The Real Estate Corner Desert Market Update
NUMBER OF SALES
Home sales are up Valley-wide. The total three-month sales are up 2.9%. On a city by city basis, six cities show higher sales, with three; Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs showing the largest increase in sales.
The three cities with the largest sales declines are Indio, Indian Wells and Cathedral City.
INVENTORY OF HOMES FOR SALE
While home sales are up, inventories are down. Typically our inventories dip to to their lowest point every year toward the end of September, but this year inventories are even lower.
Low inventory acts as both a positive and negative; it’s positive for sellers and future home sellers as it tends to move home prices higher. But, it’s also a negative in that low inventory puts the brakes on the number of sales. If interest rates continue to increase, that can put a damper on sales as the cost of borrowing money for a mortgage becomes more expensive.
MONTHS SUPPLY OF HOMES FOR SALE BY CITY
The month’s of supply ratio is down valley-wide compared to one year ago in every city. Most have less than 4 month supply except two; La Quinta which currently has a 4.5 month supply and Indian Wells with a 6 month supply of homes to sell.
MONTHS SUPPLY OF HOMES FOR SALE BY PRICE BRACKETS
When we look at the supply of homes by price category, we see the supply is lower across all price brackets compared to one year ago. The biggest change is homes priced above $800,000. Last year the higher price points were taking 7.5 months – 1 year to sell. Now, it’s taking on average 5.3 – 8 months
The tipping point when using this metric is 6 month’s. 6 months is considered a “Balanced Market”, not particularly favoring either Home Buyers or Home Sellers. Less than 6 months, the market is tipped in the Sellers favor, otherwise known as a “Sellers Market”. More than 6 month supply is viewed as a “Buyers Market”.
As home prices or the cost of buying a home, (rising interest rates), increase – sales will start to slow putting downward pressure on pricing. Markets are always in a state of flux, moving from one market to another and rarely stopping at “balanced” for long.
While there is typically a lag period between market shifts, the lag time is shorter as the number of sales are increasing. Home sellers quickly see an improving market and strive to maximize the price they can ask. When prices increase too fast or too far ahead of sales, potential home buyer’s become reluctant to make offers, fearing they could be buying at the peak.
DISCOUNT FROM ASKING PRICE
In 2018, when negotiating a sale price with buyers; home sellers are discounting their listed price an average of 2%. One year ago, sellers needed to discount an average 2.4% off their asking price to close a sale.
For example, this ratio means if a home is listed at $400,000 it’s selling at an average of 98% of their asking price, or $392,000. a discount of $8,000. This metric also shows a strong and improving real estate market here in the Desert.
When we look at the story each of these metrics are showing for the Desert Real Estate Market, we can see an improving but pretty balanced market. In addition, we can see that the market has had and continues to show sustained growth. Making now the right time to be a participant in the market.
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