OK, this data is about a week old, but I bet you haven’t seen too much of it, so here it goes. For starters, we have some good news. … The bad news, though, is that the median price in October 2007 was $732,500 – so, year-over-year, prices have dropped 31.7% in Santa Cruz county. … Also, some good news for sellers out there is that the amount of inventory (i.e., the competition) is getting low – we are down to just 195 days worth of homes for sale – versus 215 days of inventory in September, and a whopping 361 days of inventory in October 2007. … If you are a home seller, and you can wait 2-3 years to sell, you might want to wait, because it’s possible we’ll be in a better market by then – however, if you plan to sell in the coming year, I’d urge you to accelerate your plans, because I’m pretty sure prices in most of the county will be lower towards the end of 2009 than towards the beginning.
real estate sales
Still, though – if you have a house in Santa Cruz, you’re looking at it being worth about $58,725 less than it was this time last year, if your house is something like the median house. … I looked at Sold Single Family Residences: Median Price of Sold Houses in June & July of 1999 Watsonville: $247,000 (1.0) East side Santa Cruz: $390,500 (1.58097) West side Cruz: $395,000 3/2 1486 (1.59919) Capitola: $360,000 (1.457489) Soquel: $379,000 (1.5344) Felton: $310,000 (1.2551) What this says is that back in the summer of ’99, the median-priced house in Capitola cost about 1.457 more than the median-priced home in Watsonville. Now, let’s look at sales data from September 2008: Watsonville: $352,000 (1) East Side Santa Cruz: 615,500 (1.74857) West side Santa Cruz: 702,500 (2.0468) Capitola: $711,000 (2.01988) Soquel: $610,000 (1.73295) Felton: $486,500 (1.3821) (* August 2008) You’ll notice that compared to the 1999 ratio, the sampled areas in the county appear considerably higher relative to Watsonville than they have been historically. If we use the same ratio from the summer of ’99, here’s what prices in the rest of the county should look like today: Watsonville: $352,000 East Side Santa Cruz: $556,501 West side Santa Cruz: $562,914 Capitola: $513,004 Soquel: $540,108 Felton: $441,795 What does all this mean?
I guess a lot of people think it doesn’t happen very often, what with the fact that we’re in a terrible housing crisis and property values are falling down all around us, kind of like federal tax dollars raining down in Alaska . … If you are interested in putting in an offer on a house, and you find that the seller of that house has attracted several offers in a short number of days, what should your offer strategy be? … Choice C is definitely the way to go when making an offer on a house that has received multiple offers in a short period of time. The reason for this is that, if there are more than, say, 2-3 offers on the property, it is likely that it will go for over asking price .
In the latest edition of my newsletter (if you don’t already get it, I invite you to subscribe to my Santa Cruz Market Trends newsletter ), I provide lots of juicy data about how real estate values are continuing to drop in Santa Cruz. As of August 2008, the median home price in Santa Cruz county is now down to $585,000 – and in July of this year (just a month ago!)… In other words, it’s easier to sell your house this year than it was last year, so long as you are willing to sell it for 25.9% less than it would have sold for a year ago. … The median price for a condo in Santa Cruz county in August 2008 was $420,000 – that’s down 17.2% from a year ago, but up 3.4% from last month. … When you look at the MLS, it is very interesting to see where the “pending” listings (that is, houses that are in contract, pending sale) are in the spectrum – about 90% of them are below the median price of “active” listings.
It’s time once again to play the game – when is the housing market going to recover? The Santa Cruz Sentinel is taking another stab at it:
…Robert Kleinhenz, deputy chief economist for the California Association of Realtors, forecasts a turnaround next spring. … I had a bunch more stuff I wanted to talk about, but it’s 11:33 PM and I still have lots more “real” work to do tonight before hitting the hay and gettin’ back at it tomorrow morning bright and early.
I’m drinking my coffee and seeing what’s new in the world via my handy RSS Reader NetNewsWire , and I came across this interesting article on SFGate.com: [From Home sales see first monthly gain in 6 months ] The Bay Area housing market displayed its first positive sign in months as the volume of April sales rose by its highest percentage in at least 20 years. … Yeah, I know, it’s the Bay Area, not Santa Cruz – but what happened in Santa Cruz mirrored what happened in the bay area – namely, sales were up sharply, as reported in the Santa Cruz Sentinel in their article on Santa Cruz April 2008 home sales on May 14. They didn’t quote me in that article, sniff, although the reporter, Jondi Gumz, did send me an e-mail asking me to weigh in, I guess I replied too late in the day or my comments weren’t pithy enough – or both. … I think 2008 is going to turn out to be the Year to Buy in Santa Cruz.
After all was said and done, the seller’s agent and I agreed to meet for coffee and to exchange some final documents and so I could get the key to pass on to my buyers. You may not be aware of this, but Keller Williams are kind of messianic about their company. … A few months back during the Watsonville REO tour that we had, I had met another KW agent, and she spoke in glowing terms of her company, and in particular about this training that they had, which was open to agents from any brokerage, not just Keller Williams. So when I was sitting down for coffee with the seller’s agent, I started talking to her about Keller Williams and the training that they provide. … In an appreciating seller’s market, it’s not such a bad thing to over-price your property by 10% – sooner or later, the market will catch up to you, and you’ll probably end up getting that extra 10% if you wait long enough.
For those of you who are really interested in knowing what’s going on with real estate sales in Santa Cruz county, I want to remind you that I have a great page on my web site that gives you all kinds of ways to look at Santa Cruz Real Estate Sales Data . Also, I offer a monthly Santa Cruz Real Estate newsletter which offers an analysis of what the numbers mean, and this month’s edition just hit the inboxes of subscribers. OK, maybe the numbers aren’t grrrrrrrreat! … There, we see that the median price (again, county-wide) of single-family residences is down 11.8%, and in April last year, 132 homes were sold – so about 25% fewer homes were sold this April. The numbers are considerably worse for condos, but so few condos were sold (just 19 county wide) that it’s difficult to really gauge what’s going on in that market price-wise.