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Sean at propertyradar.com does a nice monthly report on California real estate sales and pricing – and the latest was published yesterday:

http://www.propertyradar.com/reports/real-property-report-california-january-2014

This graph helps illuminate how hot the frenzy was last year throughout the state – where both sales and median prices were on a tear the first half of the year (May was the peak for median price).  But both dropped off in the second half too:

PR median

PropertyRadar said California sales in January were down 18.7% from December, and 11.8% from January, 2013.  The C.A.R. released this today, saying that San Diego County sales in January declined 22% in both M-O-M and Y-O-Y comparisons:

http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2014releases/jan2014sales?view=Standard

But this year around NSDCC, we are tracking about the same amount of closed sales as last year for the Jan. 1 – Feb. 14 period, even though the median sales price has risen 18%, from $863,750 to $1,015,000.

There are going to be conflicting reports, and speculations presented as facts.  But in affluent, desirable areas, the market should stay ‘hot’.

Possibilities:

A.  The spring selling season doesn’t produce a whole lot more inventory.  Sean’s report mentions how sellers don’t want to list unless they know they can find the next house, which is probably true.

But there is also a group of homeowners – those previously underwater, and those empty-nesters – who will decide that staying put isn’t so bad, and they give up the thought of selling.  For many, it beats the hassle of trying to figure out all the pieces to have moving make sense.

B.  Prices keep rising (list prices are in a full gallop), and some buyers quit.

Long-time lookers have to cope with major sticker shock to buy the same house they wanted 2-3 years ago.  Will they?  Can they?  Many are hoping for a miracle, but prices are going the wrong way for the lucky buy.

Summary:  We are experiencing the highest prices ever, and the intensity is rising.  With A & B above taking out players on both sides, we should see higher prices on fewer sales.  Get good help!

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