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.
The Desert Lifestyle is unlike any other, as we head into our season now is a great time see what the Desert has to offer. Check out these FAB Desert Homes!
Summer Desert Market Report – Mediam home prices rose for the 8th straight month. Up 9.6% from last year. The hottest cities for sales by volume were Palm Desert (233), Palm Springs (213), La Quinta (156), Indio (131), Rancho Mirage (97). Each city and each community has its own story some communities have seen huge growth, while others are relatively flat. The cities that had the largest price increases, have seen the number of sales flatten, which tells us that prices were getting ahead of the market.
Inventories are down again putting upward pressure on pricing. Overall the desert has seen a decline in the time it’s taking to sell, nicely presented homes in a good location and priced well are selling quickly. Currently there is a 3 month supply of homes for sale in the desert, which puts us in a “Sellers Market” as we head into season.
The Fed has indicated there will likely be two more interest rate increases before the end of the year, which could start to weigh on the market and slow sales until the shock is absorbed.
Southern California and specifically, the Coachella Valley continues to be a sought after destination for a second home get a way.
As we head into our “Season”, we expect to see continued strong home sales and price appreciation valley-wide.
How’s your neighborhood doing? Send me an email, I’ve got the details!
What is a 1031 Exchange and can it work for you?
Thanks to IRC Section 1031, a properly structured 1031 exchange allows an investor to sell a property, to reinvest the proceeds in a new property, and to defer capital gain taxes.
1031 EXCHANGE FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTORS – THE BENEFITS
Whether an investor’s property is owned free and clear or encumbered, the benefits of a tax deferred exchange can be significant. The tax dollars saved by doing an exchange can be used to buy additional investment property.
An investor who exchanges is able to defer the capital gain tax and buy a replacement property worth more than the investor who simply sells and reinvests with after tax dollars.
1031 Exchange for real estate investors provides one of the best tax strategies for preserving the value of an investment portfolio. By using an exchange, the investor is able to defer the recognition of capital gain taxes that would otherwise be due with the sale of an investment property. To qualify as an exchange the relinquished and replacement properties must be qualified “like-kind” properties and the transaction must be structured as an exchange.
1031 EXCHANGE FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTORS – NON TAX BENEFITS
In addition to deferring the capital gain tax, tax deferred exchanges provide the investor with a wide range of non-tax opportunities that may suit an investor’s portfolio
- Reposition assets
- Change property types
- Increase leverage
- Increase depreciation deduction
- Reduce management obligations
- Provide for estate and retirement planning
- Allow for relocation
- Improve cash flow
- Achieve property consolidation or diversification
- Eliminate or create joint ownership
THE EXCHANGE PROCESS
Most exchanges, involve three parties: the investor, (exchanger), who is doing the exchange, the buyer who is buying the exchanger’s old (relinquished) property, and the seller who is selling the exchanger a new (replacement) property. To create the exchange of assets and to obtain the benefit of the “Safe Harbor” protections of the tax code, it is wise to employ an Exchange Accomodator, or Exchange Facilitator. This qualified intermediary becomes a fourth party principal in both simultaneous and delayed exchanges.
The steps for completing an exchange are relatively simple with qualified intermediary:
- The exchanger signs a contract to sell a relinquished property to the buyer.
- Exchanger enters into an exchange agreement with a Qualified Intermediary and assigns rights in the sale contract to the intermediary, including the right to receive the exchange funds.
- At the closing of the relinquished property, the exchange funds are wired to the intermediary and the intermediary instructs the settlement officer to transfer the deed directly from the exchanger to the buyer.
- The exchanger has a maximum of 180 days in the exchange period to acquire all replacement property.
- Unless the exchanger can acquire all replacement property within the first 45 days from the close of the relinquished property, the exchanger must identify possible replacement properties in writing to the intermediary within the 45 day identification period.
- The exchanger signs a contract to buy the replacement property with the seller and the exchanger assigns the exchanger’s rights in the purchase contract to the intermediary.
- At the closing of the replacement property, the intermediary wires the exchange funds to complete the exchange and the intermediary instructs the settlement officer to transfer the deed directly from the seller to the exchanger.
As a general rule of thumb, to avoid paying capital gain taxes in an exchange, the investor should always attempt to:
- Buy a property of equal or greater value, (net sales price).
- Reinvest all of the net equity in replacement property
- Obtain equal or greater debt on replacement property.
*Exceptions: A reduction in debt can be offset with additional cash from exchanger, but increasing debt cannot offset a reduction in exchange equity.
Do you own an investment property and thinking about selling it to buy another that might have more cash flow or less management headaches? We can help. Give me a call or send me an email, let’s talk about what’s possible for your situation.
