Bubil: Zillow picks apart the Sarasota-Manatee market


ATLANTA — Fifty million people are using Zillow to search for real estate information. The technology company has a lot of geeks who write computer code to make its website and mobile app more useful for consumers.

But Zillow does more than that. It studies the market like a swarm of bookworms, and not just the biggest markets. Every market.

At the National Association of Real Estate Editors' annual conference here, Zillow released "market snapshots" of the top 30 markets — New York, Houston, Atlanta ... the usual suspects. I mentioned to Alison Paoli of Zillow that it would be nice to have a snapshot of the smallish Sarasota market, and guess what she did? She called her geek friends and they set to writing code just for us. The next day, Alison handed me the info.

Here's the scoop:

-The Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) for April in the Sarasota market is $163,100, compared with $158,300 for the nation as a whole.

-Sarasota's ZHVI is up 11.9 percent year over year; the nation is up 5.2 percent year over year.

-Exactly one third of homes in the Sarasota market (Palmetto to North Port) are in negative equity, or underwater. Nationally, the number is 27.5 percent.

-The ZHVI is projected to go up 4 percent nationally in the next year, but only 2.2 percent in the Sarasota metro area.

-Annual increases by city in the past year: Bradenton, 9.3 percent; Venice, 7.5 percent; North Port, 15 percent; Sarasota, 16.4 percent; Palmetto, 10.6 percent.

-Marketwide, 86.4 percent of homes are increasing in value, and 10 percent are decreasing, according to Zillow.

-The ZHVI peaked in January 2006, at $311,300. The value is down 47.6 percent from the peak, and that is an improvement, believe it or not.

-The median sale price was $176,360 in April in our market, an annual change of 17.7 percent. The average sale price per square foot was $112.

-Homes sold at 95 percent of list price.

-Homes are listed at a median of $239,000, or $132 a square foot.

-About 32 percent of listings have had a price cut since going onto the market. The median price cut is 6 percent.

-Homes are renting at $1.12 per square foot, for a Zillow Rent Index of $1,664 per month, up 11.7 percent year over year.

The Zillow Home Value Index is "the median value for all homes in a given area, not just those that have recently sold," according to the company. "It is the midpoint of Zestimates (individual estimates of home value) for the area. Half the Zestimates are above this number and half are below it."

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: June 8, 2013
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