The local real estate market experts at Market Watch LLC have just released their September 2017 Desert Housing Report. Some of the highlights are as follows:

The Coachella Valley detached home median price stood at $360,000 as of the end of September.  While this is 4.3% above the detached home median price a year ago, it is also 8% below the peak price of $389,000 in May of this year. Market Watch notes that this is evidence of the Coachella Valley’s seasonal summer “price give back” phenomena. They also noted that Coachella Valley detached home median price has returned to the long term 4% growth curve.

The summer season “price give back” resulted in a drop in the Coachella Valley attached home median price from $260,000 in May to $235,000 at the end of September.  However, this attached home median price of $235,000 is still 2.2% above the same price one year ago. And, Market Watch feels that if the standard seasonal price pattern continues as it has for the last eight years, prices should stabilize at current levels and then begin to rise as the winter-spring period begins.

There was a wide variation in the year-over-year change in city by city detached home median prices, ranging from an increase of 11.7% for detached homes in Rancho Mirage to a decrease of 7% for detached homes in Indian Wells. Similarly, for attached homes, the year-over-year change ranged from an increase of 14% in Rancho Mirage to a decrease of 8.2% in La Quinta. Market Watch points out that since home prices decline to some degree every summer, prices are down from their spring highs but are still up compared to last summer’s low price points. For example, the Palm Springs detached home median price is now 6.7% below its 2006 all-time high (last month it was only 1.3% below) but it is still up 7.5% when compared with last September’s seasonal low.

Market Watch notes that home sales have declined the last three months, as they do every year at this time. However, the three month average of total sales in September (758) was still 6.3% higher than at this time last year, with the three month average of detached home sales (501) up 3.8% from this time last year and the three month average of attached home sales (257) up 11.7% from this time last year.

When looking at home sales by price range, Market Watch points out that home sales increased in every bracket except two, $200k to $300k and $800k to $900k. Sales between $500k and $600k were up by 13 units, or 30%, sales between $600k and $700k were up 29.4% and sales from $900k to one million dollars went from five sales per month to nine sales, an increase of 80%.

Market Watch takes note of rising inventory (usual for the Coachella Valley between October and March). The current inventory of 3,241 units is 682 units, or 17% less than it was October 1st last year.

On October 1st the Valley’s “months of supply” ratio was 4.0 months, the lowest ratio on October 1st since 2013. Last year the ratio on October 1st was 5.5. This positive indicator is confirmed by September’s median value of 71 “Days on the Market”, which is nine days less than in September 2016.

In terms of months of supply by price, the improvement is particularly concentrated in homes priced over $700k. For homes priced between $700k and $800k, the year-over-year improvement from 10.3 months to the current 5.7 months is almost 50%. Market Watch highlighted that for homes priced over $1M, the months of supply ratio (11.9 months) is finally getting into a lower, acceptable months of supply ratio closer to 12 months.

In terms of months of supply by city, the numbers dropped for every city except Coachella and Desert Hot Springs. Both Palm Desert and Cathedral City, with months of supply ratios of 3.8 months and 3.2 months, are 33% below last year. Rancho Mirage is 40% below last year and Thousand Palms 45% below. Market Watch states that these represent strong market improvements.

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