Cathi and Ben Walter
(760) 218 – 5752
Ever wonder how much income you need to buy an average home in other areas of the country?
@HowMuch.net just published a map showing How much income you need to buy the average home in each state in the U.S.
They collected average home prices for every state from Zillow and then plugged that information into a mortgage calculator to figure out monthly payments. The interest rates used varied from 4 to 5% depending on the market, a 10% down payment, and total cost of housing not exceeding more than 30% of gross income. Using this rule as the benchmark, they calculated the minimum salary required to afford the average home in each state.
The Top Three Places Where You Need the Highest Salaries to Afford the Average Home 1. Hawaii: $153,520 for a house worth $610,000 2. Washington, DC: $138,440 for a house worth $549,000 3. California: $120,120 for a house worth $499,900 Here’s a quick snapshot of housing affordability across the United States.
Home much income do you need to buy the average home in each state; Check it out!
What the Dodd-Frank Rollback Means for Real Estate
On May 22nd, Congress passed reforms to the Dodd-Frank Act, the massive financial reform bill enacted in July of 2010 in the wake of the 2008 US financial crisis.
The current bill could have a big impact on the real estate and mortgage lending. Economists believe the rollback of the Dodd-Frank regulations could lend a hand toward partially solving the industry’s inventory crisis.
“This is a win for the financial industry,” said Chief Economist Nela Richardson, who worked on the bill as an economist for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. “These are community banks, credit unions, a lot of them are in rural areas. They do a lot of mortgage lending. This will help consumers in that the banks will be able to free up some credit.”
National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun echoed Richardson, adding that a loosening of Dodd-Frank rules may lead to a rise in regional construction.
“The regulations placed on small-size community banks were terrible because it hindered small-sized homebuilders from obtaining construction loans,” he said. “As the homebuilding industry has become more dominated by large corporations, now we have this relief, which means that, small-time homebuilders will have better access to capital to build homes.”
Economists seem to agree, that the economy is not on track to repeat the financial crisis of 2008, since big banks were at the center of the collapse a decade ago. Richardson explained that the only way to eliminate all risk is to make everything as onerous as possible.
The legislation will also require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider the use of alternative credit scoring models, which could help borrowers with thin credit files receive a mortgage. But Gardner said he’s concerned, ultimately, we need to remain aware of looser credit restrictions so the country does not repeat the acts of the last financial crisis, where homeowners were given loans they could not pay back.
PALM DESERT VISION SAN PABLO
The City’s newly updated General Plan identifies San Pablo Avenue as a key area for transformational change to facilitate the creation of a downtown/city center. The mile-long corridor connects shopping, restaurants, and other commercial services at El Paseo and Highway 111 with residential neighborhoods and The Civic Center including Civic Center Park, City Hall, College of the Desert, and eventually the CVLink.
Conceptual plans for the corridor call for a “road-diet” that would remove one vehicle lane in each direction on San Pablo and add enhanced walkways and buffered bike and golf cart lanes.
In May of 2016 the city set up a mock Vision San Pablo for 6 weeks. The city striped San Pablo reducing the road by one lane in each direction. They set up golf cart, bike and pedestrian lanes and created a round about at San Pablo and San Gorgonio. They brought in large boxed trees to line the center island and asked the community to use it and give feedback. The responses were overwhelmingly positive and the city adopted Vision San Pablo into their Updated General Plan.
They are currently working on updating the construction plans and surveyors are working now with ground breaking expected this summer.
THE CORRIDOR PLAN
A central goal of the 111 Corridor Plan is to systematically
evolve the physical design and functional characteristics of 111 to a 21st Century City Center Boulevard. The transformed 111 Corridor will provide an aesthetically cohesive, practically connected, safe and welcoming city center that emphasizes pedestrian activity and community life, balanced with and not dominated by high-speed automobile traffic. The 111 Corridor will become the city’s primary gateway as an iconic arrival point and a major hub for civic and commercial life and future developments in the Coachella Valley. In addition to 111 itself, the Corridor is supported by key districts and streetscapes.
The primary focus area
Approximately 1-mile of the 111 corridor between Highway 74 and Portola Ave. and includes seven cross streets, San Luis Rey, Larkspur, San Pablo, Las Palmas, Lupine and Sage. These areas are targeted to implement the city’s new urban design standards designed to increase the flow of vehicular, bike and pedestrian circulation for future development and open spaces.
Second Focus is along San Pablo between El Paseo and Civic Center, with street-scape renovations and traffic calming which will bolster connections to the larger community and Civic Center. In particular, San Pablo Avenue will feature a future roundabout at its intersections with San Gorgonio Way. This will allow the City and future developers to introduce and incorporate active and passive open spaces such as the existing community gardens and other public frontages.
