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Santa Cruz County real estate review October 2019

Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Los Gatos Mountains & San Lorenzo Valley home prices

3rd_Qtr_2019_Avg_Prices_100719

AFFORDABLE HOMES NEAR THE SILICON VALLEY:

Average single family home prices continue to range between $1 to $1.5 million across Santa Cruz County and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.    Many people who work in the Silicon Valley are delighted to discover affordable housing in the San Lorenzo Valley –  within 45 minutes to an hour’s commute to major employers like Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, etc…        The San Lorenzo Valley offers a more relaxed, rural lifestyle at about half the price of neighboring Scotts Valley, which combines the conveniences of a small city with a sense of community.   Santa Cruz home prices have been stable at about $1.1 million, where residents can enjoy legendary parks and beaches, plus a variety of shopping and restaurants, night life and amenities available in a city of about 60,000 residents.

  

SUMMARY:

San Lorenzo Valley sales prices softened a bit in the 3rd quarter, as the number of homes listed for sale increased.    The number of home sales rose as well, while buyers who’d faced stiff competition in the past found it easier to win the bidding process without necessarily having to offer much over asking price.      On average, homes sold for 100% of list price.

Scotts Valley home prices fell slightly from the 2nd quarter, but remained up over 9% compared to the same period last year, while the number of sales held steady.

Laurel road near Hwy 17 in Los Gatos edited.jpgLos Gatos mountains region had a measurably lower average price in the 3rd quarter, but it was due to an anomaly: just 11 homes sold for over $1 million and the highest price was $1.7 million.  3 homes sold for less than $500,000 (one with a code violation, one a contractor special, and one quite remote and off the grid).   During the 2nd quarter, this region experienced a more typical 26 homes selling in excess of $1 million; 2 were over $2 million.

Santa Cruz – the city – saw home price appreciation of 2.4% during the 3rd quarter compared to the 2nd quarter, as the number of homes sold declined by over 10%.    Prices were just 1.7% lower than this time last year.

Santa Cruz County as a whole saw single family home prices easing about 5% compared to the 2nd quarter, but prices were flat compared to a year ago.    The number of home sold rose about 6% over the 2nd quarter but was level with the number sold last year.

Santa Clara County experienced a combination of price easing and slower sales overall, after many years of rapid appreciation.    Average prices rolled back to the average reached in the 2nd quarter of 2018.

Days on market – on average across Santa Cruz County, it takes 4 to 5½ weeks for a home to go into escrow with a buyer now, continuing a trend that’s been increasing several days each quarter.

California’s August statewide results according to the California Association of REALTORS:  median home price rose 1.5% to $617,410 when compared to July’s median of $607,990.    This was up 3.6% compared to the August 2018 median of $595,920.

CoreLogic reported July’s overall mortgage delinquencies remain at their lowest rate in 20 years nationally.    Many experts believe stricter mortgage guidelines and higher down payments over the past decade will prevent a real estate crisis when the next economic downturn occurs.    Just four states experienced increased delinquencies:               Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and Minnesota.

Mortgage interest rates – after a brief increase in interest rates earlier this year, recently the 30 year mortgage rate dipped to 3.63%, even lower than last quarter’s 3.99%.    These rates are historically incredibly low and appealing to home buyers.     Many homeowners can benefit from refinancing now – consult your loan professional, or reach out to me if you need references to excellent local lenders.

As you look at the price chart, remember some of these micro markets (like Brookdale) have so few home sales, that percentage changes aren’t statistically significant and average prices can be dramatically skewed when one of the few sales exceed a million dollars.    It’s more useful to look at the San Lorenzo Valley as a whole.

INVENTORY:

Months_of_Inventory_100819

These charts illustrate housing inventory over the past three years.   Around six months of housing inventory is considered a market that is balanced between buyers and sellers.   These graphs show that both regions continue to experience an inventory shortage of just two to three months of inventory.   That means, at the current rate of sales, we’d run out of homes for sale in just two to three months.

At the time of this writing, San Lorenzo Valley has 86 single family homes for sale (vs 84 last quarter), compared to 80 at this time last year.     Scotts Valley has 39 (vs 51 last quarter), compared to 32 homes for sale at this time last year.      Santa Cruz, despite having four times the population of Scotts Valley, has 63 homes for sale (vs 72 last quarter), compared to 68 at this time last year.

ECONOMY

Economic growth as measured by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was 2.1% during the 2nd quarter, (3.1% during the 1st quarter of 2019, and 2.2% in the 4th quarter of 2018).     Consumer price increases (a measure of inflation – something the Federal Reserve monitors closely) was 1.7% in August (1.8% in May 1.5% in January and considerably lower than 2.9% in July 2018).    The unemployment rate remains steady at 3.6%     (3.7% nationwide in January).    Wages grew at a 4% rate during June (versus 3% in May and 4.5% during this period last year).

 

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY’S APPEAL:

 

Scotts Valley Clouds

Photo Credit: John Urwin

People from the Silicon Valley are enchanted to discover Santa Cruz County’s appeal.   We have dozens of parks for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, horse-back riding, swimming, skateboarding and surfing.    There are dozens of beaches, from popular to serene, walk-in to hike-in, as well as dog-friendly Lighthouse Field State Beach.   The Santa Cruz lifestyle is informal: we cherish our slower pace.   With 1/3 the population density of Santa Clara County, there’s more room to spread out in Santa Cruz County, and consequently lower stress and crime rates.    (Just 440 people/square mile live here, compared to 1400 people/square mile living in Santa Clara County.)  Most homes have high speed internet, and increasingly, companies are allowing employees to work from home at least part of the time. Many people say they enjoy driving through the mountains to work, versus sitting in traffic and spending a lot more money to live in Santa Clara County.

CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?   Visit www.HomeValues24-7.com  for a quick and easy estimate!    If you’re thinking of selling, I’ll help you by suggesting cost effective ways to make your home appeal to more buyers.    My customized marketing plan is exceptional: contact me to discover why I have so many repeat clients like these.

LOOKING FOR YOUR DREAM HOME?     Click here!   I’ll help you secure financing, negotiate with the seller, attend inspections with you, review disclosures and potential red flags, and…hand you the keys!

REAL ESTATE MARKETS ARE LOCAL:

The advice of a knowledgeable local REALTOR®, who can intelligently discuss neighborhoods and price trends, is invaluable.  Hire a REALTOR® you can trust, who has enough time to dedicate to you!    I will help you untangle the maze of decisions, preparations, negotiations, inspections, title and disclosures as you buy or sell your home.    Relocating? – I can also connect you to a trust-worthy REALTOR® wherever you’re going.   My goal is to make the entire process easier to understand, less stressful, and as cost effective as possible for you.

