Where are the listings? Homeowners are Staying Put and Here's Why

Housing market inventory remains tight as homeowners hold onto their homes longer. The typical homeowner in 2020 had remained in place for 13 years, up slightly from 12.8 years in 2019 – but well ahead of 2010’s reading of 8.7 years, according to an analysis by Redfin.

About 1 in 4 U.S. homeowners has lived in the same home for more than 20 years, the study found. Still, even with the pandemic, home sales raged in 2020, pushing activity and sales prices to new heights.

However, homeowners who decided not to sell did so because of pandemic concerns and concerns about finding a new house in a competitive market. Many also enjoyed ultralow interest rates after a refinance on their current home that made it more advantageous to stay put.

A drop in sellers as owners stay in a current home longer forces the real estate markets to tighten, including the Sarasota and Manatee County areas.

Inventory sank to its lowest level in decades. This past December, Sarasota County had 2,394 active listings which was 43.3% fewer properties than December 2019. Manatee County had 1,552 active listing, down 46.1%. At the current sales pace, there was a record-low 2 months’ supply of homes on the market in December for Sarasota County (down 47.4% from December 2019) and 1.7 months' for Manatee County (down 51.4% from December 2019). See our Market Statistics for a break down of the market.

The market’s home shortage and low borrowing rates have pushed up prices and increased buyer competition, Median Sale Price in December 2019 reached $278,200 in Sarasota County and $288,000 in Manatee County. Fast Forward to December 2020, it stood at $320,000 in Sarasota County (up 15% in one year), and $317,500 in Manatee County (up 10.2% in one year). The charts below provide a great visual to see how things have changed for our market over the last two years. 

Original Article: Why Aren’t Homeowners Selling? Lots of Good Reasons | Wall Street Journal (01/21/21) Friedman, Nicole

Graphs and Data sourced from SunStats / FloridaRealtors.org 

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