Local real estate experts Market Watch LLC have just released their September 2020 Desert Housing Report outlining their take on the state of our local market. Some of the highlights:

The Coachella Valley detached home median price in September was $510,000 (up 26% year-over-year from $405,000). Market Watch noted that this is the largest percentage price increase since 2012.

The Coachella Valley attached home median price in September was $305,000 (up 12 1/2% year-over-year from $271,000). Because of an apparent early start to the usual pattern of seasonal increases in attached home median prices, Market Watch expects attached home prices to continue to increase for the next six months.

Market Watch noted that the 12-month change in both detached and attached home median prices by city showed that detached home median prices were surging throughout the Coachella Valley. They also noted that attached home median prices were also beginning to increase. The median price of a detached home increased by 29.2% year-over-year in La Quinta, 15.8% in Palm Springs, 14.5% in Cathedral City, 13.6% in Palm Desert and 12.3% in Rancho Mirage. Only Indian Wells had a decease (down 17.7% year-over-year) in its detached home median price. Attached home median prices increased year-over-year by 18.5% in Palm Springs, 14.2% in La Quinta, 7.5% in Palm Desert, 7.4% in Cathedral City, 5.8% in Indian Wells and 4.2% in Rancho Mirage. Only Indio saw a decrease (down 12.5% year-over-year) in its attached home median price.

The 3-month average of total home sales was 1,077 units per month in September (32% higher than one year ago and the highest total home sales in recent history). Detached homes sales increased by 34% year-over-year and attached sales increased by 28% year-over-year. Market Watch commented that these sales figures were contrary to the normal seasonal pattern, when sales normally contract during the hot summer months.

Home sales increased year-over-year from 68 units to 116 units is in Rancho Mirage (an increase of 71%). Home sales also increased by 64% in La Quinta, 38% in Palm Desert and 37% in Palm Springs.

The largest percentage sales increases year-over-year were in homes priced over $700,000. In the $700,000 to $800,000 price range, sales increased 96% year-over-year. In the million-dollar and over price range, sales increased from an average of 45 units a month In September 2019 to 110 units a month in September 2020 (an increase of 144%).

On October 1s, there were only 1,995 units for sale (compared with 2,736 units for sale on October 1st, 2019). Market Watch commented that this low housing inventory coupled with surging demand was driving home prices higher. Based on historical data and trends, they expect our housing inventory to increase over the next four months. However, they also noted that the current large number of homebuyers may keep inventory increases low (as was the case last year).

The months of sales ratio was at a record low 2.5 months on October 1st. The previous October 1st low was 3.3 months. Market Watch concluded that since the months of sales ratio is really a measurement of demand versus supply, this low ratio of 2.5 months was a mathematical sign that demand far exceeds supply. Market Watch felt that this conclusion was confirmed by the fact that the median number of days in the market was 49 days on October 1st (16 days less than it was on October 1st, 2019).

The months of sales ratio in every price range was lower than one year ago. The months of sales ration was less than 3 months in every price range under $900,000, indicating to Market Watch that the strong housing market was occurring across the entire price spectrum.

On October 1st, the months of sales ratio in was under 3 months in Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Indio, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta and Palm Desert. Market Watch commented that even the higher-priced cities of Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells, which normally have double-digit month of sales ratios, had months of sales ratios of 3.5 months and 5.4 months respectively.

Lastly, the September median value for sale price discount from list was -1.4% (compared with 1.9% in September 2019). Market Watch expects this trend of smaller discounts to continue until at least the end of the year. The current reading implies that an average home in the region offered at $500,000 sold for $493,000.


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