As you would expect, I get that question quite often. Here’s my best answer: First understand that all Real Estate is local, not regional or national like so many pundits wish you to believe. The only logical way to discuss this topic is by using the numbers or data available locally and your own personal situation. Although supply and demand have historically driven the marketplace, we face other challenges to discern value and make reasonable decisions. The need to move to a new job or a new baby requiring more space sometimes changes those decisions. You may have decided never to move from your little shack in the mountains, but a job offer at four times the salary by the beach can be a big mind-changer. Once you have made the decision to buy or sell, use information available locally to allow you to make good choices in setting price and other parameters.
Our “local” area is defined by the individual cities that comprise the Central Coast. Whether it be Santa Maria/Orcutt, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach/Shell Beach or Avila Beach, the actual numbers for each city are are surprisingly close.
Let’s start with the Santa Maria and Orcutt areas. Median home values are some of the lowest, which also creates a very high demand. In the past, the volume of homes for sale in any given month has been around 350 homes. Currently there are 102 for sale(71% drop), with an average days on the market of 62. Median price has crept up from $204,000 to over $244,000 in the last 6 months.
Now as we look towards Nipomo, we see similar data albeit at increased value range. Previous average available was 146 homes, which has declined to 56 on the market (62% drop). Days on market has followed this trend as well with a previous average of 135 days down to 75. Median price went from $316,000 to $369,000 in the last 6 months.
Arroyo Grande also has seen increases, although they have been a little slower due to costs associated with living in this wonderful area. Available homes went from an average of 190 to 90 (53% drop) homes for sale. Median sales price has increased from $398,000 to $519,000 in 12 months but some of that increase may be the quality of homes listed on the market.
Let’s look at one more area, Pismo Beach. This is very interesting indeed… Average amount of homes available was 90 has now dropped to 65 (28% drop). Median price has crept up from $417,000 to $599,000.
As you can tell by the numbers & data the market is indeed changing…and in a good way for most home sellers. On the buyers side, the interest rates are still at a historical low, lending is available with reasonable FICO scores, actual home prices are still very favorable and even appraisers are starting to allow value increases based on supply and demand principles.
Is this a good time to buy or sell Real Estate, I think the numbers speak for themselves. As a Real Estate broker on the Central Coast I advise all my clients to take a hard look at their finances and if the time is right for them, absolutely move into the market.