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Sales Down, Prices Up!

December 2014 Huntington Beach Real Estate Market Mixed… Sales Down, Prices Up

By Huntington Beach Realtor – Anna Child– January 16, 2014 – Source: Realtor MLS  real estate market rss feed

Another year gone… time to look at the end of the year sales for 2014!  Below is my latest update on the Huntington Beach Real Estate Market for the period ending December 31, 2014, I hope you enjoy the reading and please feel free to share this hard copy (or a link to this article) with anyone you know who is interested in the Surf City real estate market.

Executive Summary:  Combined December 2014 Huntington Beach Home Sales Up 7.6% from last month, Down 9.3% year-over-year.  Price-per-square foot was up 4% from last month, and 5% year-over-year.

Dec 2014 Huntington Beach Sales Volume ChartHomes Sold: In December 2014, the entire Huntington Beach market saw a total of 127 houses, townhomes, and condos sold… an increase of 7.6% compared to last month and a 9.3%% decrease compared to the same period of 2013.

Average Price: The average price of detached homes sold in December 2014 was $1,105,606 reflecting several closed multi-million dollar homes in the month of December.  This price is up 26.3% compared to last month and up 18.9% from the same period last year. The numbers appear to be skewed up due to several upper end closings… this result was expected. For attached homes the average price was $533,552 which was a 4.6% increase from last month and a 20.7.6% increase from the same period last year (when fewer luxury attached properties sold).

Price per Square Foot Chart for Huntington Beach homes sold in December 2014
Price per Square Foot Chart for Huntington Beach homes sold in December 2014

Price per Square Foot: The average price per square foot (PSF) of the entire Huntington Beach market was $432 in December 2014. This is about 4% higher than where PSF has hovered since July 2013… except for September ($434) & October ($427) 2014 which also saw a “blip up” in price per square foot due to several luxury homes which closed during these months. Since July 2013, when PSF hit $415, it has since ranged between hit $379 and $432.  During the majority of this timeframe PSF has fallen within the very narrow $411 to $416 range.

Days on Market Chart for Huntington Beach Homes sold in December 2014
Days on Market Chart for Huntington Beach Homes sold in December 2014

Marketing Time: Average Days on Market is standing at 79… up from 72 days last month, but up from 55 days in November 2013.

Mortgage Rates: The rate for the conforming 30-year fixed rate mortgage has been “up and down” since bottoming at 3.4% in May 2013. Rates jumped as high as 4.67 in September 2013, but fortunately today’s rate is way back down to 3.99% according to the Bankrate.com Rate Survey (1/5/15). These low rates offer an affordability window that many buyers and sellers should exploit while it lasts… certainly fewer buyers will qualify to purchase when rates increase again.

Money Savings Example: A 1/2 percent reduction in mortgage rate translates to $208 per month in interest savings for a $500,000 mortgage!

Insights from this month’s numbers: December was an interesting month for the Huntington Beach real estate market.  Sales volume was down all year, but the increases in Average Sales Price and Price Per Square Foot are interesting to say the least… even if they were primarily driven by the sale of several luxury properties.  The market price level certainly seemed to solidify during 2014 at the $415 +/- price per square foot range.  The market has “leveled off” and although buyers are out shopping for homes, the price & condition must be “right”. We have come full circle… from buyer’s market, to seller’s market, to a traditional “balanced” market. But, interestingly today’s low interest rates may make now the best time of the year to both buy & sell a home in 2015… The low interest rates mean “low payments” for buyers and for sellers, the low rates translate into “more buyers able to pay top dollar”!

What to do? Now is a great time to buy & sell a Huntington Beach home. And, January/February will be very good so long as mortgage rates stay low. If you have had thoughts about selling, I would recommend you accelerate your plans to benefit from the current ultra low mortgage rates. Contact me to get started!