A recent article in our local newspaper reminded me that I hadn’t updated this blog recently on the state of the housing market here in the valley. Well, guess what? Sales are up and prices are down. No real surprise! BUT in fact, sales are WAY up and prices are WAY down.
We and our associates have been very busy supporting our buying clientele, which is one reason this blog has been neglected a little. But that’s a good thing, at least if you are the buyer and not the seller.
For a year or so, I have said that for the contrarian investor, there is value here in the Coachella Valley. The increasing volume of sales in the last few months shows that many savvy investors are taking advantage of the great values here. In some parts of the valley, sales in September of this year were almost five times the number of sales in the same period a year ago. Valley wide, the sales were up more modestly by about 65% in September, compared to a year ago, but they were still up. Of course, these sales are a direct result of the large number of foreclosures and short sales that have occurred, resulting in average prices falling – in many cases to levels not seen since 2003.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on whether you are Buyer (good) or Seller (bad), these trends are not likely to change overnight. Unless the bailout plan now in place, or the plan of the incoming administration in Washington, addresses the problem of homeowner mortgages, we may see many more defaults, short sales and foreclosures. The mortgage default problem will eventually get fixed, hopefully sooner then later, and when that happens, this shopping spree will be over.
In any case, there are a lot of bargains out here today. If you are looking for your first house, seasonal home, or investment property, now is great time to start your search. If you are a bargain shopper, don’t miss this opportunity.