Insider market highlights

Real Estate Watch

By CLINT FREEMAN, Coldwell Banker Best Realty

Homes sales in spring 2018 had a strong lift-off and hit a high point in March when 49 single family homes closed escrow — a plateau not seen since 2010. Since then the movement settled and hit an average of 38 homes per month. The market in 2018 is expected to remain very brisk. Here are some insider highlights of the housing market looking back at the past five months and a few insights into what to expect:

1. Most Popular Price Point. Homes sold between $175,000 to $200,00 were by far the most popular price point. Buyers gravitate to this range because it offers an affordable choice. A mortgage on a $200,000 home runs about $1,200. This is nearly the same a tenant will pay in rent for the same year and type of home. The majority of homes in this category were built in the 1970s and 1980s. The old adage “It’s better to buy than rent” rings the bell of truth here!

2. Majority Selling at Full Price. Sixty-three percent of all 176 sold homes over the past five months sold for full price or more. It’s notable that sellers received their full asking price; however, in most cases they negotiated terms whereby they paid buyer’s closing costs, or raised the final price of the home in order for the buyer to finance their closing costs in the loan.

3. A Seller’s Market But… Sellers need to be aware that despite it being a seller’s market, buyers are still requesting that their closing costs be paid. In a seller’s market, inventory is low, and there are more buyers than the inventory can keep up with. This is the present case with Ridgecrest. However, low inventory it does not mean a seller will always receive the upper hand in all negotiations, and the sale will totally be to the seller’s advantage. For instance, purchasing a $200,000 home with an FHA loan means buyers must have a total of at least $13,000 for their down payment and closing costs. The truth is that not too many buyers have that kind of cash saved up and lying around when they desire to purchase. In homes priced up to even $300,000, it is common for buyers to ask for their closing costs to be paid. Don’t be surprised, sellers. You’re bound to see it.

4. Price Reductions Abound. Fifty-four per cent of sold homes this past spring experienced price reductions before they received offers and final sales. Some savvy sellers desire to “test the market” and price their homes a bit higher than the market allows, and gradually over time they reduce their prices in order to attract buyers. This is a viable strategy. However, the minority of sellers set their prices, stayed the course and received offers at their original listed prices. Overall, homes stayed on the market an average of 98 days; the shortest escrow was 30, and the longest was 426 days. Have more questions? Give me a call, Clint Freeman at 760-382-1082, and let’s talk!

RIDGECREST FACTS AS OF JUNE 2018

To date there are 92 homes on the market ranging from $15,000 to $590,000. The past three months’ prices per square foot average of sold single-family homes are College Heights $163, NW $123, NE $83, SE $117, SW $134 and RC Heights $137.

CALIFORNIA FAST FACTS

The California median home price is $584,640, with the lowest median home prices Lassen at $155,500 and Ridgecrest at $182,500. The highest median home price by region is San Mateo at $1,770,000. (Source C.A.R)

Story First Published: 2018-06-22