How’s The Glendale Market? 3rd Quarter, 2012

It is the end of the third quarter and I know you are just dying to hear how our Glendale real estate market is doing, right?

Here are the high points:

    • Inventory is still down and getting smaller
    • There are more closings every month- except September
    • The number of open escrows is a roller coaster
    • Prices are creeping up- sort of

Let’s dive into the details, shall we?

The Problem

The most concerning number for Buyers is the lack of inventory.  We started the year with a paltry 142 single family homes on the market and we are now down to 128.  This is just about 2 months worth of inventory.  To put THAT number into perspective, a “normal” market has four to six months of inventory.  Just two months means that the market heavily favors the sellers.

Why is that?

The good news is that this is mostly due to reasonable economic conditions in Glendale.  No one is buying a bigger home “just because”. They are refinancing their current home to a super low interest rate and hanging tight.  There are still a lot of homes that are underwater, but our short sales are holding steady at 18% of the home sales (same as last year) and bank foreclosures are down 4% from last year. (16% of sales 3rd quarter 2011 vs 12% of sales this quarter).

This is (mostly) great news!

Our prices are likely to remain steady for the foreseeable future. The citizens of Glendale do not appear to be on the cusp of financial ruin.

However, it also means that inventory is likely to remain tight.  Homeowners who were able to refi to a 3% – 4% mortgage rate have little incentive to move and distress sales are not growing.

Volume of Home Sales

The number of homes sold is certainly down over the last few months.  However, it is slightly up over last quarter.  This makes sense as the escrows that opened during the Spring Rush are closing in this quarter.

When compared to last year, this time, however, we are rocking the home sales!  Last year, July-September, we sold 160 homes.  This year we sold 205 in the same period.  That is a 22% gain.

Are Prices Going Up?

The short answer is YES.   Again, comparing 3rd quarter to 3rd quarter, both median price and average price is up 3.5% and the average price per square foot is up by 2% ($322/sf).  These are not huge gains, especially relative to the lack of inventory, but I’lll take it!

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Are Higher Priced Homes Selling?

Common sense tells us that most of the homes selling today are the lower priced foreclosures… but you would be wrong.  We’ve seen a healthy increase in our  sales over $750,000 compared to last year’s third quarter.

Here are the charts for 2011:

 And here is the chart for 2012:

The blue and green sections (lower priced) got smaller in 2012 and the red and yellow section (higher priced) increased.  This is great news, especially for those who might want to down size.  I can tell you from first hand experience- there are lots of people eager to find a larger home to buy!

Is It A Good Time to Move?

If you believe in buying low and selling high- today might the best conditions you’ve ever seen.  While buyers are still scared to make stupid high offers, there is tremendous upward pressure on prices.  At the same time, home prices are far lower than the peak.  When you combine this fact with ridiculously low interest rates, it makes the “buy” look like a very smart business decision.



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