The Florida real estate market has been hit quite hard by the collapse in the bubble that was the U.S. housing market. Since the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, which essentially marked the beginning of the onslaught of bad economic news and recession, most markets in Florida have suffered greatly and seen their values heavily diminished. Sarasota real estate is no exception, as it has fallen from its 2007 levels.

547417330Located on the southern Gulf side of the peninsula, Sarasota has seen mixed signals in recent months. According to the Herald Tribune, which quotes market statistics compiled by John Lafabregue at RE/MAX Alliance Realty in Sarasota, new listings in October are down from 2008 levels by 29%, though listings are up slightly by 5% from last month's figures. Total listings of homes for sale in Sarasota in October are down by 32% from 2008. The inventory is expected to stay down from 2008 levels, however, as homebuyers took advantage of the government's program to stimulate the housing market by offering tax credits of up to $8,000 to select first-time homebuyers.

Sales are continuing to climb, as sales in October were up by 37% from October of 2008, and up a further 27% from this September, as buyers rushed to close before the Nov. 1 expiration of the tax credit. Through 2009 thus far, sales are up 37% as well as real estate in Sarasota continues to rebound.

The condo market shows similar signs. New and total listings were down, by 8% and 18%, respectively, from 2008 levels in October. Sales were up 88% in October of this year versus October of last year, a very positive sign, though that level is actually eclipsed by this year's September sales figures by 33%. Through the year, condo sales are up 17% from last year's levels.