Indian Ridge CC 2014 2nd Quarter Report

*To view my entire Quarterly Report, please select "View PDF Document" located to the right of this page under my photo.

Dear Indian Ridge Resident:

Each quarter as I begin to collect the real estate stats for the Coachella Valley and research for articles and reports about the current residential market conditions and how they compare to previous quarters and years, I highlight the facts and information I feel are important and interesting.  When I first began writing these reports 42 quarters ago, I tried to limit the cover letter to one page. As we entered into a trend in real estate that I truly believe most people never expected would fall to the depths or last as long as it did, more and more information seemed important and necessary to try to let the buyers and sellers know what was truly happening. The media would tend to generalize whereas the market trends in specific areas or communities did not fall in line with the generalized information. It was imperative to know what was happening on the local level in order to accurately analyze the community market trends and the implications for the seller or buyer. When the market was selling fast and furious in the mid 2000’s, and homes were selling almost before they become active, there wasn’t much to say other than ‘go for it.‘  Then in the spring of 2007,  it became important for me to know in more depth what the buyer’s goals were for their purchase. For some, if the real estate market dropped and they would not be able to make payments without a guaranteed tenant, I recommended they wait to purchase as I thought they had missed the market. How true that was as we saw the market continue to decline and many losing their home to short sales or foreclosures. Today in the Coachella Valley we are down to 11% distressed sales. This is a drop from 22% in 2013. 

In the market today we see a tendency of buyers who want to purchase homes that are newly upgraded and remodeled with today’s design trends. We see fewer buyers willing to purchase homes knowing they will need to invest in upgrades.  This leaves some tremendous buys available for the buyer who is willing to put their own personality into the home that requires some work. With each home in need of upgrades a buyer lets go by, the person buying that home is the one reaping the gains that continue to rise every month. 

When the buyer upgrades the home, the price they can sell their home for is relative to the quality of enhancements.  A simple example is a open floor plan in Indian Ridge having 1,903 square feet that two years ago sold for about an average of $350,000. Today, those same homes are selling for an average $525,000. That is a major difference in price in a short period of time. These price increases are tied to the quality of the remodel and upgrade activities taken on by the buyers who are now reaping the rewards. 

Today it is very difficult to find a home under $500,000 in a great location that is move in ready. As these homes increase in value the gap is narrowed between them and the million dollar plus homes. Currently homes between $500,000 to $800,000 are not selling as fast as they should. Some of these homes require upgrades and at these prices they can be a really good buy. The same applies to homes over $1 million that sold for so much more seven years ago. So as a buyer, it is extremely important to do your research and work with an agent who knows the market and the history of the industry in the area where you are looking to purchase. Not every market is improving at the same rate and each community may show substantially different trends. 

Today’s buyer relies on social media far more often to learn about the buying process. Now about 75% of the buyers are using social media, up from 52% in 2011.  About 91% of the buyers are finding properties that appeal to them in areas that meet their wants and needs using mobile devices. This internet research helps them identify comparable prices, homes and amenities. Today 81% of the buyers believe prices will increase in five years and 60% believe they will increase in one year. This is a big change from 2009 when 35 % believed prices would rise in five years and only 8% believed they would rise within a year.

Equity sales (non-distressed sales) now represents 89.2% of all sales in the Coachella Valley compared to only 78% of the sales in May of 2013. This change is clear evidence that buyers have to pay more this year to purchase a home they could have bought for less a year ago. Only 9% of the single family homes on the market in the Coachella Valley are distressed sales this year and only 6% of condo sales whether attached or detached are distressed sales. 

The number of home sales for the valley for the second quarter was down 17% from a year ago. The primary reasons are lack of inventory, stricter guidelines for loan qualifications and dropping affordability for some buyers. In the second quarter of 2013, 20.5% of the homes sold were over $500,000. This year that percentage is 23.4%. Homes sold over $1 million represented 5.6% of the resales for the second quarter in 2013. Currently 6.5% of the homes sold were over $1 million.

A comparison of the 21 country clubs I track every quarter shows that 16 of the clubs have seen increases in sales prices since 2013 with 6 seeing a drop in prices between the second quarter of 2013 and 2014.  All clubs have sold 59% or greater of the total homes sold in 2013 except for Andalusia. As indicated earlier in this report, these specific details are not found on the internet or in the general real estate information. In order for the seller to be able to accurately price their home for sale or for a buyer to know where they can afford to buy or which clubs meet their financial and personal needs, it is important to hire an agent who tracks these stats on a regular basis. 

The Quarterly Report for Indian Ridge shows the price per square foot for homes in the HOA have increased 23% from a year ago and the PUD has increased 12%. In the first two quarters of this year a total of 46 homes sold compared to 42 last year. The overall average price for Indian Ridge is $961,593 compared to $747,295 in the second quarter of 2013. The average price for the PUD in the second quarter is $1,103,110. This increase is due to the current residents purchasing the more expensive homes within the community. The HOA’s average price for the this quarter is $631,389, up 18% from 2012 and nearly unchanged from 2013 to 2014 . 

In 2013, 11 homes sold for more than $1 million in Indian Ridge. To date for 2014, 12 homes have sold for over $1 million with three more pending. This has been another very big year for me as I always rank somewhere in the top ten out of 4,000 local real estate agents. I have participated in 43% of all sales this year in Indian Ridge by either representing the buyer, seller or both. I have represented 47% of the 15 homes sold or those in escrow selling for more than $1 million to date this year. The market remains brisk even in the heat and we are working with buyers all the time even during the summer. This will be an active selling season as the buyers here in the summer tend to be serious buyers.

As a seller, you always have the opportunity to select the real estate professional that you believe will be the best in getting your home sold. Interview those at the top of the industry with vast experience, ask them tough questions, ask what they will provide and how they will communicate to you. Everyone wants to ask the highest price possible. If the numbers provided through comparables don’t support a higher price and the agent isn’t strong enough to have an honest discussion with you, that agent may not have your best interests at heart. You can always list for a higher price but you need an agent who will honest with you. Time and time again I see homes that could have sold for more, but sold for less because they were over priced when listed.  

This year with the addition of a marketing coordinator and two more Real Estate Professionals to my team we have been able to increase our services. We are strong in both print and internet marketing as well as social media that promotes our properties. More importantly, we have been able to provide feedback to our sellers when we show their home. 

When our sellers list their home with us, they receive a fully executed signed contract and other document copies whenever changes or extensions are made. We discuss with our sellers the importance of days on market and notify them when our listing agreement is about to expire so we can discuss options and strategies moving forward.

In just these past two weeks we have introduced the “Summer Sale Special” program where for the month of July the seller is offering buyers a discount on the price of the home. These properties and the homes we are holding open on the weekends are e-mailed to residents in Indian Ridge and to Windermere agents in the desert, in the mountain areas and the coastal areas of southern California. The response to this program has been extremely positive. 

Since I have been in the business, my goal has been to provide the best possible service, return calls promptly and continue to work for the seller (or buyer’s) best interests. As a result I rose to the top of the industry in my second year in the business and continue to grow my business every year. I have added wonderful Real Estate Professionals to my team making it possible for us to provide better and better service. If you are thinking of selling your home, we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to show you what we offer to our clients that makes us special.

Again, if you have any questions or concerns, call me. It will always remain confidential. I look forward to hearing from you.

Diane R. Williams
Associate Broker/Executive Premier Director
Windermere Real Estate Luxury Homes and Estates Division
CalBRE #01364828