The fourth quarter of 2019 continued to build upon the positive growth and buyer energy seen in previous quarters showing pending sales up 6.7%, closed sales up 5.4% and median price appreciating 2%. Inventory remains down slightly, both overall and in new listings coming to market, with single-family homes taking the brunt of that shortage. Moving into 2020, all indications are that buyers and sellers can expect a similar, normalized performance as long as sellers continue to price competitively with resale competition and the many options of new construction.
Drayton Saunders, President of Michael Saunders & Company, discusses this and other notable trends from 2019 in our latest quarterly market update.
The full general market report is available below
“The year of the buyer…ish”
2019 started slow after a sluggish end to 2018 trickled into the new year. That surplus of inventory, however was quickly whittled away by the end of March, giving both the buyer and seller a place in the driver seat for the remainder of 2019. Buyers that acted quickly wound up with their best case scenario and sellers that priced competitively were able to see results even with more new construction breaking ground in the market. Attributed to a variety of factors – including low and stable mortgage rates and more choosing to call Florida home – demand and home values continued to appreciate modestly throughout the year while maintaining a balance that favored all parties.
The Latest in Luxury
The luxury buyer in the fourth quarter of 2019 was value-driven and confident, reinforcing the need for sellers to take a realistic look at their competitive set — most importantly pricing. Inventory grew by 7.6% year-over-year with new listings increasing by 5.8%. Pending and closed sales showed modest increases when looking at the entire year, however focusing on Q4 alone there was more significant growth in these categories (33% and 41% respectively). Overall, the year and decade ended on a high note, nearly matching the 2018 number of $3 million+ sales and showcasing the overall strength of Florida’s Gulf Coast as both a primary and second-home market.
Who’s looking to make Sarasota home?
Notes from abroad
Michael Saunders & Company is affiliated with more than 560 independent brokerages around the world that span more than 70 countries. It gives us access to insights, buyer and seller trends and a broad network of likeminded real estate professionals with one goal – your goals. Inspired by the countries that viewed our properties and visited our site most frequently, here are some updates from their markets.
From the desk of Nick Churton of our “London, England office” Mayfair International Realty, reporting on the awakening of the UK market following Brexit and recent elections:
“There is excellent news for US-dollar buyers in London. They will now find the lowest real estate prices in the UK capital for many years. Average prices in central London have fallen by about 20% since the last peak in 2014. With currency exchange factored in, dollar buyers today gain by about 38% compared with five years ago.
All this comes at a time when there is a bounce in the step of property buyers in London. Following the general election, the Brexit question has been lifted, and there has been an immediate re-engagement in the real estate sector. That early interest continues unabated. Now pundits are even boldly forecasting a price rise of up to 10% during 2020.
Highlighting this newfound excitement is the sale of a Knightsbridge mansion to a Chinese buyer for a reputed $365 million – making it the most expensive property sale in the UK. The purchase of this 60,000 sq. ft. home emphasizes the attraction central London has for overseas buyers. This global destination for the wealthy of the wealthiest, attracted by commerce, fashion, culture, law, medicine, education and finance, is most certainly back in business.”
Germany & France
“Paris leads Knight Frank’s prime residential forecast for 2020 with price growth of 7%; economic stability, low interest rates, constrained prime supply and strong tenant, as well as second home demand, will underpin price growth. Home to Europe’s largest infrastructure initiative, the Grand Paris Project, as well as the 2024 Summer Olympics, both events will provide further stimulus.
In second place, sit Berlin and Miami. Knight Frank expects both markets to see prime price growth of 5% in 2020 but for different reasons. Sound fundamentals – strong demand (domestic and international) and significant regeneration – will keep Berlin high in the rankings despite the proposed rent cap.” Source: World Property Journal
- Paris Named Top Global Prime Residential Market for 2020, Berlin and Miami Close Behind – World Property Journal
- Berlin Freezes Rents for 5 Years in a Bid to Slow Gentrification – The New York Times
- The Price of Real Estate Rocketed in 2019 – LeMonde.fr
- Real Estate Supply is Paralyzed in Paris Significantly More Than In Other Capitals – LeSechos.fr (Reporting on an annual conference held by our French affiliate, Daniel Feau Conseil Immobilier)
As we often say for our Gulf Coast markets, headlines are only part of the story. To learn more about global real estate, our affiliate Luxury Portfolio International provides biannual whitepapers that explore the trends affecting the industry and contain first-hand information from the brokers on the front lines of the local markets.
Looking to the future and a new decade ahead
Reflecting on the last decade, our market and region have made great strides showing steady growth and cultural maturation that, back in 2010, didn’t seem possible. In the last 10 years, we’ve welcomed new sports teams, saw inspirational improvements to city infrastructures from Bradenton to Boca Grande and a concerted effort by all who live in our region to keep that “small town USA” feel while offering amenities that speak to residents from around the globe. We may be biased but of all the things we’ve enjoyed seeing throughout that time, welcoming new residents and helping people take advantage of this wonderful evolution to our coast has been by far our favorite trend.
To see all this region offers and the communities best suited to your lifestyle, we highly encourage you to reach out to one of our market experts. And if you’re looking to sell? Well, there’s no better market guide to ensure your home is positioned for success in any market that lies ahead.