March 2012 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 March, 2012.

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, green lines represent 2011 data and the purple lines represent 2012 data.

Open escrows in La Quinta on March 31st increased over the previous month by 17.3% (same increase as February) . This increase can again be explained by the increase in unit sales activity for the month of March over February, decreasing the inventory. The number of escrows at the end of March for the more expensive Golf Properties increased by 22.9% over February (also the same as February) while that demographics unit sales also increased to the highest monthly sales since 2007. This increase in sales is allowing the valley’s inventory to shrink increasing the demand.  The increased demand helps stablize the market pricing over the lower priced short sales and bank owned properties. The unsold inventory has declined 35% over the high in January, 2011.

The number of unit sales within the City increased in March over February and outpaced every month since we started to track these numbers in 2008. We expect that April sales will be the almost as strong as March but slightly lower.

The number of “short sales” and “bank owned” properties being offered at reduced prices seem to be tapering off and the banks are continuing to improve their ability to handle these transactions. Most lenders seem to be dealing more efficiently with the inventory of distressed properties although short sales and/or foreclosures can still be a challenge and they are still affecting the prices in the entire market.

Closed home sales in La Quinta in March showed a 24.8% increase from the month of February. This increase, as you can see in the charts below, is an annual trend attributed to our “season”.

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) increased 33.1% in March over February. The average price per square foot increased 23.8% in March over February. This shows the affect of less short sales and bank owned “deals”.

Overall, we are still seeing positive signs in the market place and the media continues to be encouraged. We are anticipating a strong season and a good year ahead.

The mortgage industry is the best it’s been for conventional loans but the “jumbo” loans, although becoming more available, continue to be a stumbling block in the higher end market.

Coachella Valley Inventory:
On March 31, there were 4,647 active listings (down 10.6% from February), 2,974 units were in escrow (up 9.3% from February) totaling 7,621 units (Down 3.8% from February) available for sale which makes 39.02% of the total in Escrow (up 13.7% from February) –This trend is an indicator of increasing home sales for the month of April. 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 1,446 520
2012 YTD   391 158

* 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

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