statsWhy market statistics?

The factors of supply and demand control prices
Real Options Realty is a recognized source for the interpretation of residential market statistics in Santa Cruz County. We are often quoted by the media.

Knowing market statistics can help you make informed decisions, because the factors of supply and demand control prices. Now you have access to this information anytime.

 

Residential Market Statistical Graphs and Explanations

Number of Listings

The Number of Listings shows the supply, or how many properties are for sale. Is the inventory of listings increasing or decreasing, and is it seasonal?

Number of Sales

The Number of Sales shows the demand, or how many properties closed escrow. Is the number of sales increasing or decreasing?

Unsold Inventory Index

The Unsold Inventory Index is the most important predictor of future price movement. It is the inventory of properties expressed in time, or the current relationship between supply and demand. For example, if there is a 6 – 8 month supply of houses on the market, prices are stable. If there is only a 4 month supply, prices usually increase. If there is a 10 month supply, prices usually decrease.

Median Price

The Median Price shows the price at which there were an equal number of sales higher than or lower than that price. Have prices been increasing, decreasing, and how fast?

Average Price

The Average Price shows the sum of all sales prices divided by the number of sales. Have prices been increasing, decreasing, and how fast?

  • June 2020:  As of the first week in June, there were 447 listings, down 16% from 534 listings one year ago at that time. Even though Realtors could begin showing seller occupied homes on May 1 (previously only completely vacant homes), there are still some would-be-sellers who are hesitating because of fear of getting COVID-19.

    155 of the 447 listings are under contract, and 292 are active listings. [This shows a strong 74% increase in market activity as of June 6 as compared to May 6, when 89 of 369 listings were under contract.]  188 of the 292 active listings (64%) are priced over $1Million, and only 104 are priced under $1Million.

    BACKGROUND: The number of properties for sale is seasonal. Each year, December and January have the fewest number of homes for sale, because people don’t like to show their homes during the holiday season. And each year, the highest number of homes for sale is in the summer, because it is more convenient to sell your home in the summer. Note this repeating annual pattern in the above graph.

     

  • June 2020:  There were 132 listings as of the first week in June, up 14% from 116 listings the first week of June 2019. Additionally, 37 of the 132 listings are under contract, leaving just 95 active listings.

    BACKGROUND: The number of properties for sale is seasonal. Each year, December and January have the fewest number of properties for sale, because people don’t like to show their homes during the holiday season. And each year, the highest number of homes for sale is in the summer, because it is more convenient to sell your home in the summer. Note this repeating annual pattern in the above graph.

    The condo/townhouse graphs do not show as smooth a transition from month to month as the house graphs. This is because there are far fewer condo and townhouse sales in Santa Cruz County than house sales. In the field of statistics, a larger quantity of numbers makes a better statistic.

  • June 2020:  NOTE: All but six of the May sales (93%) had a purchase contract signed after the Shelter In Place order on March 16.

    There were only 90 sales in May, sharply down 38% from 146 sales in May 2019, and, like April, accounting for the fewest May sales in at least 25 years. That is also 28% fewer sales than May 2008, after the Great Recession had begun.

    BACKGROUND: A >sale’, in this context, means a close of escrow. For example, July sales mean houses that closed escrow between July 1 and July 31, but probably went under contract in May or June. The number of sales is seasonal. Each year, January and February have the fewest number sales, because people are usually too busy to shop for homes during November and December. The highest number of sales 49 in June or July, because more buyers shop for homes in the summer. Note this repeating annual pattern in the above graph.

     

     

  • June 2020:  NOTE: All but three of the May sales had a signed purchase contract after the Shelter In Place order on March 16.

    There were 26 sales of condominiums and townhouses in May, sharply down 37% from 41 sales in May 2019 (April was down 44%, year over year). This is the fewest number of May sales since May 2008, after the Great Recession had begun. The number of closings in June is expected to be significantly higher than April and May due to the recent strong increase in market activity.

    There were no bank-owned sales or short sales in May.

    BACKGROUND: The number of sales is seasonal. Each year, January and February have the fewest number sales, because people are usually too busy to shop for homes during November and December. The highest number of sales is in June or July, because more buyers shop for homes in the summer. Note this repeating annual pattern in the above graph.

    The condo/townhouse graphs do not show as smooth a transition from month to month as the house graphs. This is because there are far fewer condo and townhouse sales in Santa Cruz County than house sales. In the field of statistics, a larger quantity of numbers makes a better statistic.

    A >sale’, in this context, means a close of escrow. July sales mean condominiums that closed escrow in July, but probably went under contract in May or June.

     

  • June 2020:  The May Unsold Inventory Index was 5.0 months, reflecting the abnormally small number of closings.  It was 3.7 months in May 2019.

    BACKGROUND: The Unsold Inventory Index is the most important statistic used to predict value increases or decreases. It is the current relationship of supply and demand for the housing market. The index is created by dividing the current supply (number of listings) by the current demand (number of sales). The result shows the time it would take to deplete the inventory of houses for sale at the current sales rate. It is expressed in months.

