The Desert Happy Hour Map

Yes, it’s been heating up out here… but I’d argue it’s been heating up in all the right ways! Fires have been blazing on the menus at some of the best restaurants and bars in town! There are GREAT happy hours specials in the summer out here. It almost doesn’t make sense to go to the grocery store when you have these kind of deals (or at least, that’s what I tell myself). The grid below the map outlines the specials highlighted at some of our local establishments (the red color indicates the hottest deals). The map below has locations, and if you click on the icon on the map, it will pop up more information including a link to the restaurant’s website. Let us know if we missed any good happy hour spots. Enjoy and leave a comment about your favorite happy hour spot. (Can you beat all-night at Hog’s Breath?)

Note: This includes only the east valley. Palm Springs was not considered (and I know there are some great deals there too.)

View Happy Hour Specials in a larger map

Restaurant Phone Time Drinks Food Special Nights Live Music
bluEmber 862-4581 5 – 7 $5 Wine, $6 Martini, $5 Well 50% off Apps  

5pm Every Day

Cliff House 360-5991 4:30 – 7 $3 Draft Beer, $5 Well, Wine & Margaritas! 40% off Apps    
Crab Pot 564-7333 3 – 6 $3 Well & Wine, $2 Dom. Beer & $3 Imp Beer! 50% off Apps    
Firehouse 340-3222 3 – 6 $1 off Drinks $2 off Apps   9pm Friday & Saturday
Hogs Breath Inn 564-5556 All Night $5 Well, Wine & Margaritas! 50% off Bar Menu    
Jackalope Ranch 342-1999 3 – 6 $4.50 Dom. Beers, $5 Wine, $6 Margaritas 50% off Bar Menu   5pm Everday
Lavender 564-5353 All Night $2 Dom. Beers, $2.50 Imp. Beers, $5 Wine & Well Low Priced Bar Menu   During Season
Old Town Cellar 771-8950 3pm – Close $6 wine $6 food   7pm Friday & Saturday
Pacific 674-8666 3 – 6:30 $1 Off Wine, $5 Vodka 40% Off Bar Menu 50% off Wine Bottles Tues.  
Stuft Pizza 777-9989 3 – 6:30 50% Off Well, Wine & Draft Beer 25% off Apps    
Sullivan’s 341-3560       Thurs & Sundays All Night $5 Martinis, Wine, Beer & Bar Menu! Every Night but Monday
Tack Room 347-9985 4 – 7pm $3 Margaritas, $4 Wine & $5 Well 50% off Apps   9pm Friday & Saturday
Yard House 779-1415 3 – 6pm $3.50 Dom. Beers, $4.5 Imp. Beers, $4.25 Well 50% Apps & Pizza    

June 2010 Price Report

Here are the latest sales numbers for all homes sold within the City of La Quinta as well as all Golf Course homes in La Quinta through June 2010.

The blue lines represent 2008 data, the orange lines represent 2009 data and the magenta lines represent 2010 data.

The chart above shows monthly sales of homes within the city of La Quinta*.

The sales for La Quinta in June were the strongest since May, 2006. But… Sales are recorded at the close of escrow and most escrows are 45 – 60 days. As we enter the summer months there has been a 17% drop in open escrows during June over May so we should expect to see a typical seasonal drop in the sales numbers in the next month or so. Last month consumer confidence seemed to follow the stock market into the doldrums as buying activity in June seemed to slow down when compared to May. Personally, our team continues to put non-distressed, “regular” home sales together this year, which has been a welcomed change. Prices have not started to rise, but they seem to be stabilizing in the under $1,000,000 market. The above $1,000,000 market has not seen the improvement of the under $1m market but this is likely due to the unavailability of jumbo loans. The general attitude of the people we talk to at open houses is that the market has hit the bottom and that is backed up by current prices versus historical appreciation.

The sales-volume numbers in the higher-end market (which contains many of the golf properties in the chart above) are the highest since May of 2008 (one shy) but the average price per square foot dropped 6% from May’s figures. The golf course home numbers have been fluctuating all year so this is not a surprising change and the June numbers were very close to Aprils figures.

Overall, we are still seeing positive signs in the market place. Although prices have not yet stabilized in the higher end (over $1 million), prices seemed to have stabilized in the lower market segments. The mortgage industry is still a stumbling block in the higher end market as it seems that unless you can prove that you don’t need a Jumbo Loan (over $500,000), you can’t get one! The bottom line is that at the beginning of the downturn in 2006, there were over 10,000 homes available for sale in the Coachella Valley – a real glut, currently, that number is down to under 5,100. As the supply dwindles, the market begins to stabilize and people feel more comfortable to get back into the marketplace.

If buying property is something on your list (especially golf property), why not take advantage of the incredible prices and seller incentives now, when sellers will work with you, instead of in the future, when the demand starts to catch up with the supply? Especially if you’re buying and planning to hold for 5+ years.

Here are some yearly sales figures (units) for the City of La Quinta from 2002:

Year All LQ Golf Course
2002 1,354 259
2003 1,565 652
2004 1,931 813
2005 1,553 657
2006 1,098 491
2007 935 447
2008 1,063 416
2009 1,155 418
2010 YTD 705 317 (June)

* When looking at “sold” data, you have to remember that the numbers are generated on the date that the sale is recorded with the county but that the decision to buy was made about 45 – 60 days earlier.

WestJet adds direct flights to/from Toronto next winter

WestJet announced that it will add two direct flights to and from Toronto, Canada beginning February 2, 2011. The flights will be in addition to the existing schedule servicing  Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. This will be the longest outbound flight leaving Palm Springs…  This will be a very good deal for our valley.