Welcome BearWhenever you have real estate questions,    just text or call MC at (831) 419-9759, or, e-mail me at mcd@mcdwyer.com

I’d love to help you buy or sell your home. Your home is your castle; I’ll treat you like royalty!

Click here to look at homes for sale or sign up for your own custom home alert.

Sources:  MLSListings.com, Reuters, California Association of REALTORs, REALTOR.org, ActiveRain.com, Mercury News, CoreLogic, FreddieMac, MortgageNewsDaily.com, Google.     Month to month home sales prices fluctuate widely in small communities and cities, especially when property sales range between million dollar estates and fixer upper properties.   Because of this, percentage and average price changes often aren’t statistically meaningful for short time intervals.      *All stats as of October 8, 2019:  MLSListings.com single family residences.

Santa Cruz area Real Estate Market Report July 2019

2nd_Qtr_2019_Avg_Prices_070919

AFFORDABLE HOMES NEAR THE SILICON VALLEY:

With average single family home prices of $1 to $1.5 million across the Bay Area, affordability concerns continue to push people who work in the Silicon Valley to seek affordable housing anywhere within about an hour’s commute.    The San Lorenzo Valley sparkles with some of the most attractive prices anywhere in the greater bay area, within just about a 45 minute to 1 hour commute to most major employers (Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Netflix…).    For those who prefer a small city, Scotts Valley offers a quick commute, followed by Santa Cruz with its great beaches, shopping, night life and many amenities.

SUMMARY:

The 2nd quarter trend picked up momentum in the number of sales as well as price appreciation across all areas.      On average in our region, it takes three to four weeks for a home to go into escrow with a buyer now; slightly longer than last year.    Looking at statewide numbers, California Association of REALTORS just reported May’s statewide median home price was $611,190, up 1.4 percent from April and up 1.7 percent from May 2018.     The National Association of REALTORS reported that the national median existing-home sales price (all housing types) was $277,700 in April, up 4.8% from a year ago, the 87th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.    CoreLogic reports serious mortgage delinquencies are at their lowest rate in 20 years nationally.

After a slow start to 2019, many more homes were listed and sold during the second quarter.   After a brief increase in interest rates earlier this year, recently the 30 year mortgage rate has fallen back down to 3.99%, historically very low and appealing to buyers who’d paused, waiting for better conditions.    Consumer confidence is rising, and the number of IPOs (Initial public stock offerings) in the SF Bay Area has brought new wealth to the region….some of which is funneling into real estate.

As you look at the price chart, remember some of these micro markets (like Brookdale & Lompico) have so few home sales, that percentage changes aren’t statistically significant and average prices can be dramatically skewed when one of the few sales exceed a million dollars.    It’s more useful to look at the San Lorenzo Valley as a whole, where prices rose about 5% over the 1st quarter of 2019, and were a tad lower than the same time last year.

Scotts Valley had the largest shift with 35 million dollar plus sales during the 2nd quarter of 2019, up from just 12 home sales in that price segment during the 1st quarter of 2019.     The most expensive home, a 5500 square foot Pasatiempo estate with Monterey Bay views, sold for $4.5 million, while the least expensive home sold for $650,000.

Santa Cruz County as a whole rose a solid 9% over the first quarter, and 13% over the same time last year, closely following the trends in Santa Clara County.

INVENTORY:

Months_of_Inventory_070919

These charts illustrate housing inventory over the past three years.   Around six months of housing inventory is considered a market that is balanced between buyers and sellers.   These graphs show that both regions continue to experience an inventory shortage of just two to three months of inventory.   That means, at the current rate of sales, we’d run out of homes for sale in just two to three months.

At the time of this writing, San Lorenzo Valley has 84 single family homes for sale (up from 40 in January and similar to this time last year.     Scotts Valley has 51 (up from January’s 24 homes and more than last year).   Santa Cruz, despite having four times the population of Scotts Valley, has 76 single family homes for sale, (up from just 38 in January and more than last year).

ECONOMY

The bond market has already priced in the expectation that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates soon.   As a result, interest rates on the 30 year fixed mortgage have fallen to around 4.00%,  (down from 4.6% in January.) Click here to see today’s 30 year fixed rate mortgages rates   People who purchased at recent levels of 5% or higher may want to discuss the prospect of refinancing with their lenders.

Economic growth as measured by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) rose to 3.1% during the 1st quarter of 2019, (2.2% in the 4th quarter).     Consumer price increases (a measure of inflation – something the Federal Reserve monitors closely) was 1.8% in May (up from 1.5% in January but down from 2.9% in July 2018).    The unemployment rate is holding steady at 3.6%     (3.7% nationwide in January).    Wages grew 3% (over May 2018),  about 1.3% growth after inflation.

DAYS ON THE MARKET:

In contrast to Santa Clara County homes, which went into escrow within about three weeks of being listed, San Lorenzo Valley homes take on average three weeks to a month to go into escrow.    Some properties still sell within the first week or two, while others take a couple of months to find a buyer.     Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz city homes typically take 4-5 weeks to go into escrow, while Santa Clara County is back down to about 3 weeks.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY’S APPEAL:

People from the Silicon Valley are enchanted to discover Santa Cruz County with all of our parks for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, horse-back riding, and skateboarding.    There are dozens of beaches, from popular to serene, walk-in to hike-in, some dog-friendly.   The Santa Cruz lifestyle is informal: we cherish our slower pace.   With 1/3 the population density of Santa Clara County, there’s more room to spread out in Santa Cruz County, and consequently lower stress and crime rates.    (Just 440 people/square mile live here, compared to 1400 people/square mile living in Santa Clara County.)   Many people say they enjoy driving through the mountains to work, versus sitting in traffic and spending a lot more money to live in Santa Clara County.

CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?   Visit www.HomeValues24-7.com  for a quick and easy estimate!    If you’re thinking of selling, I’ll help you evaluate cost effective ways to make your home appeal to buyers.    My customized marketing plan is exceptional: contact me to discover why I have so many repeat clients like these.

LOOKING FOR YOUR DREAM HOME?     Click here!   I’ll help you secure financing, negotiate with the seller, attend inspections with you, review disclosures and potential red flags, and…hand you the keys!

