Home market is still hot

Real Estate Watch

Home market is still hotBy CLINT FREEMAN

The COVID 19 pandemic is wreaking havoc in some parts of California and the nation, where home sales are tumbling and home values are predicted to follow. One could conclude that the Ridgecrest market would also follow suit since the nation’s economy has taken a sharp nosedive. Quite the contrary. The Ridgecrest housing market is booming in this era of COVID19. The local market survived the July 2019 earthquakes and it appears there is no stopping the pace that sellers want to list and buyers want to buy. Here are just a few highlights of the brisk tempo now in motion:

Single family home sales: 53 site-built homes sold and closed escrow in April. This high mark has not been seen since July 2018 when 60 homes sold, and August 2017 when sales topped at 50. Out of the 53 homes sold in April, 38 or 71 percent sold for full price or more. This ratio is also a high point as the percentage has floated in the 40th-60th percentiles over the past 12 months.

Homes in escrow: Sales are predicted to remain high in the spring and summer periods as there are 106 homes now in escrow waiting a close. Local escrow/title companies report increasing activity with openings and closings. Home inspectors also report that they have buyers and sellers waiting in the wings for inspections. As the weather heats up so do home sales thus far.

Days on the market: Average days on the market over the past 90 days of site-built homes sits at 117 days. This market marker is a slight uptick from an average that ran in the 90s and just up above 100 in the past 12 months. These are still healthy and robust numbers.

Absorption rate: There is presently 1.6 months of inventory of site-built homes based on last month. The local market continues to glide in a seller’s market and has since November 2011, when there was a balanced market of 6.25 months of inventory. Units of sold homes continue to outpace homes presently for sale. The supply of active site-built homes sits at 66 units.

Interest rates: Interest rates remain historically low. Combine that with an NAWCWD workforce that is not being laid off, and you have an environment where local home sales can thrive. Average mortgage rates float at 3.26 percent. This has been happening for the fifth straight week. Refinance activity remains high as existing homeowners are also taking advantage of the low rates.

Rather than the market being affected by CV19, Ridgecrest continues to remarkably move through it. Just as with the recovery from 6.4 and 7.2 earthquakes, Ridgecrest is set to recover with strength. Remember, wear a mask when you meet a realtor. Keep the distance. Be safe, be sane!

RIDGECREST FACTS AS OF MAY 2020

• To date the 66 homes on the market in price from $39,997 to $499,500.

• The past three months’ price-per-square-foot average of sold single-family homes are College Heights $160, NW $145, NE $124, SE $119, SW $157, RC Heights $138.

CALIFORNIA FAST FACTS

• The California median home price is $612,440; the lowest median home prices are Lassen at $230,000 and Ridgecrest at $239,900. The highest median home price by region is San Francisco at $1,655,000 (Source C.A.R)

Story First Published: 2020-05-15