March 2011 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 March, 2011.

City of La Quinta home sales by month since January, 2008*

The blue lines represent 2008 data, the orange lines represent 2009 data magenta lines represent 2010 and the green lines represent 2011 data.

March continues to show a rebound from the months of December and January’s declining sales numbers making the first quarter of 2011 the strongest since before the same quarter in 2008.  We continue to see an  improvement in consumer confidence and interest in the “over $1 million” market. Open escrows in March increased overall by 12.3% while the more expensive Golf Properties increased by 13.8% after an increase in February.  I believe that, as the economic recovery gathers momentum, buyers are aware that Interest rates will also start to increase which makes “now” a great time to buy a home.

Closed home sales in March showed a 5.6% increase over February and made March the best month in La Quinta since June of 2010. 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. Also, the slight increase in mortgage interest rates may have added some urgency to our industry.

Golf Course home sales in La Quinta.

Unlike the overall sales numbers above, the sales-volume numbers in the higher-end market (which contains many of the golf properties in the chart above) also declined slightly in March. However the average price per square foot increased 15.6% in March over February.
Overall, we are still seeing positive signs in the market place. There has been a steady increase in activity since Labor Day and more noticeably in February and March.  The mortgage industry is the best it’s ever been for conventional loans but the “jumbo” loans, although becoming more available, continue to be a stumbling block in the higher end market.

La Quinta Inventory:
On March 31, there were 6,691 active listings, 2,567 units in escrow totaling 9,258 units available for sale which makes 27.73% of the total in Escrow.
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 1,355 530
2011 YTD 343 135

* Remember that the sales numbers represent “Closed” escrows. Since the avergae escrow is between 45 ans 60 days, the decision to purchase the homes that closed in March was probably made in December to early January.