Hot off the Press: New Membership Prices for The Citrus & PGA West!

The Citrus Club/La Quinta Resort and The PGA West Communities announced some unbelievable new prices for their golf memberships today!  At the Citrus Club, the membership that formally cost $100,000 and was a refundable membership is still available.  However, a new category has been added; a non-refundable membership priced at…..drum roll please…..$30,000!  This still includes the 3 golf courses, the tennis facility at the Resort, the Spa, the exercise facility at the Resort, the exercise facility at The Citrus Club, and two different Club Houses. In addition, the social membership, which includes everything except golf has been lowered to $5000 instead of  the previous $15,000.   At PGA West, in addition to the refundable membership of $125,000,  there now is also a non-refundable component which will cost $40,000 for all the same priviledges!    This includes the 6 golfcourses at PGA West, the tennis, the exercise facility, all the Club Houses, etc!  PGA West is also offering a non-refundable social membership of $5000.  The monthly dues at both clubes will remain unchanged.  What an exciting time to think of joining a wonderful golf club in the desert!

September 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 September, 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 La Quinta in September decreased over the previous month by 18.2% while the number of escrows for the more expensive Golf Properties decreased by 25.8% from the previous month. This being the third “summer” month, the downturn is expected and sales most likely will start to rebound in October. The number of unit sales within the City has remained stronger through the summer months then in years past. The number of “short sales” and “bank owned” properties being offered at reduced prices seem to be remaining at higher levels then in the past and this is affecting the entire market.

Closed home sales in La Quinta in September showed a 9.6% decrease over August.  We feel that although the general attitude of the majority of people we talk to is that the market has hit the bottom, we are beginning to hear some folks say they’re going to wait a little longer which is representative of the malaise in the consumer confidence level. The slightly increasing mortgage interest rates may add some urgency to our industry. Remember that although you “may” get a home at a lower price if you wait, the mortgage interest rate will likely be higher so the purchase will wind up costing you more over time.

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) decreased 8.3% in September over August. The average price per square foot decreased 3.5% in September over August. This shows the affect of the short sales and bank owned “deals” that made up a lot of those sales.

Overall, we are still seeing positive signs in the market place. Although not earth shaking, unit sales through the “Summer” months have been stronger than any “summer” since 2008. 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. Most lenders seem to be trying to deal more efficiently with the inventory of distressed properties although dealing with a short sale of foreclosure can still be a challenge.

Coachella Valley Inventory:
On September 30, there were 5,042 active listings (up 1.7% from August), 2,237 units in escrow (down 4.4% from August) totaling 7,279 units (down 0.2% from August) available for sale which makes 30.73% of the total in Escrow (down 4.2% from August) – 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:

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 1,133 412

* Remember that the sales numbers represent “Closed” escrows. Since the average escrow is between 45 and 60 days, the decision to purchase the homes that closed in June was probably made in March to early April.

Source: DesertAreaMLS

Foreclosures down in Coachella Valley

Foreclosures were down in September in the Coachella Valley.  That is according to the Desert Sun, Oct. 14, 2011.  click here to view article .    This is a very interesting article.  I wonder if the foreclosures are down because more people are doing short sales, and perhaps those are not included in the number?   I will say that last season in La Quinta we sold many homes, in all price ranges,  due to the pricing decline.  The sales decreased the  inventory substantially.  During the summer months (which are always slow in the desert) the inventory was not built back up.  People don’t want to put their homes on the market during the summer months if they don’t have to because it is so hot and it is believed (whether right or wrong) that the buyers that come in the summer are “bottom feeders”, out to negotiate lower than the market values.  Now that the Golf Courses are being reseeded and the flowers are being planted and the winter snowbirds are returning, the inventory is slowly beginning to build again—-and at those same low prices.  Regardless of whether we see more or less foreclosures than in prior years, my feeling is that we will continue to see the buyers in the desert because the prices are so incredibly in the buyers favor.  The only problem may be that there will not be the number of homes available that there were in the past.  I would say to any “would be buyer” that now is definitely the time to buy! Don’t wait too much longer or you may have waited yourself out of good inventory!