Coachella Valley home sales, prices up in January
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Coachella Valley home sales got a strong start in 2017, according to data from real estate research firm CoreLogic DataQuick.
There were 724 sales in Coachella Valley ZIP codes recorded in January, a 10 percent rise over January 2016. Sales of existing homes and condos rose by double-digit percentages year-over-year. But sales of new homes slid 22 percent, continuing a months-long slowing in that sector.
Desert homes sold for a median price of $304,000, or $174 per square foot, about a 4 percent increase year over year.
"We're right in line with the (goal of a) 4 percent rise in prices every year. We're exactly where we need to be," said Diana Bernardi, president of the California Desert Association of Realtors. "It's steady and it's been busy — we're busy here in the Coachella Valley selling homes."
Last winter, real estate agents said prices were lower than usual, especially in the mid-valley, because of the weakness of the Canadian dollar — many potential Canadian buyers chose not to make purchases and some owners decided to sell, increasing the number of homes on the market. Canadian buyers made up as much as 30 percent of the Coachella Valley real estate market after the U.S. housing market crash began in 2007.
The exchange rate between U.S. and Canadian currencies has changed little in the last year, but local agents say U.S. buyers have made up for the decline in Canadian purchases.
"(Canadians) were buying because the prices were so low and their dollar was so strong. Those deals they were snatching up here aren't here anymore," Bernardi said.
But for most buyers, "it's a perfect time to buy right now."
There were 5,583 properties on the market in January, a 2 percent drop from January 2016, according to the California Desert Association of Realtors.
Across the desert's nine cities, prices ranged from just $117 per square foot in the 92240 ZIP code of Desert Hot Springs to $231 per square foot in the 92262 ZIP code of Palm Springs, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. While Indian Wells, a mid-valley golf hamlet, used to fetch the desert's highest prices per square foot, houses in Palm Springs are now routinely the most expensive in the desert.
Statewide, home sales slipped about 4 percent year over year, with 420,100 homes selling in January, according to the California Association of Realtors.
A home for sale sign in the Little Tuscany neighborhood in Palm Springs on Thursday, February 23, 2017. (Photo: Richard Lui/The Desert Sun)
California's median price was $489,580, falling below $500,000 for the first time since March 2016, but up nearly five percent year over year.
There were 3.7 months of inventory on California's market in January, according to CAR. Real estate agents generally consider a market healthy when it has four to six months of inventory.
“California’s housing market continues to be defined by the higher-priced, coastal markets and the less expensive, inland areas that still offer access to major employment centers,” CAR President Geoff McIntosh said in a statement.
“In Southern California, an influx of buyers from coastal employment areas into the Inland Empire drove healthy year-over-year sales in Riverside and San Bernardino," he added.
Desert home sales recorded in January 2017
Total sales: 724, up 10.4 percent from January 2016
New construction sales: 35, down 6 percent year-over-year
Resale single-family home sales: 460, up 12.5 percent year-over-year
Resale condo sales: 229, up 13.4 percent year-over-year
Median sale price: $304,000, up 4.1 percent year-over-year
Median price per square foot: $174, up 3.1 percent year-over-year