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Sellers Continue Engaging the Property Market as Programs Ramp Up vs. Covid-19

Fewer residences were listed on the real estate market in Sarasota and Manatee counties in March, due to the challenges of the Covid-19. This decline in new listings, however, is no cause for any immediate concern.

Our two-county market showed its fundamental strength in the higher sales and price gains posted during March.

Real estate agents sold in March a total of 2,249 residences in Sarasota and Manatee, up 31.5 percent from February.

Across-the-board Gains

Breaking it down, March condo sales in Sarasota rose by 15.5 percent to 454 residences. Single family houses sold in the county during the month rose by 7.2 percent to 834 dwellings.

In Manatee County, 303 condos were sold in March, up 9.8 percent, while the 658 single family houses sold during the month represented a 4.6 increase from a year earlier.

Gains in median sale prices continued in March rise across the two counties. In Manatee, the median price for single-family residences was up by 2.4 percent to $319,500. A 10.5 percent rise to $315,000 was posted for these residential types in Sarasota.

Condo prices rose by 5.7 percent to $215,000 in Manatee, while Sarasota median condo prices advanced 7.5 percent to $245,000.

Sellers Assert Presence

Sellers’ presence in Sarasota and Manatee, albeit diminished, indicated that the local real estate market could endure the economic difficulties brought by Covid-19. Despite the pandemic, 915 single family houses were listed in Sarasota in March, down 11.4 percent from a year earlier. There were 731 new listings in March for these residential types in Manatee, just 3.3 percent lower from last year.

For condos, 291 new listings were recorded in Manatee, down by 5.2 percent. Sarasota added 473 new sales listings of condos, just 1 percent below last year.

We could expect new listings of residences to be added, as the real estate market cope and eventually come out of the pandemic. Hopes that the market could endure the difficulties of Covid19 could be pinned on the various government programs to meet the economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the measures is the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest stimulus bill in history. Its programs are intended to help not only business owners but also individuals. Aid to state and local governments, as well as preserving jobs, are also covered in the CARES Act.

Federal and Local Remedies

The CARES Act includes a Paycheck Protection Program for those whose employment has been disrupted by Covid-19. The federal government has also adopted the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan and SBDC Bridge Loan to help businesses overcome difficulties of the pandemic.

In Sarasota, a Small Business Resiliency Loan program has been created to provide county businesses with immediate, short-term relief. Amounting to $4.3 million, this program is a partnership of Sarasota County and the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County. It will provide low-interest loans to small businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.

With these Covid-19 alleviation programs in place, the economy on the national and local levels have the platforms to successfully navigate the challenges of the pandemic. As we continue to take measures to stay safe, our Judy Kepecz-Hays team remains committed to providing the best services possible to our clients.