FYI: The comparisons being made in this report are from 01/01/2018 to 07/18/2018 versus the same dates in 2017.
SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
The Scotts Valley area real estate market kept its expected torrid pace as the average sales price for the first half of the year through July 18th came in at $1,171,066 which is a whopping increase of $180,142 in 12 months. Last year, at the same time, the average sales price was $990,924. This represents an increase of 18.2% year over year.
2 KEY STATS: The average sales price to list price ratio in 2018 has been 101.5% which is 1.2% higher than the 100.3% it was in 2017. Days on market this year has been 29 days versus 51 in 2017. That is a decrease of 56.8%. These two stats are very telling in that it shows that not only were buyers buying homes at a much higher percentage over asking price, but they were doing it much quicker. The dip in DOM tells a story of buyers waiting for new inventory and snatching it up as it came on the market.
What’s also interesting is that there were a total of 106 single family home closings during this first half which is 22 more than the same time last year which had 84. Which is still a lot less than the demand we have been having. But although that number may seem small, it is an increase of 26% more homes having gone on the market this first half which means more sellers felt like it was time to cash out and move on to something else. I personally saw many more families moving out of the area than I have seen in quite some time as they felt like it was time to do something else after seeing how much equity they had built up.
This is also a year when I saw a lot of the Silicon Valley home buying mentality really hit the Scotts Valley area. Meaning, more and more Silicon Valley buyers that were fed up with being over-bid on homes over the hill came in strong with their offers and really changed the game as to how much buyers were wiling to pay for a home in this area.
THE AFFLUENCE OF SCOTTS VALLEY
To give an idea of how much Scotts Valley has changed in terms of the money being spent for homes here, just this first half alone there were 6 homes that sold for over $2 million. Last year there were zero in the first half. That is an astounding number when you think about how $2 million for a home in Scotts Valley just a couple of years ago was almost laughable by those outside and in Scotts Valley. No way that someone would spend that kind of money on a home here. Well, they are now. At a record pace.
To put it in perspective, since 2000, there have been a total of 44 sales for $2 million plus in the Scotts Valley area that also includes Pasatiempo. 6 of those happened this first half of 2018. That is almost 14% of homes that sold for $2 million plus since 2000 having closed in the first 6 months of 2018.
CONDOS & TOWNHOUSES
Condo-townhouses also saw an increase in average sales price to $631,865 versus $581,676 the year before. This represents a jump of $50,189. The average days on market was 12 days which is a 25% drop versus the 16 days that condo-townhouses took to sell in 2017. The average sales price to list price ratio was 101.3% versus 100.5% last year. The total number of condo-townhouse sales was 17 which is exactly the same amount for 2017.
Although it is probable (yet still possible) that your home did not go up by 18.2% in one year, it did go up substantially. It just depends on your area and home. Average sales prices jumped significantly because of two factors:
A. Homes went up in value. A no-brainer, I know, but it does play part of the equation and a big reason for the rise in average sales price.
B. Higher end homes are selling more with more frequency, also raising average sales price stats.
ALSO: Scotts Valley area homes sold faster and for more money as more and more buyers continue their migration from Silicon Valley or from other parts of the world who are coming to new jobs in Silicon Valley and desperately need a place to live. FACT: Homes that sell fast typically sell for more. Those that sit on the market longer typically sell for less. So just the fact that DOM decreased by that much shows me that people were being aggressive with their offers and sellers were getting what they wanted if not more in many cases.
As stated above with higher priced homes selling at a record pace, its a whole new ball game in the Scotts Valley area in regards to what homes are worth and what people can expect to buy. The $800,000 single family home is still around, but that window is getting smaller and smaller as is the home you will buy at that price point. The $1 million plus price point is now more the norm than ever.
As is the case every single year if you read my articles, the hottest time to sell your home is right after the Super Bowl until around late May and sometimes early June. This year’s hot time frame lasted a little longer and close to mid-June in many cases, but you can definitely feel the cooling off as people go on vacations, graduations that took place last month, and people just wanting to do other things rather than go see houses. It is to be expected and nothing to fear if you are thinking of selling in the near future.
Every single year I hear people say that the market cooled off and it is the end of the housing boom. And every year I tell people to relax, give it until August and you will see it heat back up again. There are still some hot spots and areas that are still red hot, but as a whole the market is doing what it does every year at this time and there is nothing to worry about if you are a home seller thinking of putting your home on the market. In fact, if I was a home seller, I would wait until early to mid-August to put it on. Trust me on that one.
Right now there are 55 single family homes for sale and pending with an average list price of $1,367,050. 36% are in pending status with 35 still being available. On average, a single family home with an average list price of $1,367,050 will buy you 4-5 bedroom house with 2.5-3 baths and 2,688 square feet.
There are also currently 6 condo-townhouses for sale with 4 of the 6 already in escrow. So basically, you have 2 condo-townhouses to choose from. The average list price for condo-townhouses is $619,325.
This Skypark home just closed for $1.1 million in July, 2018.
WHAT WAS HOT?
Skypark! The Skypark neighborhood this year really took off and not only surpassed the $1 million price point, but it shattered it as I recently closed escrow on 224 Navigator Drive, a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with 1,818 square feet for $1.1 million. But Skypark had it coming, it really did. With it’s close proximity to the actual Skypark with festivals, events, concerts, etc., along with the close knit community that exists there, it became the hottest destination in town this year.
