Palm Springs Market Report

To Sell or Not to Sell?  Now That is a Very Good Question!

This column has often been cleverly filled with statistics regarding home sales, inventories, median prices, average prices and so on.  These numbers are provided by our local MLS.  By the time you’ve received this newsletter, the statistics are out of date by a month or more.  So, if you are interested in the latest statistics, go to the website of California Desert Association of REALTORS® and click on the current month’s market statistics: www.cdaronlone.org. What I would rather report to you is how the market feels—and frequently the way it feels goes counter to the statistics.  Overall, in the Coachella Valley, home sales have been weakened in part by the strength of the US Dollar, which thwarted many foreign buyers from entering the market—especially our Canadian neighbors, who constitute the majority of foreign ownership in this region.  This trend will most likely continue as long as oil prices remain relatively low.  Brexit and November’s election are not helping, either – so it appears that there will be little change until the end of the year. Inventories are still quite high, which means it’s definitely a buyer’s market.  If you must sell your home, then be prepared to price it to sell.  Buyers are prepared to wait out the market, so with that attitude they can afford to be selective. On the other hand, if you don’t really need to sell right now, it may be prudent to stand back and wait until the market firms up.  You can use the time to tidy up your property, and to be prepared when the time comes.

Real Estate in the Digital Age

greg-bayles-civilization-in-the-digital-age-1-1038x576 The Internet, and the services that employ it, has added value to what persists as the traditional process of buying or selling of one’s home. In 1964, 40% of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home and 7% drove around looking for an open house.  Today, only 1% depend upon  newspaper ads, and 44% used open houses as a valued information source in their home search.  The world we live in today is a digital one and searching for a home is no different. Buyers now have apps that let them search by location and neighborhoods. Online listings have virtual tours so viewers can look at a bunch of potential homes while narrowing down their search to a select few in the effort to save time. Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features. Most of this is done before a potential home buyer connects with a real estate agent. Also in 1964, 61% of home buyers contacted agents they knew.  In 2014, buyers worked with an agent 87% of the time to find their home.  Today, the initial process starts online, where home buyers are entering the process more educated about the market before they work with an agent.   In a complimentary process, REALTORS® are also utilizing software technology in their everyday business practices.  Multiple Listing Services have provided a myriad of search, and reporting tools, and is a major resource.  Additional and significant software products provide Comparative Market Analysis, Electronic Contracts and Forms, E-Signature, Document Preparation and Contact Management (CRM). Considering that 94% of people begin their home search online, Social Media is becoming increasingly relevant, particularly with younger buyers.  Stay tuned.

Property Profile: Linea

If, during the last several months, you’ve driven up Bogert Trail in the Andreas Hills neighborhood of Palm Springs (as we do daily), you surely would have noticed the works in progress in the tract adjacent to Monte Sereno.  The new development, called Linea, is a most unique collaboration between developer Andrew Adler, CEO of Alta Verde Group, and Los Angeles architect Anthony Poon of Poon Design Inc. Three different floor plans are offered, and each house comes with high-end amenities including a 6-KW solar power system.  Okay, what is so unique about Linea homes?  The answer is white.  The Linea development is one color only – white.  And the homes are architected to be grand horizontally, rather than being grand vertically, such that the surrounding mountains are an integral part of the homes’ design. linea02b The first three of the 14 homes planned for the eight-acre site are now under construction on 1/2 acre lots, and each are 5,000 square feet—prices will be from $2.5 to $3 million. linea09b For more information, contact Lisa Young, Sales Director:  lyoung@altaverdesales.com / 760.250.5340.

Palm Springs Market Report

According to the California Desert Association of REALTORS®, unit sales of single family homes in the Coachella Valley have remained rather flat for the first two months of 2016 versus 2015.  Average selling prices saw a modest up-tick.  Condo unit sales didn’t fare as well with a 16% decline, along with a slight drop in the average selling price. Palm Springs also remained flat in SFR sales, down slightly to 109 units, although the average selling price was modestly higher in those first two months of 2016 by 9% to $627,135.   More severely, condo unit sales dropped 18% to 109 units January and February, but salvaged an average sales price increase of 12% to $240,508*. Finally, at the end of February throughout the Coachella Valley, available inventory (units for sale) for single family homes increased from 3,296 last year to 4,614 this year.  Condo inventory increased from 1,385 units last February to 2,151 this February.  Overall, that’s a 44% increase over last year, which suggests we are moving into a buyers market.  But, where are the buyers? For the first several months of the desert real estate season, concern about the economy, stock market and oil prices have kept buyers in their seats.  On a weak market, buyers are reluctant to take a diminished return on equities to form the cash needed for a home purchase.  Historically, too, election years have had a deleterious effect upon home sales, as well—so there will continue to be a level of edginess as the show goes on until November. With the recent recovery and strengthening in the markets, including recovering oil prices, folks seem to be breathing a little easier, and the resulting trend should be a greater readiness to buy.  Another plus is in the near historical low mortgage rates combined with mortgages that are more easily acquired (finally!). Visit California Desert Association of REALTORS® website:  http://www.cdaronline.org/