Santa Cruz Home Sales – October, 2008

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I’ve been remiss in keeping up with my blog! It’s been a hectic past couple of weeks, a lot has been going on, so much so that I hardly know where to begin. I know one thing that is of a great interest to everyone, though – the latest home sales data! OK, this data is about a week old, but I bet you haven’t seen too much of it, so here it goes.

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For starters, we have some good news. The median home price in October 2008 in Santa Cruz county rose to an even $500,000. In September, you may recall (but you probably don’t!), the median price was $475,000 – that is up a whopping 5% month-over-month. The bad news, though, is that the median price in October 2007 was $732,500 – so, year-over-year, prices have dropped 31.7% in Santa Cruz county.

In terms of sales volume, there were 138 single-family homes sold in October, county-wide – that’s down from 143 in September, but up from 106 in October 2007. Also, some good news for sellers out there is that the amount of inventory (i.e., the competition) is getting low – we are down to just 195 days worth of homes for sale – versus 215 days of inventory in September, and a whopping 361 days of inventory in October 2007.

What does it all mean? The crystal ball is on the fritz, unfortunately – it all looks kind of hazy, darn it! But if you put a gun to my head and said prognosticate! I would say this: the market is still in decline. If you are a home buyer, time is on your side. If you are a home seller, and you can wait 2-3 years to sell, you might want to wait, because it’s possible we’ll be in a better market by then – however, if you plan to sell in the coming year, I’d urge you to accelerate your plans, because I’m pretty sure prices in most of the county will be lower towards the end of 2009 than towards the beginning.

I invite you all to subscribe to my monthly newsletter, the Santa Cruz Real Estate Report. Also, I do have Santa Cruz Real Estate sales data available on my web site, you can slice it and dice it many different ways, it’s a pretty fun, interactive tool.

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