Our local real estate market experts, Market Watch LLC, have just released their November 2018 Desert Housing Report. Some of the highlights are:
The November Coachella Valley detached home median price was $395,000 (an increase of $43,000 or 12.2% from November 2017).
The November Coachella Valley attached home median price was $265,000 (an increase of $25,000 or 10.4% from November 2017. Market Watch’s analysts commented that based on historical data, both detached and attached homes should be entering a positive seasonal period for the next six months. They expect the attached home median price to rise above the 3% growth curve for the first time since 2014.
In looking at the 12-month change in median home prices by city, seven cities (Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Coachella, Palm Springs, Indio and Cathedral City) showed positive year over year changes in both detached and attached home median prices. Market Watch’s analysts singled out the large year-over-year gains in the detached home median price in both La Quinta (27.6%) and Indian Wells (32.3%). They noted that Palm Springs detached home median price, which increased of 6% year-over-year, is now 5.9% above the 2006 high Palm Springs detached home median price. They also noted that the detached home median prices in both Indio and Indian Wells were only 14% and 14.9% respectively below their historic 2006 highs for detached home median prices.
Market Watch’s analysts noted that home sales continued to show a very slight, almost unnoticeable retrenchment. The 12-month average of total Coachella Valley home sales (which takes out the seasonal ups and downs and displays the long-term trend) showed a flattening of sales over the last 6 months with 12-month average sales of 845 units per month (up 2.7% year-over-year). Market Watch’s analysts expect total unit sales in the new year to be equal to or slightly less than in 2018. But, because of higher home prices, they expect that total dollar sales will be higher than in 2018.
The 3-month sales at the city level showed four cities (Bermuda Dunes, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage) with higher sales year-over-year. On the other hand, Coachella home sales were down 21% year-over-year while Indian Wells sales were down 29% year-over-year.
In looking at home sales by price range, sales continued to increase in the higher price brackets and decline in lower brackets. Market Watch’s analysts highlighted that sales in the two price brackets under $300k, which account for 38% of all Coachella Valley home sales, were down 20%. Sales of homes priced from $300k to $400k were the same year-over-year and home sales increased in all price brackets over $400k year-over-year.
Coachella Valley inventory on December 1st was 3,555 units (382 units higher than on November 1st, but 288 units less than on December 1st, 2017). Market Watch’s analysts felt that this increase in inventory was primarily a seasonal increase and, if history is a guide, it should increase to possibly 4,000 units in early spring. Comparing inventory against the same month in previous years, they noted that this is the third year of declining inventory.
The Coachella Valley’s months of sales ratio on December 1st was 4.2 months. Market Watch’s analysts noted that this is a seasonal increase from October 2018 of half a month but also half a month less than the months of supply ratio on November 1st, 2017. The median number of days on the market in November was 60 days (7 days less than in November 2017). Market Watch’s analysts felt that both months of sales and days on the market indicated a healthy, positive real estate market as the 2019 top selling period begins at the start of the year.
Market Watch’s analysts commented that months of sales ratios continued to be lower across all price brackets compared to a year ago. They did note that while the months of sales ratio for homes priced over one million dollars (at 12.6 months of sales) was lower than at the same time last year, it was still somewhat high on an absolute basis.
In terms of months of sales by city, only two cities, Indio and Coachella, had higher months of sales ratios than last year. On the other hand, Palm Desert, Bermuda Dunes, Thousand Palms, Indio, Palm Springs and Cathedral City still had month of sales ratios under 4 months. Only Rancho Mirage and La Quinta, with months of sales ratios of 5.5 and 5.8 months respectively, are approaching the six-month number (which indicates a balanced market).