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Greater Palm Springs area real estate market experts, Market Watch LLC., have just release their September 2019 Desert Housing Report. Some of the highlights:

The September Coachella Valley median detached home price declined to $405,000 (down from $411,000 in August). However, it is still 4.1% above the September 2018 median detached home price of $389,000. Market Watch noted that this decline is due to normal, seasonal factors and that historically, median home prices almost always bottom out in September or October. They fully expect this pattern to continue this year.

The September Coachella Valley median attached home price followed that the same seasonal pattern and declined to $271,000 (down from $278,000 in August). However, this is still 4.2% above the September 2018 median attached home price of $260,000.

On a city by city basis, Market Watch commented on continued strong price gains, especially in the case of detached homes. Seven Coachella Valley cities showed positive year-over-year gains in their median detached home prices, ranging from +10.3% in Palm Springs to +2.7% in Indio. La Quinta and Rancho Mirage showed slightly lower median detached home prices. Palm Springs is the only Coachella Valley city with a median detached home price that is higher (+7.1%) than the 2006 and 2007 high price mark. Four Coachella Valley cities showed positive year-over-year gains in their median attached home prices, ranging from +20.8% in Cathedral City to +2.9% in Rancho Mirage. La Quinta, Indio and Desert Hot Springs showed lower year-over-year median attached home prices, ranging from -6.4% to -21.9%. Median attached home prices remain at least -22.9% below the 2006-2007 high price mark in all Coachella Valley cities.

Total sales over the last three months in September averaged 815 units per month (up 4.5% from sales of 780 units per month one year ago). Detached home sales were up 7.6% to 551 units per month year-over-year. Total attached sales over the last three months averaged 264 units per month (down 1.5% from sales of 268 units per month one year ago).  

Looking at home sales on a city by city basis, eight major cities showed higher sales year-over-year, while only two cities, Thousand Palms and Rancho Mirage, had lower sales year-over-year. Palm Desert had the same number of sales (160 units per month) as in September 2018. Market Watch pointed out that home sales in Indian Wells were up 33% year-over-year and sales in Indio were up 10.5% year-over-year.

Looking at home sales by price range, Market Watch noted that the largest area of increase was in homes priced over $700,000. Home sales in all the other price ranges were in close alignment with home sales one year ago.

Coachella Valley housing inventory continues to remain historically very low, with 2,736 units for sale on October 1 (the lowest October 1 inventory level in the last 10 years). Market Watch noted that while low inventory makes it difficult for buyers to find homes, it is also a very positive indicator for higher home prices.

On October 1, the months of sales ratio (inventory divided by the sales rate) was 3.4 months. Market Watch noted that this latest ratio is almost exactly equal to the ratio on October 1, 2018 and that both of these months of sales ratios are the lowest ratios in the last ten years. The median number of days on the market for the region is 65 days, which is effectively equal to last year's number of 66 days.

At the current sales rate, the months of sales ratio for homes priced under $200,000 was 1.9 months, while the ratio for homes priced at million dollars or more was 7.8 months. Market Watch noted that between those extremes there was a normal increase in months of sales ratios with price, showing that the Coachella Valley housing market is in good condition through all price ranges.

All Coachella Valley cities (with 4 exceptions) showed comparable months of sales ratios year-over-year. Indian Wells had a months of sales ratio of 7.2 months versus 6 months one year ago; Rancho Mirage had a ratio of 5.0 months versus 3.7 months one year ago; Bermuda Dunes had a ratio of 4.4 months versus 3.3 months one year ago; and lastly, Thousand Palms had a ratio of 4.4 months versus 3.2 months one year ago. However, Market Watch felt that these small increases in the months of sales ratios for these cities had little significance.

The Sale Price Discount from List was -1.9% for September (versus -2% one year ago). Market Watch noted the Sale Price Discount from List from 2014 to the present time has improved from -2.8% to -1.9%. They also noted that the current -1.9% is the lowest reading in the last five years (meaning that the average home offered at $400,000 finally sold for $392,400).

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