06 Dec Huntington Beach Home Sales Down, Prices Hovering $416psf During the Winter of 2014
Another month has gone by, and we are speeding toward the end of the year! Here is the latest update on the Huntington Beach Real Estate Market for the period ending November 30, 2014. I hope you enjoy the reading and please feel free to share this hard copy or the on-line story with anyone you know who is interested in the Huntington Beach real estate market.
Homes Sold: In November 2014, the entire Huntington Beach market saw a total of 118 houses, townhouses, and condos sold… a decrease of 15.1% compared to last month and a 7.8% decrease compared to the same period of 2013.
Average Price: The average price of detached homes sold in November 2014 was $875,640 which was down 14.8% compared to last month and up 11.4% from the same period last year. October’s numbers appear to be skewed up due to several upper end closings… this result was expected. For attached homes the average price was $510,172 which was a 9.3% decrease from last month and a 12.6% increase from the same period last year.
Price per Square Foot: The average price per square foot of the entire Huntington Beach market was $416 in November 2014. This is about the same level as August, July, June, and May 2014, which were $413, $414, $415, & $416 respectively… and about the same level as July 2013 ($415). So the market price per square foot for the entire market has been level for over a year. September ($434) & October ($427) 2014 saw a “blip up” in price per square foot due to several luxury homes which closed during these months. But, with a more normal distribution of homes closed, we are right back to the level we have seen since July 2013… a 17 month plateau.
Marketing Time: Average Days on Market is standing at 72… down from 94 days last month, but up from 55 days in November 2013.
Mortgage Rates: The rate for the conforming 30-year fixed rate mortgage has been “up and down” since bottoming at 3.4% in May 2013. Rates jumped as high as 4.67 in September 2013, but fortunately today’s rate is way back down to 3.92% according to the Bankrate.com Rate Survey (12/2/14). These low rates offer an affordability window that many buyers and sellers should exploit while it lasts… certainly fewer buyers will qualify to purchase when rates increase again.
Money Savings Example: A 1/2 percent reduction in mortgage rate translates to $208 per month in interest savings for a $500,000 mortgage!
Insights from this month’s numbers: November appears to be a bit of a “lack-luster” month… I was eagerly waiting to see if the Price Per Square Foot uptick from September & October would hold up. But, as anticipated the November number dropped back to the $416 plateau we have been on for many months now. Sales volume also dropped back to a level less than 2013 as we have seen for most months this year (August being the notable exception, up 10.1%). The market has “leveled off” and although buyers are out shopping for homes, the price & condition must be “right”. We have come full circle… from buyer’s market, to seller’s market, to a traditional “balanced” market. But, interestingly today’s low interest rates make now the best time of the year to both buy & sell a home. The low interest rates mean “low payments” for buyers and for sellers, the low rates translate into “more buyers able to pay top dollar”.
What to do? Now is a great time to buy & sell real estate in general. And, early January will be very good so long as mortgage rates stay low. If you have had thoughts about selling, I would recommend you accelerate your plans to benefit from the current ultra low mortgage rates. I am working with several home sellers right now who plan to list in early January. We are working on the marketing materials, photography, and preparation so we come on the market while mortgage rates are still low and well before most other sellers (we should enjoy a 30+ day marketing advantage).