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Our local real estate market experts, Market Watch LLC, have just released their September 2018 Desert Housing Report.  Some of the highlights from their report:

The Coachella Valley detached home median price in September was $389,000. While this is decrease of $1,000 from the detached home median price in August, it is also an increase of $29,000 (8.1%) year-over-year.

September’s Coachella Valley attached home median price was $260,000, an increase of $25,000 (10.6%) year-over- year. Market Watch felt that the data shows that attached home median prices have been in the weak seasonal period for four months now. Market Watch predicted that the attached home median price should make lows in October or November before beginning its usual seasonal rise. Market Watch did feel that this pattern was starting at a higher price level than the last few years and because of this, felt that attached home median price might finally start to catch up in the coming year with the increase in the detached home median price.

Every one of the Coachella Valley cities showed a positive 12-month price change in their detached home median price for detached homes. In terms of attached home median process, only Cathedral City showed a decrease. Market Watch noted that these positive price changes are the strongest in a number of years and that this is a strong indicator for another good year ahead.

Market Watch noted that over the last twelve months, attached home sales have averaged 304 units a month and detached homes have averaged 544 units a month, bringing total sales to an average of 848 units (an increase of 4% year-over-year).

On a city by city basis, Market Watch noted that six cities (Bermuda Dunes, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta, Palm Desert and Palm Springs) showed higher sales, four had lower sales and one (Rancho Mirage) showed the same sales numbers as last year. The three cities with the largest sales increase were Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs. The three cities with the largest sales declines were Indio, Indian Wells and Cathedral City.

Market Watch noted that the largest sales increases year-over-year occurred in in two price brackets, the $300k to $500k price range and the $700k to 900k price range. They felt that the increase in the first price bracket is the carry over effect of simply fewer homes selling for under $300k. Simply put, more homes are being listed between $300k and $500k in the past, lifting sales in that bracket, and lessening sales in the under $300k bracket.

Coachella Valley housing inventory on October 1st was 2,780 units, the lowest October 1st inventory number in the last five years and 461 units less than last year. Market Watch noted that low housing inventory acts as both a positive and a negative. It’s a positive for sellers and future sellers since it tends to move home prices higher. But it’s a negative in that it tends to put a limit on total sales numbers, the life blood of real estate. Normally new home construction would increase the available housing supply, but this has not been happening in the Coachella Valley yet.

 The Coachella Valley months of supply ratio on October 1st was 3.3 months, the lowest October 1st ratio in the last five years and the result of low inventory and high sales. Market Watch stated that this combination is the force that’s been driving Coachella Valley home prices higher. Days on the market remains low at 66 days compared to 71 days last September.

The months of supply ratio is lower across all price brackets compared to a year ago, but especially for homes priced over $800k. Market Watch noted that the ratio of 5.5 months and 5.3 months for homes priced between $700k and $900 shows that the sellers’ market, which is primarily found in the lower priced areas, is gradually working into the higher priced regions, too.

The months of supply ratio for eleven Coachella Valley cities shows that eight have lower ratios compared to last year, while three have higher ratios. The three cities with higher ratios are Thousand Palms, Indio and Coachella but the ratios are all still under four months. The largest ratio declines were the cities of Desert Hot Springs, Bermuda Dunes, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert.

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