Sales Trends and New Loan Limits in Southern California

The selling prices are on a downward slope, but so is the amount of inventory since last June. In the entire SoCalMLS area which now covers areas from Los Angeles down to San Diego (there is a push for a statewide MLS which may be happening by the end of this year), there were over 34,000 units for detached housing on the market in June, 2007, at an average list price of $815,272. The units on the market increased to over 38,000 in September and October, and by January had decreased to 32,217, and the average list price was $732,043.

The same trend shows for attached (condos, etc.) housing: Average list price of $494,000 last June decreased to $455,000 by January 3, 2008. with only about 275 additional attached units on the market compared to last June. Per California Association of Realtors, the median time on the MLS, meaning the days on market for a property before the seller received an accepted offer and went into escrow, was 8.6 weeks in 2007, compared to 1.6 weeks in 2004.

What sellers want to avoid now is "chasing the market down", today's low offer may look great in 90 days.

For buyers, the question remains, is our area market stabilizing beyond the usual seasonal dip in sales? Hopefully, that will be so, and with the Senate's approval of the economic stimulus plan yesterday, and an expected increase in conforming loan amount from $417,00 to over $700,000, some buyers who have been waiting for the right time to buy will now do so.

'Voice this!

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