Click here to read the complete story in the Desert Sun

Its a great time to buy!

The Desert is heating up right now in more ways than one!  We all know that the weather is getting hot—100 degrees and rising,  don’t forget that it is a “dry heat” :-). But, in addition we are amazed at the number of buyers that are arriving at this time of year to look at homes.  Rumor has it that there are deals to be had, and that this is the time to come and get them.  And, I must agree.  There is truly great opportunity right now to buy a beautiful home in the Desert for an unbelievable price. We are already noticing that the really nice values in the range of $500,000 and lower are going so quickly that it is becoming a seller’s market! Often with multiple offers!   The high end is still a buyer’s market, but if the home is perceived as a deal, it is being purchased quickly.  The buyers have been waiting a long time for that “perfect deal”, and they are now realizing that even in the high end, their day has come to purchase. Dependent on the area, seller’s home prices have come down 30% to 40% from the all time highs of 2006 .  The summer buys that are available today are the best values that we have seen in years.

What is an average home sale?

I hear the same question from a lot of people: “When are the prices going to get back to where they were now that we are at the bottom?”.  The answer, in our opinion is “a lot longer than it took the prices to drop”.  Since the 1960s, when real estate sales data first started to be recorded, real estate has appreciated at an annual rate of approximately 4.5%. There have been minor fluctuations but up to 2002 sales closely followed the line.

In the period from 2002 to 2006, we saw sale prices jump 79.5%  and from 2006 through 2009, we watched prices drop 48% and since settle back on the 4.5% “normal” line. Since 2006 and especially since September 2009, most real estate sales have been in the lower range, starting with “distressed” (lower priced foreclosures and short sales) and very slowly moving up in price as the lower priced supply dwindled and consumer confidence improved.

As I thought about this, I wondered just what was the size and price of the “Average” home sold in the valley? The chart below represents all valley sales from the Desert Area MLS. I did a standard search for residential sales and the only parameter I set was the date so the info is based on all reported sales in the entire MLS area – Desert Hot Springs to Indian Wells to Salton City.

Year Units Sold Avg SqFt Avg Sale Price $/SqFt DOM
2004 12,561 1,891 $397,138.00 $210.01 62
2005 11,126 1,878 $490,825.00 $261.36 71
2006 7,743 1,944 $542,183.00 $278.90 111
2007 6,123 2,034 $545,410.00 $268.15 139
2008 7,435 1,970 $394,831.00 $200.42 128
2009 9,280 1,886 $271,567.00 $143.99 126
2010* 9,140 1,976 $318,461.00 $161.16 128
* Projected total        
First 6 months of 2010      
Month Units Sold Avg SqFt Avg Sale Price  $/SqFt DOM
January 688 1,956 $309,900.00 $158.44 123
February 693 1,911 $302,244.00 $158.16 125
March 947 1,934 $300,104.00 $155.17 120
April 917 2,004 $325,520.00 $162.44 132
May 899 2,047 $348,942.00 $170.47 137
June 882 1,990 $319,486.00 $160.55 129
6 Mos 5,027 1,976 $318,461.00 $161.16 128

As you can see, the sales price per square foot ($/SqFt) from the high in 2006 – $278.90 dropped to the low in 2009 – $143.99 (-48.4%) but has rebounded in 2010 to $161.16 which is 42.2% from the 2006 high. Remember that these numbers represent all the homes in the valley so it is skewed by the “distressed” property sales. I feel that prices in the more affluent communities has dropped about 35% from the 2006 high. Some of the higher priced homes, ($1,000,000+) have still not seen much interest.

This, now, makes me wonder just how different some of the local cities stack up against one another. I included, in the following chart, the cities of Desert Hot Springs and Coachella which clearly show the affects of distressed property sales as compared to more affluent cities in the valley.

2006 Units Sold Avg SqFt Avg Sale Price $/SqFt DOM  
DHS 663 1,575 $285,136.00 $181.04 119  
Coachella 182 1,592 $324,223.00 $203.66 76  
Palm Springs 1,565 1,652 $483,783.00 $292.85 113  
Rancho Mirage 631 2,763 $872,763.00 $315.88 122  
Palm Desert 1,177 1,948 $602,591.00 $309.34 106  
Indian Wells 196 2,987 $1,146,332.00 $383.77 111  
La Quinta 1,098 2,354 $771,522.00 $327.75 117  
2010 Units Sold Avg SqFt Avg Sale Price $/SqFt DOM % Drop 06-10
DHS 421 1,542 $94,793.00 $61.47 82 66.0%
Coachella 201 1,876 $142,058.00 $75.72 74 62.8%
Palm Springs 850 1,769 $315,595.00 $178.40 133 39.1%
Rancho Mirage 342 2,632 $575,157.00 $218.52 184 30.8%
Palm Desert 676 1,898 $369,961.00 $194.92 141 37.0%
Indian Wells 126 3,052 $830,372.00 $272.07 217 29.1%
La Quinta 705 2,388 $519,612.00 $217.59 158 33.6%

The chart above also uses data from the Desert Area MLS and shows the change from 2006 to 2010 by city. Although the 2010 numbers only represent 6 months of data, the current sale price info is still relevant. 

But I digress, (sorry), back to the original question. If the home sale prices continue to appreciate at the normal 4.5% rate, home sale prices should get back to 2006 levels in 2020. In other words, keep breathing .