October 2011 Real Estate Sales Analysis

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 October, 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 October increased over the previous month by 8.8% while the number of escrows for the more expensive Golf Properties increased by 26.1% over the previous month. This being the end of “summer”, the expected downturn should start to turn around and we should start to see activity pick up as we move into our “season”.

The number of unit sales within the City has remained stronger through the summer months then in years past but declined in October. 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 October showed a 29.2% decrease over September. This could well be attributed to the unusually high sales in the hot, summer months.

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 34.4% in October over September. The average price per square foot decreased 16.6% in October over September. 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 October 31, there were 5,303 active listings (up 5.2% from September), 2,275 units in escrow (up 1.7% from September) totaling 7,578 units (up 4.1% from September) available for sale which makes 30.02% of the total in Escrow (up 2.3% from September) – the reversal of this trend is an indicator of homes coming on the market for the new season ahead.

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 1,215 429

* 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