State of Real Estate in Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay
I am finally getting my blog up and running again. I intend to re-post some of the more interesting items from the old SantaCruz.pro blog, but in the mean time, here are some snippets of information for your consideration.
In the last week, the lower end of the Watsonville Single-Family home market is seeing about twice the number of new sales than it is new listings. If things were to continue in this way for 2 months we would be completely out of inventory below $350,000.
Throughout Santa Cruz county we are seeing multiple-offers on an almost daily basis, in all price ranges except in the heights.
The 2009 Luxury market in Santa Cruz County is finally showing at least the faintest signs of life. Up until recently, we had no new escrows of homes priced above $2M for the entire year. During the last 9 months of '08, which was not particularly booming, we had an average of about 2 homes per month in this price range going into escrow, so a complete lack of new sales for over 3 months is a serious void.
One of the major problems with homes in the upper end of the spectrum is the unavailablity of financing. Yesterday at a closing I had a conversation an owner of one of the local mortgage brokerages. He mentioned that right now, loans up to $2m are possible with a 40% down payment. So, maximum leverage would be achieved on a purchase price of about $3.3M. But many of our finer properties are priced well above $3.3M, and those are going to require additional cash to close. For instance, to buy a $7M house, you would need to bring $5M in cash, and at the moment, there aren't too many buyers willing to reach so deeply into their own pockets.
The good news is that in so far in April we have had 3 homes priced above $2m go under contract.
If you are a lower-end buyer, you really have to be prepared before you find your dream house, because the best properties are being fought for by cash buyers and other buyers who have missed their first choice and have awoken to the need to be on top of things.
If you are a luxury buyer with a bit of cash, you are in heaven right now. Santa Cruz county is offering opportunities that would cost many times the price in other equally-desirable areas.
If you are a buyer who is ready to buy, call me, and I'll show you the benefits of uncompromised fiduciary loyalty and a heightened level of expertise, reserved exclusively for the benefit of real estate buyers.
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