Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update May 2014

Seb FreyLocal, Santa Cruz Real Estate

We’re now halfway through spring and well on our way to summer, which many people think of as the peak of the home buying/selling season. How are things shaping up with the Santa Cruz real estate market, now that we’re 4+ months into the year? The median price of single family homes in Santa Cruz county in April 2014 was $622,500 – that’s an increase of 2% compared to a year ago (when the median price was $610K) – but it’s a decrease of 2% compared to March 2014, a month ago, when the median price was $635K. Sales volume was pretty much flat year-over-year, with 170 homes having sold in April 2014, compared to 169 a year ago in April 2013…but month-over-month, sales volume was up a robust 38% in April as compared to May. And, good news for home owners – the sales-to-list-price ratio in April again topped 100%, coming in at 100.2%. Sweet! While sales volume was up sharply compared to the month prior, inventory was also up. We closed out April with 428 homes available for purchase county-wide, up 17.6% compared to a month ago…but still 20.9% lower than it was a year ago. Pending sales (homes under contract, but not yet sold) were up 6% month over month but down 24.1% year over year. The crucial metric for future pricing would be the Days of Inventory – which is down considerably compared to both a year ago and a month ago. We ended April with just 73 days of inventory available, … Read More

Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update – April 2014

Seb FreyLocal, Santa Cruz Real Estate

Winter – such as it was – is now squarely in the rear-view mirror and spring is in full bloom in Santa Cruz. It looks like the rains – such as they were – are now behind us and it’s nothing but blue skies from now on. But can the same thing be said for the Santa Cruz real estate market? Let’s dig in to the numbers. The median home price in March 2014 for single-family homes was $630,000 – that’s up a healthy 13.5% compared to a year ago (when the median price was $555,000) and up 5.4% compared to the month prior. Keen readers of this newsletter may note that the month-ago and year-ago numbers reported here differ from when those same numbers were reported as a month and a year ago – as will sometimes happens as errors are corrected or missing data is added. While the median price was up month over month, the sales volume was flat compared to last month. Last month, 123 homes closed escrow; this month, 122 homes closed escrow…however this compares to 183 closings a year ago, for a year-over-year decrease in volume of 33.3%. It looks to have been a lean winter for the real estate, mortgage, and title/escrow business! Inventory also increased modestly compared to a month ago: we closed out March with 357 homes available for sale county-wide, up 2.3% compared to a month ago, but still considerably lower (15.8%) than a March 2013 when 424 homes were available at the end of the … Read More

Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update – March 2014

Seb FreyLocal, Santa Cruz Real Estate

At last, some rain has fallen, and spring is in the air! Trees are in bloom, the grass is green, and everything’s looking good – especially the Santa Cruz real estate market, depending on your perspective. The real estate bubble and bursting thereof seem to already have faded in the minds of many. Real estate prices have made a very strong recovery, which continues to hold two months into the year. The median home price in February 2014 for single-family homes was $625,000 – that’s up an astounding 37.4% compared to a year ago (when the median price was $455,000) but up just 0.8% compared to the month prior. The average price was $680,310 – up 22% compared to a year ago, but down 12.8% compared to the prior month when the average price came in at a remarkable $780,000. Last month, we noted that the sale-to-list-price ratio had dropped slightly, and that the average days on market had increased as well. This month, both those numbers again pointed to a weaker market: Sales price vs. list price ratio dropped a full 0.7% to 98.1% vs. 98.8% the prior month The average days on market increased by 17.2% to 75 from 64 While inventory rose in February to 286 units available at the end of the month (an increase of 10.4% in a month, and 2.5% higher than this time a year ago) – the sales volume also rose in February, with 109 homes sold…that’s an increase of 3.6% compared to January, but down 9.9% compared … Read More

Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update – January 2014

Seb FreyLocal, Santa Cruz Real Estate

It seems to have happened in the blink of an eye – 2013 came and went. And what a year it was! There’s no denying that the Santa Cruz county real estate market of 2013 was an exuberant one, with surging prices that came within 11% of the all-time peak price we reached in 2007. The 2013 peak median sale price for Santa Cruz county hit $680,000 for November – but for December, the median home price retreated considerably, down to $610,000 – a drop of 10.2%. Not only did the median price drop, the number of closed sales also dropped – to 113 homes closed, down 8.9% compared to 124 in November, and down 25.7% compared to the 152 homes sold a year ago in December 2012. The biggest drop, though, was the amount of inventory available: we closed out December with just 247 homes available for sale, county-wide. That’s down a whopping 29.4% in a single month, as there were 350 homes available at the end of November! Most of these homes were pulled off the market, possibly to re-appear in the spring…most of them didn’t sell, as pending home sales (homes under contract) also dropped. Just 166 homes were in contract at the end of December, down 27.2% from November, when 228 homes were in contract at the en of the month. Looking at December 2013 alone, it’s easy enough to say that the market softened considerably at the end of the year – but it’s hard to spot a trend looking at … Read More