Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update – December 2012

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December 2012 Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Statistics


Well the weather has definitely taken a turn for the cold and damp, but the Santa Cruz real estate market seems to have shrugged it off.  While October saw the market cooling a bit, the market came roaring back in November 2012, with the median home price surging 25.1% year over year to end up at $522,500 for single family houses county-wide.  No matter how you slice it, that’s a pretty significant increase in home prices and I think clearly shows a market that has turned a corner.

However, the big news to come out of this month’s numbers is not the median home price.  If you ask me, the big number to look at really isn’t a big number – it’s a shockingly small one, and that is the amount of available inventory.  We closed out November with just 349 single-family homes available for purchase county-wide, which at the current sales volume of 166 units per month, gives us only a 2.1 month supply of homes.  This is a market that is clearly starving for inventory – a six-month supply of homes is considered a market that is well balanced between buyers and sellers, so the two-month supply we currently “enjoy” makes this, most definitely, a seller’s market.

So that begs the question – where are the sellers?  And whatever happened to all this shadow inventory?  Well the shadow inventory was always an over-hyped phenomenon – there’s some “shadow inventory” out there, but it’s going to stay in the shadows, until it eventually dribbles out onto the market over a period of years.  The more interesting question is, where’s the rest of the inventory?  What about all those folks who have been waiting for a recovery in housing prices before they put their houses on the market – just what are they waiting for?

I wish I knew!  Perhaps we’ll see the inventory thaw in the spring, and all these would-be, beleaguered buyers will finally be able to get into the house they’ve been waiting anxiously to arrive, still in time to lock in a nice 30 year fixed at 3.75% or less.

We can always hope.  If, however, you are a homeowner and you’ve been thinking you’ll want to sell your house soon, believe me when I tell you – there’s no time like the present.  You’re almost sure to get multiple offers and have your home sell quickly and over asking price to a well-qualified buyer with the means to see the transaction through, one who’ll have little room to negotiate because you’ll have a couple of strong backup offers waiting in the wings.

To get the full, PDF version of my newsletter, broken down by different areas of the county and also by Single Family Residences as well as Condominiums, click here to download the full the Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Trends newsletter.

Please share my newsletter with anyone you think is interested in what’s going on with the Santa Cruz real estate market – just send them the link and they can sign up to receive an e-mail every month when the newsletter is ready. Thanks for your support, and I wish you and your family a very happy holidays!

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