Our first quarter 2020 Coachella Valley real estate market recap takes a look at the major trends affecting the desert to start the year. The biggest factor moving forward will be the outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on the local, regional, and national economy. With an uncertain timeline for businesses returning to something resembling normal everyday life, we are using some constraint regarding these numbers and projections. As a reminder, this market summary takes into account all of the activity across the region and is not indicative of how things may be transpiring within a specific city, community, or neighborhood. If you are seeking information on a specific location, please reach out to a Bennion Deville Homes real estate professional to explore your options. We look forward to unlocking possibilities for you.
The first quarter numbers show signs of positive growth in the desert real estate market. Home prices are up significantly over the previous two benchmark periods, buoyed by dwindling inventory levels, a steady sales pace, and the ever-present demand to live in one of the most desirable locales in all of Southern California. There are market factors that don’t show up in the data that could have a significant impact moving forward, namely current events and their impact on the economy and the local housing market. However, there is hope for optimism in spite of our current circumstances. Homes are still coming on the market, buyers are still looking to purchase properties, and the real estate industry is adapting to usher in virtual tools and programs that will stand the test of time, long after we are past the coronavirus crisis. The numbers and direction of the local real estate market on the next market recap may look a little different, but the impact so far has not been as deep as first feared. Although we won’t know how long this will last, we are cautiously optimistic that activity will continue, and the market will stay aloft due to the need to buy and sell homes in all market conditions and factors.
In the first quarter of 2020 there were 2,430 homes sold, an 8.7% boost compared to the same quarter last year and a 10.8% increase from fourth quarter 2019. Similarly, those sales accounted for over $1.3 billion in sales volume, a 13% increase from the same quarter last year and a 21% increase over fourth quarter. The average sale price of a home finished the quarter at $536,100 which is a 4% improvement over the same period last year and a 9.3% increase from last quarter. Likewise, the average price per square foot finished at $257.40, a 4.6% jump from the same quarter last year and a 4.7% improvement from the previous quarter. The year wrapped up with 3,017 homes for sale, an 18.6% decline from the same point last year and a 1.8% drop from the previous quarter. The sales pace, noted as average days on market, clocked in at 76 days to sell a home, an 8.4% decrease (faster) from the same quarter last year and an 4.1% increase (slower) from the quarter prior. The listing discount, or sold price versus list price, came in at 96.81%, a 0.5% improvement over the same quarter last year and a 0.1% decline from the previous quarter. Overall, there are 3.7 months of inventory available, a 26% decline from the same quarter last year and an 11.9% drop from the prior quarter. A balanced market is considered to have a 6-month supply of inventory, so the desert market conditions currently favor sellers.