May 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 May, 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.

Open escrows in May increased overall by 4.9% while the number of Escrows for the more expensive Golf Properties decreased by 5.2%. May is the second consecutive monthly decrease after increasing for the previous 6 months. 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. I recently read an article offering a retort to a buyers comment “I’ll wait until the prices really hit bottom…” The article pointed out that although you may get the home at a lower price, the mortgage interest rate will be higher so the purchase will wind up costing you more over time.

Closed home sales in May showed a 8.9% decrease over April, the best month in La Quinta since June of 2010, but it is 2.3% higher than April, 2010. Although the general attitude of the majority of people we talk to at open houses is that the market has hit the bottom but we are beginning to hear some folks saying they’re going to wait a little longer. The slightly increasing mortgage interest rates may add some urgency to our industry.

Golf Course home sales in La Quinta.
The sales-volume numbers in the higher-end market (which contains many of the golf properties in the chart above) showed an increase in May over the increase in April. However the average price per square foot decreased 2.6% in May over April.

Overall, we are still seeing positive signs in the market place. There has been a steady increase in activity through May but June has slowed somewhat.. 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 May 31, there were 5,848 active listings (down 6.1% from April), 2,694 units in escrow (down 1.3% from April) totaling 8,542 units (down 4.7% from April) available for sale which makes 31.54% of the total in Escrow (Up 1.07% from April) – which means we are working on reducing the supply which will ultimately increase demand and improve the market.
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:

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 621 247

* 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.