ahead of last year’s figures and show no sign of a slow down in sales.

Additionally, the median sales price remains strong and substantially above last year’s figures. In Sarasota County, the median price for single family homes was at $196,000, which is 6% higher than last February; and for condos, the median price was at $187,500, up 10.3% from last year.  Manatee County single family homes rose to a median sale price of $256,750, up 16.7% over last February’s figure of $220,000, while condos were at $152,000, which is a 12.6% increase.

Closed Sales for Sarasota & Manatee Counties

Closed Sales for Sarasota & Manatee Counties – February 2015

Association President Stafford Starcher states, “Properties in the two counties are selling at a high pace and prices are on the rise, which tells us we are experiencing a healthy, vibrant market.  The inventory totals have leveled off, which means we could see even higher prices going forward, based on the laws of supply and demand.”  He further adds, that this is a great time to put your property on the market with a Realtor® and “test the water.”

Click here to read the full report.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.

2014 Sales – Another Year for the Record Books

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The Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee counties just released the sales numbers for all of 2014 and what an incredible year of real estate for both counties!!

Manatee county missed beating the 2013 annual record for sales by only 28 transactions and Sarasota county finished out the year with a total of 11,550 transactions, breaking the all-time record of 11,482 sales, which was set back in 2004.

“Sarasota and Manatee counties have never seen this level of combined sales activity, which actually surpassed the 2004-2005 boom years of a decade ago,” stated Association president, Stafford Starcher.  He went on to add that the steady rise of home prices doesn’t seem to be hampering sales and therefore, believes we can expect to see home sales continue to soar in 2015.

Click here to read the full report.

If you are interested in buying or selling property, please contact me for further details.