Third Focus is San Alessandro, to incorporate several vacant lots that will be linked and transformed into a “Woonerf” District, which is a walkable flexible-use arts district pioneered to integrate live-work developments with the surrounding community and bolster cultural institutions and businesses.
Want to see more of what’s cook’n in Palm Desert and the New Updated City Plan, drop me a line, I’m happy to provide a copy of the whole report. Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com.
Market Watch Fall 2017
Here in The Real Estate Corner, we’re keeping an eye on the Desert Real Estate Market.
Leading Economist, Michael McDonald, is one of the principals in Market Watch, LLC. Michael along with his partners, study real estate markets, the US, and International economies and specialize in evaluating all aspects related to the real estate market including outside factors that play into how our market performs with cause and effect.
Twice a year Michael presents his report to the Top Real Estate Agents in the desert with their analysis of the local real estate market, where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
There are really two markets in the Desert; Full-time Residents who make up The Local Market vs The Second Home Market, and the Supply and Demand equation is quite different between the two.
“The health of the Valley housing market in the low, summer period, often indicates its performance in the spring.” Currently, there is a 4.4 month supply of inventory for all property types, which is down from 6.1 months supply one year ago. Indicating tight supply going into the season. There are positive sales and inventory numbers in all price brackets.
The leading measure for how much house you can buy is Median Household Income, it’s been up an average of 4.5% each of the past three years. The inflation-adjusted household income broke above the high of 1999 and is now at all-time highs.
The past six years of the housing recovery has been driven by low-interest rates on mortgage loans; now it’s getting help from higher wages.
Since the peak of the market in 2006, the percentage of people who own a home in the valley declined from 66% to 61.5%. As distressed homeowners who lost their homes in the downturn, move from renting back to homeownership again we will start to see an upswing in home sales over the next four years.
2006 marks the high point of the valley real estate market and 2011 marks the low point. Market Watch, LLC evaluates the market based on “Median” price as opposed to Average price, because average price is biased by a single large high-value sale, skewing the chart for the whole city. In their Median Price analysis by city we see:
La Quinta – Median Price $455,000
Up 85.7% from the low
Down 33% from the high
Indian Wells – Median Price $830,000
Up 53.7% from the low
Down 31% from the high
Palm Desert – Median Price $376,000
Up 31% from the low
Down 31% from the high
Rancho Mirage – Median Price $600,000
Up 41.8% from the low
Down 37% from the high
Palm Springs – Median Price $592,000
Up 76.7% from the low
Down 33% from the high
Indio – Median Price $305,000
Up 92.4% from the low
Down 19.8% from the high
The market continues to improve, gaining strength and momentum each quarter. As we move into our new season, they are projecting an increase in the number of sales and if inventories remain low, we will start to see upward pricing pressure.
3 Negotiating Mistakes Home Sellers Make. So you’ve staged your home beautifully, timed the market perfectly for a quick sale and you’ve priced your home right. Time to start getting full price offers right? The reality is that buyers are full of surprises and nearly all of them are predictable. Here are 3 negotiating mistakes many home sellers make that you can avoid.
Home Buyers, rarely pay list price, they discount or dismiss improvements you’ve made, their inspections usually turn up something for you to fix and their offer may have terms you hadn’t anticipated.
Whether you plan to or not, you’ll need to negotiate, that doesn’t mean you win and the buyer loses or vice versa. It’s simply a way to make smaller concessions so that you don’t lose the buyer and the buyer doesn’t lose your house. Negotiation is designed for both parties to get what they want.
Good News, a potential buyer has indicated they’re going to make an offer on your home, that means you’ve done something right or you wouldn’t have an offer, but a sale isn’t in the bag yet. Don’t blow it. Here are 3 negotiating mistakes to avoid.
NEGOTIATING MISTAKE 1:
DEMANDING TOP DOLLAR FOR AN AGING PROPERTY –
Yes, the market is better than it was during the recession, however, an older home that hasn’t been updated or maintained to perfection can’t compete with refreshed or newer homes.
Taste-makers suggest that interiors need updating every 10 years because color, patterns and textures define each generation.
After living in your home for a few years, you no longer see the dings, scuffs or aging finishes and fixtures that make a home look used. But the Buyer does, even if your home is in good condition, the Buyer sees something that needs to be replaced.
NEGOTIATING MISTAKE 2:
TAKING A LOW OFFER PERSONALLY –
A buyer may make an offer for your home far lower than you feel it’s worth. Don’t take it personally. it’s a negotiating tactic. They rarely are expecting you to take 20% off the list price, but they are telling you something. You, (your agent), needs to find out what the reasoning is behind the low offer. Perhaps they’re using inaccurate comparable, they could be trying to buy above their price range, or they may be investors who use a low-ball formula to acquire properties.