But so did the Woodside development where I recently closed escrow on 210 Gold Court, a very nice 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with 1,898 square feet for $975,000. That is a neighborhood that not too long ago was closing in the mid to high $700k price range that is now closing close to $1 million. That development to me is underrated as the finishes in those homes are very nice throughout. Sure, they do not have much of a yard, but they have a nice park in the development and are walking distance to other parks, schools, shopping, dining, and more. It is a great spot along Scotts Valley Drive.
WHAT ELSE IS HOT?
If you are thinking of selling your home, this is what is working, what buyers are wanting and liking, and what is helping sellers sell their homes for top dollar.
Property Movies – Not just a video with stills of pictures, but an actual movie or professionally produced video with a speaker showing off the features of the home. I have been experimenting with having the sellers speak about their home and that has been a huge hit as home buyers love hearing from someone who actually lives and knows the home more than anyone else. I actually have a ton of traffic on our open homes because they saw the video and it moved them to take a look. No kidding. Check out this video that may actually make you cry. It was seen by over 30,000 people. It is that good, that touching, that beautiful. Click here to view it.
Professional Photos – No more iPhone pictures or blurry photos. Really. Time and time again at open houses buyers tell me that they came to see the home because of the beautiful photos, video (see above), and inviting description of the property. Buyers are different today. They scan through homes that come on the market and they skip through those with awful photos. I am still seeing pictures on MLS with the agent in the mirror while they hold up their iPhone to take a blurry picture. Unbelievable.
3-D Virtual Tours – I call them 24/7 Open Houses because that is exactly what they are. Today’s technology is so advanced that buyers can do an entire tour of a home on their iPad or phone while in their yoga pants having a latte at their favorite coffee shop. Then once they see it, see the pictures, the video, the floorplan (see below), its time to head out and see the home in person before writing an offer. Click here to view a sample.
Floorplans – Here is another huge hit that buyers love. Many buyers will come to a home because they saw the pictures, video, and also saw the floorplan to make sure that it fits their lifestyle. Many buyers come to the home and when they go back home go online to view the floorplan to refresh themselves and make sure that their furniture will fit.
Property Websites – I highly recommend that your agent do all of the above on one website which should be the property address, like this one at www.906Sunset.com. The video, 3-D virtual tour, photos, floorplans, and everything else should be in ONE PLACE so that buyers are not clicking here and clicking there to find things. Its like your pantry where everything is neatly in front of you in plain site, perfectly placed so that you don’t have to fight the clutter and look through shelves and cabinets looking for that spice that you use all the time. Its the same with a well thought out and designed personal property website. It just works. I know, buyers tell me so.
Here are some samples of what the latest technology has to offer and what buyers are really finding useful in their home search, all perfectly placed in one place in each property custom website:
Declutter and Stage that Home – The way that your property shows the very first time will be the first impression that lasts forever in a home buyer’s mind. Declutter as much as possible and stage as needed to give it the right look and feel. Remember, you are not only selling a home, you are selling an experience and buyers want to experience what it would feel like if they lived there.
Check out the before and after pics above of one particular property that we put some fresh paint on, decluttered, staged and ended up selling for $221,000 over-asking.
A storage facility and paint are your best friends when getting your home ready. Just ask the seller of the home above.
Social Media – You have to have a strong social media platform and plan. I have actually sold homes just from social media alone where people are sharing and sharing videos and pictures of certain properties until they shared it to the person that ended up buying it. You know what they say, it’s a game of numbers. It really does work and it really is a powerful tool.
The above are game changers. Put that together with a strong marketing and social media platform where tens of thousands of people will see your home and boom! You have lift-off. I have actually had buyers wanting to make offers on homes without seeing them because they saw the video, professional photos, 3-D virtual tours, and floorplan online. Although I never recommend that sellers accept an offer until the buyer(s) have actually walked through the home.
Remember, this is a different buyer today than in the past. Buyers are no longer wanting to get in their agent’s BMW and tour homes for hours. They want to do it on their time, their leisure, however many times they want. If you are not giving buyers what they want, you are missing out.
When selling your home, align yourself with a reputable and knowledgeable real estate agent that not only understands today’s technology and powerful platforms, but also knows how to use them. And make sure that
As always, happy selling and happy buying!
REALTOR® since 1986
BRE # 00921165
Keller Williams Realty
831-252-3959 Direct Line
ABOUT ROB: Robert Aldana is a 32+ year licensed real estate veteran with Keller Williams Realty, and also a long-term resident and homeowner here in town. He is the founder of MyScottsValley.com and the popular local news and events page at Facebook.com/MyScottsValley.
Robert was also a nationally syndicated real estate journalist and was a highly sought after interviewee on the topic of real estate by local, national and even international media, in addition to being featured on HGTV and also NBC’s “Best of the Bay”.
In 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Robert has been the agent chosen by more Scotts Valley area home sellers and buyers than any agent or team, and Robert was recently awarded the Santa Cruz Sentinel Readers Choice Award as the Best REALTOR® in Scotts Valley for 2016 and again in 2017. Robert was also voted 2017 Favorite Neighborhood Real Estate Agent in Scotts Valley in the first NextDoor Fav Business Awards by local residents.