by Jodi Summers
Bloomberg.com, the company behind the financial empire built by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, notes that the U.S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest level in 15 years in the first quarter of 2012 > 65.4%. That is the lowest level since 1Q 1997, and down from a record 69.2% in June 2004.
Apparently, borrowers throughout much of the nation lost homes to foreclosure and tighter inventory, while stringent lending rules kept buyers off the market. Oblivious to the rest of the nation, Santa Monica remains enveloped in our happy little housing universe. We are seeing no such pain. Foreclosures around town have all but disappeared, and according to Clarus Market Metrics, if you compare April 2010 and April 2012, the number of sold properties is up 11%.
Santa Monica Sold Properties by Month
While we did see a dip and a price dive of some 30+% since the August 2007 high, the coastal Los Angeles market has proven to be resilient…and now, residential real estate in other parts of the country are enjoying growth. Across the nation, average sale prices, median sale prices, as well as average price per square foot, are substantially higher than they were at the beginning of 2011. Looking at the U.S. as a whole, the average price level is up by 24% and the median price point is more than 28% at this point in 2012!
Looking at those statistics on a local level, in Santa Monica, comparing Apr-11 vs. Apr-12, the median price of for sale properties is up 11% > from $899,000 to $995,000 and the median price of sold properties is up 8% from $810,000 to $875,000.
Santa Monica Median For Sale vs. Median Sold
Sellers take note > Santa Monica has flipped to a seller’s market. Buyers are purchasing virtually anything they can get their hands on. Last month, the number of under contract properties was up 57% from two years ago. Well-priced properties are going into multiple offers. Additionally, the Santa Monica Mirror reports that investors and developers have come back into the market, and older homes and those in need of repairs in strong locations with good sized lots are in strong demand.
Santa Monica Under Contract Properties by Month
Looking at the past two years, the average months supply of inventory is down 62.7%. We were sitting at a 6.3 month supply in April 2011, vs. a mere 2.4 months supply of properties last month. If you’ve been on the fence thinking about selling, now is a great time. Prices are up, inventory is well down, and buyers are like kids with their noses pressed to the bakery window…just waiting for the opportunity to devour what is hot and available to them.
Santa Monica Months Supply of Inventory
Sellers > listen, Listen, and LISTEN! With all of this demand, no one is taking action… or perhaps needing to take action. If you look at Apr-10 vs. Apr-12, the number of new properties on the market is down 29%.
Prospective sellers, let us leave you with one last statistic. When comparing Apr-11 to Apr-12 > the number of for sale properties is down 25% and the number of sold properties is up 11%.
Santa Monica Supply & Demand by Month
Santa Monica has the buyers…what we need now are willing sellers. We’re here to help you with your property needs. Please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – email@example.com or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.
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