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Local real estate market experts, Market Watch LLC, have just released their December 2017 Desert Housing Report.  Some of the highlights are:

The median detached home price in the Coachella Valley finished the year at $368,193 (an increase of 8.3% year-over-year).

The median price of attached homes ended the year at $245,000 (an increase of 7% year-over year). Market Watch noted that while the attached home market has not experienced the same price increases that the detached home market has over the last four years, the median attached home price improved in 2017. They believe that price increases similar to 2017 should continue in 2018.

In looking at the year-over-year changes in median price by city, Market Watch noted double digit percentage increases in detached median home prices in Desert Hot Springs (+21.6%), Palm Desert (+14%), Rancho Mirage (+12.8%) and Palm Springs (+12.4%). They also noted that that the Palm Springs median detached home price of $635,000 set a new all-time high, finally exceeding the previous high set in 2006 by 5.8%. Median detached home prices remained a minimum of 18.5% below 2006 high median detached home prices in the remaining Coachella Valley cities. Market Watch did note that the median detached home price decline in La Quinta was due to a rare statistical anomaly caused by the wide variation in home sizes and prices throughout the city. With regard to median attached home prices by city, double digit increases were observed in La Quinta (+28.4%) and Rancho Mirage (+14.6%). Median attached home prices remained a minimum of 29.5% below the 2006 high median attached home prices in all of the Coachella Valley cities.

The twelve month average of home sales, which takes out seasonality and shows the long term trend, was consistently higher in all categories. Attached home sales averaged 291 per month for 2017 while detached home sales averaged 538 per month, bringing total home sales to 829 units a month (the highest yearly sales number in five years). Attached home sales in 2017 were 14.1% higher than 2016, detached home sales were 12.8% higher and total home sales were 13.2% higher.

Nine cities show higher three month sales compared to a year ago, while two cities, Coachella and Thousand Palms, have lower sales. The four cities with the largest percent increases over last year are Bermuda Dunes, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage.

The analysis of three month sales by price range shows sales under $200k to be lower than last year by 13 units a month. Sales between $200k and $300k were unchanged while sales in all price brackets above $300k were 22% higher than at the same time last year. Home sales over one million dollars increased by 27% year-over-year.

On January 1, 2018, the Coachella Valley inventory of detached and attached homes stood at 3,753 units, the lowest January 1st inventory in the last 5 years. For comparison, on January 1, 2017 inventory stood at 4,585 units (832 units higher than the current inventory).

The January 1st months of supply ratio (inventory divided by the average of twelve month sales) was 4.5 months, the lowest reading since January 2013. Market Watch noted that from a historical perspective, this is a low reading for the Coachella Valley.

The positive fact that regional months of supply is significantly lower than the last year is reinforced by the fact that months of supply ratio is lower in all price brackets. This is especially true in price ranges from $400k to $800k. In fact, the ratio is almost 50% less (6.8 months vs 12.2 months) in the $700k to $800k price bracket.

Of the twelve cities in the Coachella Valley region, ten have lower months of supply ratios compared to last year while two, Coachella and Desert Hot Springs, are higher. The cities with the largest improvement are Palm Desert (4.5 months vs 6.6 months year-over-year), Bermuda Dunes (5.6 months vs 9 months year-over-year), La Quinta (5.9 months vs 8.5 months year-over-year), Rancho Mirage (6.2 months vs 10.2 months year-over-year) and Indian Wells (8.2 months vs 13.3 months year-over-year).

The data in this article is produced for Coachella Valley real estate agents through the sponsorship and cooperation of the Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors®(PSRAR) and California Desert Association of Realtors® (CDAR) by Market Watch LLC.