    Years of statistical analysis have shown that a 6 ‑ 8 month unsold inventory index has been normal‑ meaning the market is balanced, and home prices are stable. Historically, when the Index has been less than 6 months, prices can increase, and when it is more than 8 months, prices can decrease. The further away from normal the index is, the stronger the influence on price movement.

     

     

  • June 2020:  The Unsold Inventory Index in May was 5.1 months, reflecting the abnormally small number of closings. A year ago, in May 2019, it was 2.8 months.

    BACKGROUND: The Unsold Inventory Index is the most important statistic used to predict value increases or decreases. It is the current relationship of supply and demand for the housing market. The index is created by dividing the current supply (number of listings) by the current demand (number of sales). The result shows the time it would take to deplete the inventory of condos for sale at the current sales rate. It is expressed in months.

    Years of statistical analysis have shown that a 6 ‑ 8 month inventory index is normal‑ meaning the market is balanced, and home prices are not increasing or decreasing. When there is less than a 6 month supply, prices can increase. The further away from normal the index is, the faster the price changes can occur.

     

     

  • June 2020:  NOTE: Just like April, May had the fewest sales in at least 25 years, a coronavirus consequence. A very low number of sales can cause a significant variation in the monthly median sales price because of the smaller sample size, and it has.

    The median sales price for single family homes in May was $855,000, the lowest in eight months, following April’s $957,500, the highest in 12 months. Both were strongly influenced by the small sample size, the fewest number of closings for each of the two months in our current MLS database, which dates back to March 1996. The number of closings in June is expected to be significantly higher than April and May due to the recent strong increase in market activity (see comments in Number of Listings, Single Family Homes).

    One year ago, in May 2019, the median price was $925,000.

    35 of the 90 sales, or 39%, sold for more than $1Million. The more affordable areas of San Lorenzo Valley and Watsonville had 25 sales, or 28% of the total. These numbers show how the mix of sales influences the overall median price (midpoint of sales prices) each month.

    There were three bank-owned sales but no short sales in May.

    Sales over $1,000,000:

    May: 39% of the sales (Overall median was $855,000)
    April: 42% of the sales (Overall median was $957,500)
    March: 38% of the sales (Overall median was $925,000)
    February: 33% of the sales (Overall median was $900,000)
    January: 40% of the sales (Overall median was $880,000)
    December: 39% of the sales (Overall median was $895,000)
    November: 35% of the sales (Overall median was $889,500)
    October: 35% of the sales (Overall median was $867,000)
    September: 31% of the sales (Overall median was $815,000)
    August: 34% of the sales (Overall median was $877,000)
    July: 40% of the sales (Overall median was $899,000)
    June: 43% of the sales (Overall median was $919,500)

    BACKGROUND: People who keep statistics argue whether the median price or the average price is a better indicator. The average price is calculated by totaling the sales prices and dividing by the number of sales. The median price is that price where an equal number of sales occurred at a higher price and a lower price than the median.

     

  • June 2020:  The median sales price for condominiums and townhouses in May was $631,500. A year ago, in May 2019, it was $640,000. The median price for condominiums and townhouses is generally less consistent because of the relatively small number of sales.

    BACKGROUND:   The condo/townhouse graphs do not show as smooth a transition from month to month as the house graphs. This is because there are far fewer condo and townhouse sales in Santa Cruz County than house sales. In the field of statistics, a larger quantity of numbers makes a better statistic. Here, we are working with very few numbers (25 to 75 sales per month). Occasionally, a few very expensive condos sell in the same month, and the graph takes a jump that month.

    People who keep statistics argue whether the median price or the average price is a better indicator. The average price is calculated by totaling the sales prices and dividing by the number of sales. The median price is that price where an equal number of sales occurred at a higher price and a lower price than the median.

     

  • June 2020:  The average sales price for single family homes in May was $969,324. A year ago, in May 2019, it was $1,007,828.

    In Santa Cruz County, we have a few very expensive homes, such as those fronting Monterey Bay. Because of that, the average price tends to be a higher number than the median price here.

    BACKGROUND: People who keep statistics argue whether the median price or the average price is a better indicator. The average price is calculated by totaling the sales prices and dividing by the number of sales. The median price is that price where an equal number of sales occurred at a higher price and a lower price than the median.

     

  • June 2020:  The average sales price for condominiums and townhouses in May was $630,445. A year ago, in May 2019, it was $677,854. The average price for condominiums and townhouses is generally less consistent because of the relatively small number of sales.

    BACKGROUND: The condo/townhouse graphs do not show as smooth a transition from month to month as the house graphs. This is because there are far fewer condo and townhouse sales in Santa Cruz County than house sales. In the field of statistics, a larger quantity of numbers makes a better statistic. Here, we are working with very few numbers (25 to 75 sales per month). Occasionally, a few very expensive condominiums sell in the same month, and the graph takes a jump up in that month.

    People who keep statistics argue whether the median price or the average price is a better indicator. The average price is calculated by totaling the sales prices and dividing by the number of sales. The median price is that price where an equal number of sales occurred at a higher price and a lower price than the median.