A Happy New Year to everyone touching this web page. May you all have a healthy and prosperous 2007!
Well, the transition in the Coachella Valley real estate market (from the crazy seller’s market a few years back to a new more balanced “value-driven market,” * acceptable to current buyers and sellers), is still in process.
As mentioned previously, many of today’s sellers still do not accept the reality that the real estate market has changed, and that the quick “run up” in value of their property has ended. In fact, for many who paid top dollar for property at the market peak, arguably some time in 2004 or early in 2005, a significant loss will result if they are forced to sell today.
Of course, some sellers who can afford it will fight this trend by holding on to their properties and continuing to hold firm on their prices, which are inflated by today’s standards. You can see this trend in the increasing active selling days for homes on the market and in the increased inventory, currently over 8000 units, yet to be sold.
A Buyers Perspective
No question, trends continue to favor buyers, but NO, it’s not a “Buyer’s market”, at least not here. As I mentioned in the previous “Reflections”, it may never ever become one. I know, never say “never”, but our local demographic, social and economic bases, along with forecasted trends, just don’t point to a depression in housing that would cause a large number of sellers to panic.
There is no question that average listing prices are going down. But year-to-year selling prices are up, albeit only slightly. The coming year’s selling prices might be flat, or down slightly, but don’t look for a seller’s panic.
Prospective buyers can take heart. There are well priced properties out there that represent good value. With patience, persistence, and a hard working real estate consultant to assist you, these properties can be found and purchased. Patience is the key word here; there is a huge inventory to view, and many sellers have not yet embraced the new reality that today’s market conditions are different from those existing when they bought earlier. Just remember, in this market, any “reasonable” offer will be considered. But be sensible. An unreasonable low ball offer is, in most cases, a waste of everybody’s time.
As you cruise the valley MLS listings via our web site link, don’t be put off by a listing price somewhat over the amount you budgeted; usually any offer within 90 – 95% of the listing price will be considered. If your offer is not accepted, at least a counter offer will be given and a dialogue between buyer and seller can begin, leading to some acceptable middle ground.
As for a “Seller’s Perspective”, that’s another issue to be addressed here in the near future.
* A Definition of Value
Market Price is the price at which a property actually sells. Market Value (or fair market value as it is sometimes called), is the price at which it should have sold. Thus, ultimately the “Value” of a given property is determined by the buyer – not the seller, not the real estate agent.