By Michael Edlen | Special to the Palisadian-Post
I continue to be surprised at the underlying strength of the Palisades real estate market. Many people I talk with have assumed that real estate has been completely inactive since March. On the contrary, considering that we have just gone through 14 weeks of semi-quarantine conditions, the rate of recovery has been remarkable. Here are some examples.
Despite the market impact of the COVID situation since the beginning of 2020, the median average price that homes have been selling for is about 10% higher this year. This reflects the tremendous strength of the market during the first quarter of the year as well as the continuing underlying strength of demand that appears to be propelling the market to even higher levels.
Although the inventory of Palisades homes and condos available is 20% lower than mid-year 2019, the inventory of homes for lease here is 19% higher than last year at this time. This appears to indicate that we have a relatively stable number of people wanting to move, which is interesting to note.
One of the more unexpected observations is that in June there were 50% more new escrows opened (41) than experienced in June 2019 and nearly three times greater than in May of this year. We have not had this many new escrows open in a June since 2015. Another unexpected observation is that the number of escrows closed in June this year (19) was not that much less than last June (22).
Additional indicators of a growing strength underlying the market have been seen online and in showing activity. We track the number of visitors to each of our listings online as well as the number of clicks into the listing information. There has been a steady increase in both of these metrics since the beginning of May.
More people are taking our virtual and 3D tours each week, and I have been receiving more inquiries from agents and prospective home buyers. Moreover, during the last two weeks, we have had more showings requested and more offers submitted than we have seen since mid-March.
If someone is interested in more detailed perspectives, the local market can be analyzed based on specific neighborhoods or different price ranges. Our review of the 12 Palisades sub-markets in an accompanying chart clearly shows significant differences.
Likewise, we do a monthly analysis of Palisades sales statistics in different price ranges, as we have discovered that various price ranges have different patterns in terms of how long it may take to sell a home as well as the strength in that price bracket. For example, as of mid-year, at the current rate of sales below the $6 million level, there is now an inventory that would take less than five months to sell assuming no new listings were to come on the market at that level. However, there are so many homes for sale above $6 million now that it could take nearly a year to sell all of them at the current rate of sales.
While most people have been predicting a housing market that suffers badly from the COVID environment, many of us have anticipated a second half of the year with recovery nearly as quickly as the spring period was impacted negatively. Time will tell, but the mid-year indications could be a sign of a market already well on the way back toward where it was in early March.
Michael Edlen has been tracking local real estate statistics since 1987, and counsels many people each month about timing and alternatives of selling and/or buying homes. He can be reached at email@example.com or 310-230-7373.
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