No offers, or extremely low offers could be telling you that your home is over-priced compared to similar homes in your neighborhood. If your agent gave you a price range for what homes similar to yours are selling for and you priced above that range, you need to lower your price. A low offer can also mean the market has slowed or shifted since you originally listed your home. It’s time to re-evaluate your position by taking a new look at the current comps for your neighborhood. The secret to pricing correctly is pricing into the market you’re headed into.
NEGOTIATING MISTAKE 3:
AN ALL OR NOTHING ATTITUDE –
Negotiations keep the dialog going and the buyer interested. That’s why asking questions before you say no is always a good idea. If you know what the buyer really wants, it’s easier for you to draft a counter that can work for both of you.
In a seller’s market, you may expect multiple offers from multiple buyers, and that could happen, but it’s rare. In a soft market, your buyer is more likely to simply walk away and find another home that’s priced better with more features or in better condition.
Avoiding these negotiating mistakes home sellers make and being flexible on the points that count most with the buyer, like move-in dates, may make negotiating repairs easier as you move through the contract timeline.
You want to sell and the buyer wants to buy; Having Skilled Negotiators on Your Team, like Cathi and Ben Walter, will be critical to maximizing what you can ask and receive for your home sale.
Call or email us today to find out how our Skilled Negotiating Strategies Will Work for You. (760) 218 – 5752 Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com
The Gardens 19th Annual Concert Series kicks off Saturday, January 28th with entertainment by the John Stanley King Band with proceeds benefiting YMCA of the Desert. The 8-week series consists of a 1-hour concert each Saturday night on the Center Lawn of The Gardens on El Paseo from 5-6pm, with ticket sales and wine reception preceding each concert. A $15 ticket purchase helps benefit local charities and includes 2 glasses of wine and lite bites.
- January 28 – John Stanley King Band benefiting YMCA of the Desert
- February 4 – Desert Sol benefiting American Cancer Society
- February 11 – Lao Tizer Band benefiting VNA California
- February 18 – Slim Man Standards benefiting Gilda’s Club Desert Cities
- February 25 – Machin benefiting Women Leaders Forum of the Coachella Valley
- March 4 – Heatwave benefiting Angel View
- March 11 – Patrick Sieben benefiting United Cerebral Palsy
- March 18 – John Stanley King Band benefiting Jewish Family Service of the Desert
Whether you’re an experienced homebuyer or novice, buying a Home can be complicated, with a lot of moving parts. Every home buyer wants to know their purchase was a good investment choice.
There are a few things you will want to think about as you start home shopping.
TAKE YOUR TIME – Make sure you take enough time to look at many homes in a variety of areas. Think about your lifestyle and how each home fits. Look at different times of the day so you understand the rhythm of the neighborhood. Is it quiet during the day but teaming with parked cars and kids playing in the street after work hours? Is it quiet after work hours but used as a main thoroughfare for traffic during the day?
FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS – Location is one of the keys to a home’s current and future value. Being in a good school district may not be on the top of your list for qualifications, but has been proven to be an important item to many buyers. By focusing on the proven things buyers look for, you can be assured you will be able to sell your home more easily and the value will hold and likely increase.
THINK WITH YOUR HEAD – A home is a place to live, but is also a large expense and investment. Make sure you don’t overpay or buy a home with problems you can’t cope with later because you let your emotions lead the way.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION – Some homes can be a great bargain because homeowners can’t look past the ugly carpet or overgrown lawn. Picture the home for what it could be, ignoring things that are easy to fix such as worn wallpaper, or paint color. You might be able to negotiate a great deal since other buyers weren’t as imaginative as you, and then use the extra money to fix up the home to the showplace you knew it could be.
KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD – Stretching to get into a house is usually a bad idea; you may be tight on money and not able to pay for repairs or worse, have a turn in your financial situation and face losing your home. Likewise, using creative financing to get into a house you can’t afford can also be the fast track to problems when the mortgage payments rise.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP – A professional real estate agent will provide you with access to all listings for homes for sale in your area. They also use their connections in the field to keep you up-to-date on new homes coming on the market so you don’t miss a bargain. In addition, as an expert within the market, they will be able to provide guidance on whether a house is a good deal, what to offer, and whether they see any potential problems you may not have noticed.
We are the experienced choice for home buying the desert area. Our skilled screening process will match you with your perfect lifestyle property, we will identify the bargains that fit your criteria and walk you through the home buying process. Call today for your buyer consultation.