REAL ESTATE MARKETS ARE LOCAL:

The advice of a knowledgeable local REALTOR®, who can intelligently discuss neighborhoods and price trends, is invaluable.  Hire a REALTOR® you can trust, who has enough time to dedicate to you!    I will help you untangle the maze of decisions, preparations, negotiations, inspections, title and disclosures as you buy or sell your home.    Relocating? – I can also connect you to a trust-worthy REALTOR® wherever you’re going.   My goal is to make the entire process easier to understand, less stressful, and as cost effective as possible for you.

Minolta DSC
Photo Credit John Urwin

Whenever you have real estate questions,    just text or call MC at (831) 419-9759, or, e-mail me at mcd@mcdwyer.com

I’d love to help you buy or sell your home. Your home is your castle; I’ll treat you like royalty!

Click here to look at homes for sale or sign up for your own custom home alert.

Sources:  MLSListings.com, Reuters, REALTOR.org, ActiveRain.com, Mercury News, CoreLogic, FreddieMac, BankRate.com, Google.     Month to month home sales prices fluctuate widely in small communities and cities, especially when property sales range between million dollar estates and fixer upper properties.   Because of this, percentage and average price changes often aren’t statistically meaningful for short time intervals.      *All stats as of July 9, 2019:  MLSListings.com single family residences.

Santa Cruz mountains Real estate market update 3rd Quarter 2018

Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley

Real estate market update

3rd Quarter 2018

Q3_18_PRICES

SUMMARY:  Home prices began to soften in some communities over the last quarter.   Still, prices are higher than this time last year across the majority of areas.    Since there are more homes for sale now compared to this spring, homes are taking about a week longer to sell in Santa Cruz County.   Still, there aren’t enough homes for sale compared to the number of buyers looking.    In addition to location and amenities, buyers tend to be concerned about locking in low interest rates and avoiding unexpected repair costs.

Sellers are most concerned about prices, the timing of buying while selling, and moving to their next house.   Talking to my clients, some people say they would sell, if they could only figure out where to retire affordably.    Call me, I’ve been doing research on this exact question!  VOTE:  Look for a proposition on the November ballot where California homeowners can move their property tax basis across counties within the state.   This could make it easier for people to sell and move.

Q3 18 Housing Inventory Graph

INVENTORY

These charts show the region’s inventory is increasing as more homes come on the market across the region with fewer buyers pursuing them.   As an example, two months of inventory means that if no new homes were listed, all the homes on the market would sell within two months.    We’re still in a sellers’ market.    The housing shortage persists: inventory ranges between a low of 2 months in Santa Clara County to a high of 3.5 months in the San Lorenzo Valley.     Although the housing shortage keeps upward pressure on prices, the rate of price increases is slowing as the market transitions into a more normal balance between buyers and sellers.   This trend could continue as we move into the fall and then the holiday season.   A real estate market that’s balanced between buyers and sellers usually has around six months of inventory.

San Lorenzo Valley has about 80 single family homes for sale (up 10 since last quarter and more than double the number for sale at the beginning of the year).     Scotts Valley has 32 homes (down from 37 last quarter), while Santa Cruz, despite having four times the population of Scotts Valley, has just 68 single family homes for sale, (down from 80 last quarter).

ECONOMY

As widely expected, the cost to borrow went up again last week as the Federal Reserve steered the economy by increasing Fed rates to 2.25% due to consistent economic growth (4.2% in the 2nd quarter of 2018), and consumer price increases around 2.9%.    The unemployment rate remains low at about 3.9% nationwide.    Wages still haven’t increased as much as workers hope, but are up around 4.5 – 5% this year.

Click here to see today’s 30 year fixed rate mortgages rates, averaging 4.7% at the time of this article.  The Fed is widely expected to increase rates once more in 2018, typically at 0.25% each time, unless there’s a global economic disruption.   Many experts think mortgage interest rates around 5% may soon be normal.    (Historically, this is still considered low).

SILICON VALLEY HOMES  continue to appreciate but at a slower pace lately:  around 3% over the last two quarters, compared to previous quarterly price appreciation rates of 8%.   Home price averages remain around $1.5 million.    To find an affordable home, many buyers have to cast a wider net, yet want to stay within commute distance to the Silicon Valley.   Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz and San Lorenzo Valley areas offer relatively more affordable homes still within about an hour’s commute of the Silicon Valley.   One of my specialties is helping people relocate here!

PRICES    Average home prices remained around $700,000 between Boulder Creek and Felton, (San Lorenzo Valley: SLV).   Even though housing is less than half the cost of the Silicon Valley, SLV remains relatively unknown despite its variety of relatively affordable homes for Silicon Valley’s employees.    Ben Lomond enjoyed the strongest rate of appreciation this last quarter, with 5 home sales over $1 million, while the Lompico region was the lowest.

Prefer city amenities?   Scotts Valley offers a sense of community that only a small city can offer.    Scotts Valley has dedicated express and company buses over to Silicon Valley.   But this location demands higher prices, averaging about $1.2 million.      Both SLV and SV are less than an hour’s commute from Apple or Alphabet/ Google.    The city of Santa Cruz is just 15 minutes further, with beaches, nightlife and shopping, at about the same price range of $1.13 million.   In the city of Santa Cruz, home prices were nearly flat … Similarly, Los Gatos Mountains average prices were essentially flat to slightly lower.

If you’re looking in the under $600,000 price range, (often a 2 bedroom home on about a ¼ acre of sloped land, or perhaps a condo in the cities),  expect to compete with investors and first time buyers.  If you’re my client, I’ll share a few tips with you – things you haven’t thought of – to help you compete.    It’s still possible to find a 3 bedroom home: look in Boulder Creek, Lompico, or the upper hills of Ben Lomond.     If you’re shopping in the $1 million range, you can buy a lovely 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on a larger property anywhere in the San Lorenzo Valley: Boulder Creek to Felton.

As you look at the chart, remember some of these micro markets (unincorporated areas like Lompico and Brookdale) have so few home sales, that percentage changes aren’t statistically significant.

DAYS ON THE MARKET   Homes across the Silicon Valley spend an average time on market of about three weeks now (compared to under two weeks last quarter).   Santa Cruz County homes are on the market about a month before going into escrow (versus 3 weeks last quarter).  The Santa Cruz area still experiences overflow pressure from the Silicon Valley.   Affordable Santa Cruz County homes receive typically offers within the first 3 weeks, unless there is an unusual characteristic not accounted for by the price.   On average, million dollar plus homes are taking longer to sell across Santa Cruz County: up to 7 weeks (compared to 4 weeks last quarter).      Still, Santa Cruz County home sellers who price their properties intelligently compared to their competition will see faster results.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY’S APPEAL   Many people from the Silicon Valley are enchanted when they discover Santa Cruz, with all of our parks for hiking, climbing, horseback riding and mountain biking, and skateboarding.    There are dozens of beaches, from crowded to serene, walk-in to hike-in.   The Santa Cruz lifestyle is informal, and we cherish our slower pace.   There’s more room to spread out, and consequently lower stress, crime rates and smog.   Imagine experiencing the spaciousness of just 440 people per square mile here, compared to more than 3 times the density: 1400 people per square mile in Santa Clara County!   So many people tell me they enjoy driving through the mountains to work, rather than sitting in traffic and spending a lot more money to live in Santa Clara County.

CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?   Visit www.HomeValues24-7.com  for a quick and easy estimate!    If you’re thinking of selling, I’ll help you evaluate cost effective ways to make your home appeal to the most buyers.    My customized marketing plan is exceptional: contact me to discover why I have so many repeat clients like these.

LOOKING FOR YOUR DREAM HOME?     Click here!   I’ll help you secure financing, negotiate with the seller, attend inspections with you, review disclosures and potential red flags, and…hand you the keys!

REAL ESTATE MARKETS ARE LOCAL   The advice of a knowledgeable local REALTOR®, who can intelligently discuss neighborhoods and price trends, is invaluable.  Hire a REALTOR® you can trust, who has enough time to dedicate to you!    Experienced Realtors can help you untangle the maze of decisions, preparations, negotiations, inspections, title and disclosures as you buy or sell your home.    I can also give you referrals to trusted agents if you’re relocating.   My goal is to make the entire process easier to understand, less stressful, and as cost effective as possible for you.

Minolta DSC
Photo Credit John Urwin

Whenever you have real estate questions,    just text or call MC at (831) 419-9759, or, e-mail me at mcd@mcdwyer.com

I’d love to help you buy or sell your home. Your home is your castle; I’ll treat you like royalty!

Click here to look at homes for sale or sign up for your own custom home alert.

 

Sources:  MLSListings.com, Reuters, REALTOR.org, ActiveRain.com, Mercury News.     Month to month home sales prices fluctuate widely in small communities and cities, especially when property sales range between million dollar estates and fixer upper properties.   Because of this, percentage and average price changes often aren’t statistically meaningful for short time intervals.      *All stats as of October 1, 2018:  MLSListings.com single family residences only.

 

Santa Cruz County home prices and trends: Market Update 2nd quarter 2018

Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley real estate market update

2nd Quarter – through June 2018

Q2 2018 prices SUMMARY: Although there are more homes for sale now, there still are not enough to create a balanced market.    Buyers are most concerned about locking in low interest rates and avoiding unexpected costs.   Sellers are most concerned about the timing of buying while selling, and moving to their next house.    More people would sell, if they could only figure out where to retire affordably!

VOTE:  Look for a proposition on the November ballot where California homeowners can move their property tax basis across counties within the state.   This could make it easier for people to sell and move, improving conditions for both buyers and sellers!

Experienced Realtors can help untangle this maze of decisions, preparations, negotiations, inspections, loan, title and disclosure, and even referrals to trusted agents for relocating out of the area.   My goal is to make the entire process easier to understand, less stressful, and as cost effective as possible for you.

INVENTORY

Q2 2018 inventory

Across the board, more homes have been listed in each area, so buyers finally have some choices.    Still, these charts show the inventory shortage persists.     A real estate market that’s balanced between buyers and sellers usually has around six months of inventory.    This imbalance keeps upward pressure on prices:  Santa Cruz County has about 3 months of inventory, Santa Clara County just over 1 month.

The market continues to favor sellers.    A month of inventory means, if no new homes were listed, all the homes on the market would theoretically get sold within a month.

San Lorenzo Valley has about 70 homes for sale; double the number available at the beginning of the year.    Scotts Valley has 37 homes, but Santa Cruz at roughly four times the population has just 80 single family homes for sale.

ECONOMY

The cost to borrow went up again during the first half of 2018, as the Federal Reserve steered the economy by increasing Fed rates to 1.75%-2% due to economic growth, wages, deficits and consumer price increases.    Inflation remains low at around 2%, and the unemployment rate is a very low 3.5% nationwide.

Click here to see today’s 30 year fixed rate mortgages rates, averaging 4.5% at the time of this article.  The Fed is widely expected to increase rates twice more in 2018, typically at 0.25% each, unless there’s a global economic disruption.   So most experts think mortgage interest rates of 5% may soon be normal.    Historically, this is still considered low.

SILICON VALLEY HOMES  continue to appreciate – just look at that bottom line up over 20% since last year at this time,  now averaging $1.5 million.    Consequently, many buyers have to cast a wider net to find affordable homes within commute distance to the Silicon Valley.   Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz and San Lorenzo Valley areas offer relatively more affordable homes still within about an hour’s commute of the Silicon Valley.   One of my specialties is helping people relocate here!

PRICES    Average home prices rose to $700,000 between Boulder Creek and Felton, called the San Lorenzo Valley.   Even though housing is less than half the cost of the Silicon Valley, SLV remains a relatively unknown region despite it’s variety of relatively affordable homes for Silicon Valley’s employees.

For those who enjoy the amenities of a city, Scotts Valley has a sense of community that only a small city can offer.    Scotts Valley has dedicated express and company buses over to Silicon Valley.   But this location demands higher prices, averaging $1.175 million now.   Both SLV and SV are less than an hour’s commute from Apple or Alphabet/ Google.    The city of Santa Cruz is just 15 minutes further, with beaches, nightlife and shopping, in the same price range.

If you’re looking in the under $600,000 price range, (often a 2 bedroom home on about a ¼ acre of sloped property),  expect to compete with investors and first time buyers.  Let me share a few tips with you – things you won’t have thought of – to help you compete.  It’s still possible to find a 3 bedroom home: look in Boulder Creek, Lompico, or the upper hills of Ben Lomond.     If you’re in the $1 million range, you can buy a lovely 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on a larger property anywhere in the San Lorenzo Valley: Boulder Creek to Felton.

In the more populous city of Santa Cruz, home prices continue to appreciate… Similarly, Los Gatos Mountains averages rose also to about $1.2 million.    As you look at the chart, remember some of these micro markets (unincorporated areas like Lompico and Brookdale) have so few home sales, that percentage changes aren’t statistically significant.

DAYS ON THE MARKET   The Silicon Valley housing market is sizzling: the average time on market is less than two weeks.   Santa Cruz County homes are on the market about 3 weeks on average, reflecting the overflow pressure from the Silicon Valley.   Affordable Santa Cruz County homes receive multiple offers within the first 2-3 weeks typically, unless there is an unusual characteristic not accounted for by the price.   On average, million dollar plus homes took a bit longer to sell here: 4 weeks.      Still, Santa Cruz County home sellers who price their properties intelligently compared to their competition will see faster results.

Summit Road at sunset Jan 15

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY’S APPEAL   Many people from the Silicon Valley are enchanted when they discover Santa Cruz, with all of our parks for hiking, climbing, horseback riding and mountain biking, skateboarding, and volleyball games at the beach!    There are dozens of beaches, from crowded to serene, walk in to hike in.   The Santa Cruz lifestyle is informal, and we cherish our slower pace.   There’s more room to spread out, and consequently lower stress, crime rates and smog.   Imagine the difference between 1400 people per square mile in Santa Clara County, versus 440 here!   So many people tell me they enjoy driving through the mountains to work, rather than sitting in traffic and spending a lot more money to live in Santa Clara County.

CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?   Visit www.HomeValues24-7.com  for a quick and easy estimate!    If you’re thinking of selling, I’ll help you evaluate cost effective ways to make your home appeal to the most buyers.    My customized marketing plan is exceptional: contact me to discover why I have so many repeat clients like these.

LOOKING FOR YOUR DREAM HOME?     Click here!   I’ll help you secure financing, negotiate with the seller, attend inspections with you, review disclosures and potential red flags, and…hand you the keys!

REAL ESTATE MARKETS ARE LOCAL   The advice of a knowledgeable local REALTOR®,  who can intelligently discuss neighborhoods and price trends, is invaluable.  Select someone you can trust, who has enough time to dedicate to you!  

Minolta DSC
photo credit: John Urwin

Whenever you have real estate questions,    just text or call MC at (831) 419-9759, or, e-mail me at mcd@mcdwyer.com

I’d love to help you buy or sell your home. Your home is your castle; I’ll treat you like royalty!

Click here to look at homes for sale or sign up for your own custom home alert.

 

Sources:  MLSListings.com, Reuters, REALTOR.org, ActiveRain.com, Mercury News.     Month to month home sales prices fluctuate widely in small communities and cities, especially when property sales range between million dollar estates and fixer upper properties.   Because of this, percentage and average price changes often aren’t statistically meaningful for short time intervals.      *All stats as of July 9, 2018:  MLSListings.com single family residences.

 

Santa Cruz and San Lorenzo Valley real estate report

Santa Cruz and San Lorenzo Valley real estate prices & trends 2017-2018

This might offend a few people, but, honestly, most of the 27 affordable Santa Cruz County homes for sale (priced under $600,000) right now aren’t suitable for you, your sister, your aunt or your uncle…although a couple might work for grandparents (retirement community). You’re going to need an experienced, boots-on-the-ground REALTOR® like me helping you save time sifting through this chaff.    That said, there are a hand full of good affordable homes…

hyena-2323344_1280 from PixabayAnything decent, priced appropriately, is quickly circled by a teeth gnashing pack of hungry buyers, only one of which will win the bone – I mean home. Okay, teeth gnashing is an exaggeration, and I really do like working with buyers. Still, it’s really competitive right now, so if you’re thinking of buying, call or text me: I can help you prepare a successful purchase strategy.

2 BUYER TIPS:  Get pre-approved for a loan before you shop for homes – this way you can clean up any issues on your credit report that may cost you a higher interest rate.   Plus then you can focus on the house purchase, having finished all the lender paperwork.     Don’t wait until the weekend to shop…many homes sell on weekdays!

And if you’re reading this because you’re thinking of selling – call me now! Don’t wait until spring (or worse).

2 SELLER TIPs: I’ll help you prioritize how to get the property ready at the least cost.   It nearly always takes sellers longer to get their property ready than they think it will.

THE INVENTORY BLUES This housing shortage is the worst I’ve seen in years.   It’s not just seasonal – here are graphs going back for years.

Housing Inventory Graph SLV SCC SCC 011218For a frame of reference, a market evenly balanced between buyers and sellers has about 4-6 months’ worth of inventory for sale. Buyers are frustrated because there simply are not enough homes for sale, especially in the under $1 million price range.   Why buy now? Besides the inherent benefits to owning your own home (stability, control, wealth building, etc.), consider that prices and interest rates are both forecast to continue to rise, and rents are just plain exorbitant.

San Lorenzo Valley has only 31 homes for sale right now – that’s about half of the inventory level when I last reported in October. 9 of the 31 are priced at over $1 million. Buyers in that price range may be able to negotiate, since some of those homes have been on the market a month or longer…

Scotts Valley has only 11 homes for sale (normally 30+), while Santa Cruz – a far larger city – has only 22. It’s crazy. Right now, Santa Cruz County has only 175 single family homes for sale (down about 50% compared to late summer). If you’re considering selling your house – market conditions are incredible. Call me soon so I can help you strategize your next move.

Here are three affordable Santa Cruz Mountains homes I just helped sell:Just_Sold_3_homes_011218_facebook_blog

Oh, the stories I could tell about just these three transactions: The Buyers! The Sellers! The agents! The inspectors! The lenders! But, I never share confidential information. Two of these houses need new decks, one needs a new septic leach field, and one needs a new roof. Still, three would-be buyers left the negotiating tables empty handed. The point is, sellers need help disclosing and buyers need assistance understanding the condition of these kinds of affordable, Santa Cruz mountains properties.

BAY AREA’S HOUSING PROBLEM It’s not news that there are very few homes for sale in the region, and that’s driving prices up. Rental rates are high because vacancies are low. For 2018, buying an affordable home in the Santa Cruz Mountains is likely to get even harder. The reasons are complex:
• New jobs & people moving in to the region exceed people moving into larger homes, downsizing or leaving –home owners feel like there’s nowhere to go.
• Not enough new homes are being built (especially in Santa Cruz County).
• People are staying in their homes longer
o Retirees were already worried about keeping their tax basis
o Potential move-up buyers now worry about tax deductions
o This keeps the supply of homes for first time buyers low.
• A lot of entry level homes were foreclosed and then purchased for “all cash” over the past 6 years
o Those investors are getting a great return on their investment by renting the houses out … they’ve no reason to sell.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY REAL ESTATE

SUMMARY The number of homes sold across most of Santa Cruz County was steady in the 4th quarter, but prices diverged: Scotts Valley and Los Gatos mountains home prices rose under continued pressure from Silicon Valley home prices. Santa Cruz County homes were on the market for about 40 days –twice as long as Santa Clara County at just 19 days on average. Home prices were flat in the San Lorenzo Valley at the end of 2017, although the micro markets of each town moved up and down.

SC_RE_Stats_Q4_2017

PRICES Home prices in Scotts Valley along with Santa Cruz took a bit of a breather in the 4th quarter of 2017 compared to the 3rd quarter, but were still higher than last year. In Boulder Creek, two “homes” sold in the 4th quarter with separate MLS numbers for a total of $23,000 (neighboring shacks on slides), skewing prices temporarily. But Los Gatos Mountains continued it’s ascent as the closest community to the Silicon Valley, where average prices are now over $1.5 million. After years of double digit appreciation, average single family home price increases across the San Lorenzo Valley quieted during the last quarter of 2017. Lompico/ Zayante isn’t really in decline, there were just fewer higher end sales there. In fact, with the water supply situation stabilized, one of my main concerns is gone. Some of these micro markets (Lompico and Brookdale) have so few home sales that percentage changes aren’t statistically significant.

Affordable homes near Santa Cruz (priced $600,000 or less) are nearly non-existent right now. There are only 10 homes in this price range all across the San Lorenzo Valley, and many of them have “issues” and have been on the market for a couple of months. Let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend them for anyone you care about, unless you care about someone who is a contractor. Usually, the San Lorenzo Valley has some of the most affordable homes in Santa Cruz County: SLV real estate prices run about two thirds of the Santa Cruz County average.   Last quarter, many of my sales were in this price range.   Whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll need someone with my kind of experience to navigate the possible pitfalls in rural properties at this price.

CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH? Visit www.HomeValues24-7.com for a quick and easy estimate! If you’re thinking of selling, I’ll help you evaluate cost effective ways to make your home appeal to the most buyers. My customized marketing plan is exceptional: contact me to discover why I have so many repeat clients like these.

LOOKING FOR YOUR DREAM HOME? Click here! I’ll help you secure financing, negotiate with the seller, review disclosures and potential red flags, attend inspections with you, and…hand you the keys!   Plus, I’m readily available after you move in to offer local referrals and general assistance.

SILICON VALLEY The housing shortage in the Silicon Valley continues to drive the region’s prices higher. In Santa Clara County, the average price of a single family home in October reached $1.5 million. With an average home price of $630,000, the San Lorenzo Valley and Boulder Creek are a little known secret offering relaxing small town hide-a-ways for high tech workers. Boulder Creek’s affordable housing is less than an hour’s commute from Apple or Alphabet (Google). One of my specialties is helping people relocate here!

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY’S APPEAL People from the Silicon Valley are understandably enchanted by Santa Cruz: we have so many state parks for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking! There are dozens of beaches – from crowded to serene. We have small cities and towns. The Santa Cruz lifestyle is less formal and we adore the slower overall pace. There’s more room to spread out, and consequently lower stress, crime rates and smog. So many people tell me they enjoy driving through the mountains to work, rather than sitting in traffic and spending a lot more money to live in Santa Clara County.

REAL ESTATE MARKETS ARE LOCAL The advice of a knowledgeable local REALTOR®, who can show you the trends in your neighborhood and your specific kind of property and price range, is invaluable. Select someone you can trust, who knows your area well. Understanding pricing, analyzing location, property appeal and condition, requires local market intelligence. When choosing your REALTOR®, also consider if the agent has enough time to dedicate to you!

DAYS ON THE MARKET Santa Cruz County homes are on the market about 40 days on average before going into escrow with a buyer. Intelligently priced and especially affordable homes are selling quickly, usually receiving multiple offers within the first 2-3 weeks, others even faster.

INTEREST RATES & ECONOMY The big news is tax reform…new limitations on mortgage interest, sales tax and property tax deductions will affect many California homeowners. 30 year fixed rate mortgages rates averaged just over 4% for the past few months, still historically quite low.  But, the Federal Reserve intends to increase their benchmark interest rate for lending to banks several times this year.   The economy was estimated to grow about 3% over the 3rd quarter, and there’s minimal inflation (under 2%).  Jobs and employment are quite strong, with unemployment rate at just 4% nationwide. Housing affordability isn’t getting any better though, since earnings growth is slower than the increase in home prices across most of the nation. Silicon Valley incomes are growing at the 4th fastest rate in the nation., with radical innovations in the way we live continuing to pour out of the brilliant minds working in the Silicon Valley.

Sources: MLSListings.com (Single Family Residences), Reuters, Inman News, REALTOR.org, ActiveRain.com, Mercury News. Month to month home sales prices fluctuate widely in small communities and cities, especially when property sales range between multi million dollar estates and fixer upper / tear down properties. Because of this, percentage and average price changes often aren’t statistically meaningful for short time intervals. *All stats as of 1/09-12/2018: MLSListings.com single family residences only.

Santa Cruz Home Prices, Scotts Valley and SLV Home Prices, 2nd Quarter 2016

Here is a summary of San Lorenzo Valley, Los Gatos Mountains, Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz home prices.

Q2_2016_Santa_Cruz_County_SLV_SV_SC_statsPRICES   Average single family home prices in Santa Cruz County rose about 1% during the second quarter of 2016, following an increase of about 10% during the first quarter.     Some communities and price brackets remain “hot” with multiple buyers pursuing a limited number of homes.     The San Lorenzo Valley continues to be one of the most affordable regions in Santa Cruz County, with home prices at about 66% of the county average.

INVENTORY    The main issue facing the market is still too few homes for sale.    San Lorenzo Valley only has 49 single family homes for sale (versus 48 at the end of the 1st quarter).    Scotts Valley: 46 (41).   Los Gatos Mountains, 26 (29).    In contrast, the City of Santa Cruz has nearly twice the number of listings right now at 43 (26).

DAYS ON THE MARKET Santa Cruz County homes are on the market for about 25 to 32 days on average now before going into escrow with a buyer.  Well priced and particularly the most affordable homes are still selling quickly with multiple offers, but some upper middle to higher end listings are lingering on the market.   I believe part of this is because home prices are less affordable now for many entry level buyers.   It’s the entry level buyer that in many cases triggers current home owners’ ability  to buy a larger or better home, so it’s an inevitable chain reaction in my opinion.       Santa Cruz County now has 396 homes for sale in (compared to only 288 homes in the first quarter).

SILICON VALLEY Santa Cruz County is influenced by real estate conditions in the Silicon Valley.    In Santa Clara County, single family homes started 2015 at a median sales price of about $850,000…rising to about $945,000 by December 2015.   By March 2016, the average sales price was $1.38 million, holding relatively steadily through the end of July.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY’S APPEAL Besides the obvious appeal of our relatively lower home prices, many people from the Silicon Valley are enchanted by our beaches, numerous state parks, smaller cities and towns … The Santa Cruz lifestyle also conveys benefits like lower stress, crime rates and smog. I often hear people say they would rather commute through the mountains than sit in traffic and spend more money to live “over the hill.”       Right now I’m working with a first time home buyer who works “over there”, an investor who’d rather not pay rent for their UCSC-bound post-grad student, and some retirees who simply love it here.       The sellers I’m currently working with are retiring to mountains and lakes elsewhere.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – IS SANTA CRUZ COUNTY APPROACHING A REAL ESTATE BUBBLE?

Real estate typically moves in about 7-10 year cycles.    Here, we started to see appreciation around 2011, after the low in 2009.     Analysts are looking carefully at metro areas across the country to see if there are any bubble conditions yet.    Some of the factors that lead to bubbles include price appreciation that’s faster than wages and rents: San Jose and San Francisco arguably fall in this category.    On the other hand, mortgages have been difficult to obtain during this cycle, and renting is very expensive, so my feeling is the likelihood of default is pretty low.   Finally, population and jobs are growing faster than the rate of new construction throughout the Bay Area.     My hope is that this cycle functions more normally, moving toward price stability.   That’s how I interpret Santa Clara and Santa Cruz County home price comparisons between the first and second quarters this year.

The two sets of charts below illustrate this bit of a pause in the market right now:   A normal market, balanced between buyers and sellers, has about 6 months’ worth of housing inventory.   Santa Cruz County had about 2 ½ months of inventory at the beginning of the year.     Right now, there is about 3 ¾ months of inventory county wide, still in favor of sellers.    You can also see this is one of the factors that drove prices upward.  Now that there are more homes to choose from, prices are a bit subdued.     If this trend continues, it may increasingly favor home buyers.

SCC_Months_of_Inventory5_years__2016-07-25

SCC_Months_of_Inventory_2016_as_of_07-25

Next, you can see a correlation between months of inventory (a measure of supply and demand), and prices:

SCC_Sales_Prices_5_years_as_of_2016-07-25

Next: Santa Cruz County real estate price trends so far this year:

SCC_Sales_Prices_2016_as_of_07-25

REAL ESTATE MARKETS ARE HYPER LOCAL!   Nothing can replace the advice of a local and knowledgeable REALTOR® who can show you the specific trends in your neighborhood market and your specific price range.   Different communities and different price brackets definitely do not move in tandem. The question of how much a buyer should offer, or what price a seller should list at, takes in-depth research and knowledge!   Buyers or sellers should choose a REALTOR®who knows the inventory well and can knowledgeably compare a home’s asking price to other recent home sales.    I believe the best way to serve both my buyers and sellers is by consistently touring properties, talking to other agents, and tracking the final sales prices.

INTEREST RATES Given the weakness in the global economy, compounded by the uncertainty of “Brexit,” many think the Federal Reserve will pause and let the market absorb their first increase in interest rates in a decade last December.    Right now the market is expecting at most one more increase this year.   Most buyers are still able to get mortgage rates in the high 3% to low 4% range, depending on personal factors.

Curious what your home is worth?   Visit www.HomeValues24-7.com  for a quick and easy estimate!    If you are considering selling, I’ll help you evaluate cost effective ways to make your home appeal to the most buyers.    My customized marketing plan is exceptional: contact me to discover why I have so many repeat clients.

Looking for your dream home?     I’ll help you secure financing, negotiate with the seller, review disclosures and potential red flags, attend inspections with you, and…hand you the keys!

*Statistically, these communities had too few home sales for the percentage changes to be meaningful.

Sources:  MLSListings.com (Single Family Residences), Reuters, Inman News, REALTOR.org, ActiveRain.com, Mercury News

 

Santa Cruz Real Estate Prices 2016

Here are the latest real estate prices around Santa Cruz County for the first quarter of 2016

Santa_Cruz_Real_Estate_Q1_2016

On average, single family residence prices in Santa Cruz County rose about 10% during the first quarter over the last quarter of 2015.  As you can see in the above chart, each micro-zone is moving in a different direction.   Scotts Valley had an unusually high number of million dollar plus sales in the first quarter, so I believe the 20% figure is an anomaly.   Brookdale only had one sale – a foreclosed home.     Ben Lomond got off to a very slow start in 2016.    San Lorenzo Valley had far fewer upper end home sales during the first quarter, on about half the sales volume of the 4th quarter 2015.     Why?

The most widespread problem is that there are very few homes for sale!     Right now, San Lorenzo Valley only has 48 single family homes for sale.    Scotts Valley, 41.   Los Gatos Mountains, 29.   City of Santa Cruz 26.    Only 288 homes are for sale in Santa Cruz County!   The following chart shows the problem clearly.    A normal market, balanced between buyers and sellers, has about 6 months’ worth of housing inventory.   We have about 2 months of inventory.     You can also see in the charts below that this is one of the factors that is driving prices upward.

SCC_Sales_Prices_5_years_as_of_2016-04-14SCC_Months_of_Inventory_2016-04-14

CA_has_12_of_the_top_20_hottest_markets_in_the_US

Santa Cruz County is influenced by real estate conditions in the Silicon Valley, where prices continue to rise.    In Santa Clara County, single family homes started the year 2015 at a median sales price of about $850,000…rising to about $945,000 by December 2015.   By March 2016, the average sales price was $1.38 million.      One of my buyers was interested in a San Jose home that got multiple offers, over $100,000 above asking price – about 12%.

Fortunately for buyers in Santa Cruz County, while multiple offers are still common, the amount the average buyer has to pay above asking price is far less, on average:

Santa Cruz County                                                     Santa Clara County

SCC_Sales_Price_to_List_Price_2016-04-14.pngSanta_Clara_Sales_to_List_Price2016-04-14.png

The question of how much a buyer should offer is tricky: here’s where an experienced local REALTOR can really help you!   Choose an agent who knows the inventory well and can knowledgeably compare the desired home’s asking price to other recent home sales.

Our more affordable housing continues to attract Silicon Valley commuters, as well as second home buyers, investors, and retirees.    The lifestyle here holds appeal for people who would rather live closer to beaches and mountains, parks and recreation, amidst a lower population density which conveys benefits like lower stress, crime and smog.

Given the weakness in the global economy, many think the Federal Reserve will pause and let the market absorb their first increase in interest rates in a decade.    Right now the market is expecting one more increase this year, although some Fed Board Members are still talking about multiple rate increases.      December’s 0.25% increase in the Fed Funds rate has not affected the 30 year mortgage rate significantly, most likely because the increase was already factored in by the market.     Most buyers are still able to get mortgage rates in the low 4% range.

I’ll close with comments about the new consumer disclosure laws that went into effect in October of 2015.     “TRID” (TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure, also known among agents as “The Reason I Drink”) has delayed closing schedules for months now, as lenders and title companies get used to the new requirements and adapt their internal software systems.     Many of the escrows I’ve closed were affected by delays ranging from a few days to as much as two weeks.

Curious what your home is worth?   Visit www.HomeValues24-7.com  for a quick and easy estimate!    If you are considering selling, I’ll help you evaluate cost effective ways to make your home sparkle.    My customized marketing plan is exceptional: contact me to see why I have so many repeat clients.

Looking for your dream home?     I’ll help you find financing, negotiate with the seller, inspect what concerns you, and hand you the keys!

*Statistically, some communities had too few home sales for the percentage changes to be meaningful.

Sources:  my independent research using MLSListings.com (Single Family Residences), Reuters, Inman News, REALTOR.org, ActiveRain.com, Mercury News

 

San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley Home Prices – August 2014

The Mercury News reports the housing market is cooling off across the San Francisco Bay Area, where median sales prices rose 10% year over year.*     I consider this as a good sign, as prices have already recovered to their pre-2007 level in several counties. Alameda is about even, but Santa Clara and San Mateo have appreciated beyond the last peak.   Continued price appreciation would be unsustainable as housing gets too expensive for the entry level buyer.   It’s the first time buyer that allows would-be move-up buyers to sell their homes and reinvest into homes that better suit their needs.

Spoiler alert – look at the charts below to see a possible upcoming change in the Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley balance between buyer and seller during the first 2 weeks of September.

Average home prices rose 5% in the San Lorenzo Valley between August 2013 and 2014, and 6.7% in Scotts Valley year over year.

Days on Market increased in both regions: SLV rose from 43 days to 50 days, while Scotts Valley rose from an astonishingly low 19 days to a more reasonable 53 days.     But that doesn’t mean buyers can dilly dally around: 30% of SLV homes were in escrow within 2 weeks; similarly 31% of Scotts Valley homes were in escrow within 2 weeks.

Number of Homes Sold was incredibly stable year to year: 37 homes sold in the SLV during August 2104 vs. 39 homes the previous year.     16 homes sold in Scotts Valley each August.

2014 SLV & SV home prices 1st half of 2014, vs. 1st half of 2013

Town Price

Change

#

Sales

Average Price 2014 Days on

Market

Sales Price

  1. List Price
Boulder Creek +23% 68 $439,431 52 98.75%
Brookdale +4.6% 4 $377,638 22 96.7%
Ben Lomond +33% 31 $560,713 40 98.8%
Felton +10% 39 $462,077 52 99.5%
Scotts Valley +6.6% 81 $801,405 60 99%


Where is the market headed next?   To address this question, I look at the balance of housing inventory (the number of homes on the market) compared to buyer demand. For the first 8 months of 2014, we had less than 6 months of housing inventory – considered a sellers’ market, because there were more buyers competing for homes.   It’s too early to predict a solid trend with just half a month’s data in September – but I’m watching this!

SLV_Housing_Inventory_2014-09-12 Scotts Valley Months of Inventory        

SV_Housing_Inventory_2014-09-12                SLV Months of Inventory

Looking to buy a home? Call me – the market looks like it may finally be tipping in your favor!   Still, there are several important tips I’d be happy to share with you, so you are in the best possible position to take advantage of today’s low mortgage interest rates, still under 4.5% for most buyers.

Thinking about selling? Check with me – your home may be worth more than you think!      I can come take a look at your property and help you create a checklist for the most cost effective, proven techniques for getting your house ready to sell. Then I can give you a market value range.   Are you worried about how to buy a home at the same time as you’re selling?   I’ve several strategies I’d be happy to share with you.   There are ways to handle the timing.   Call me: let’s create a plan that’s comfortable for you.

What are people saying about buying / selling with MC?   Click here to find out!

Call MC Dwyer, Century 21 Showcase REALTORs, (831) 419-9759.

*Source: Core Logic Data Quick / Mercury News

**Source: single family homes sold through MLSListings.com, zones 34-37, excluding an unusually high priced $2.25 million property sold in Boulder Creek in 2013, and zones 39-41.

Gallery

Scotts Valley Real Estate Market Update – January – April 2013

Scotts Valley Home Prices through April 2013

 55 Single Family Homes have sold in Scotts Valley through April this year, at an average price of $744,960; (average list price was $753,585).   Prices rose about 8.8% during the first 4 months of 2013, compared to the last 4 months of 2012.    The average home sales price for the last four months ending December 31st 2012, was $692,436, based on 72 sales.

The price increase between this year and last can be partially attributed to the fact that this year, only 14 homes sold for $500,000 or less, while 17 homes sold in that price range between September and December 2012.

8 homes sold for over $1 million so far in 2013, the same as the last 4 months of 2012.     Often, these million dollar plus properties are located in the exclusive gated communities of Pasatiempo or nearby Woods Cove.

For the average priced, $750,000 home, Scotts Valley buyers can expect 3 bedrooms and 2-3 baths, about 2200 square foot  home, on a lot between ¼ up to about ½ an acre.

Housing inventory was extraordinarily low this last winter, most recently running about 2-4 months.    Anytime the inventory of available homes to buy falls under a 6 month supply, it’s considered a sellers’ market.

Housing Inventory in Scotts Valley CA

The most expensive home sold so far this year closed for $1.8 million:  4300 square feet featuring ocean views.     In contrast, the least expensive home sold for $270,000: a 2 bed, 2 bath cabin on a small shady lot; it sold for $21,000 over asking price.

The next chart illustrates how quickly homes have been selling recently: on average, homes are on the market just 2 ½ months.    The discount between list and sales price remains fairly narrow at about 1-3%.

Scotts Valley Homes Days on Market, and Sales Price as a Percentage of List Price

Click here to read more about the city of Scotts Valley.

Click here to get a free, no obligation estimate of your home’s current market value.

Statistical Source: MLSListings.com – Single Family Residence closed escrows, zones 39-41, data as of 5/2/13    Photo  of Woods Cove Credit John Urwin