This time last year, we looked forward to a year where real estate would once again be a positive force, for consumers and the American economy. We think that 2013 has, in large part, lived up to our expectations—perhaps even exceeded them. We hope you agree.
Two or three months ago we saw the national market turn down in terms of the rate of price increases, the inventory rose a bit, and the number of pending sales decreased. Pasadena held on for an extra month, but then followed the national trend, as you saw in our October report. Here is what happened in November:
Vital Numbers – November vs October and vs November 2012.
For Sale Homes and Condos
- The number of residential homes and condos for sale in October dropped by almost 12% from October, but still 11% more than a year ago. Inventory is higher than a month ago, with 2.3 months of supply available at the current rate of sales activity. That is almost 13% more than in October.
- Pasadena has more inventory available now than a year ago – nearly 12% more for sale.
- The number of homes for sale in November decreased but the inventory increased, indicating a slower sales pace.
Sold Homes and Condos
- The number of sold homes in November dropped nearly 22% from October, and was just about even with the November sales of a year ago.
- Interestingly, the number of homes sold in November was the lowest since January and February.
- November sales totaled 123, compared to 122 a year ago.
Pending Homes and Condos
(As you know, pending sales are those in escrow but not yet closed. This is supposed to indicate sold homes a month or two in the future. Pending sales was more a concurrent indicator in Pasadena during the year, and not a clear indicator of future activity.)
- The number of pending sales dropped again in November, the third month of decline. Will that indicate slower activity in January and February? We don’t see a correlation in our town.
- Pending sales dropped by nearly 17% in November from October, but up from a year ago – by 4.3%.
- The National Association of Realtors showed the same kind of downturn, but they expect that number to level off.
Prices per Square Foot and Median Sale Prices
(Prices per square foot are an easy indicator of values in different areas, and Realtors and buyers tend to use this number to compare prices of one home to another. It is only one measure as you can see by looking at two 2,000 square foot homes, one with a new kitchen , baths and landscaping, while the other has an older kitchen, baths, and a bare lawn. Buyers will pay more for the remodeling work, driving up the price per square foot, even if the homes are side-by-side.
Further, the average represents the total sales divided by the number sold, so a monthly shift in the types of homes sold will change the average. The median price, on the other hand, represents a number where half the sold properties were lower, and half higher. That number and the price per square foot will give you an indicator of the prices of homes selling. If the median stays the same and the price per square foot drops, you will know that prices are falling, and vice versa.)
Given that, here’s the breakdown:
- A year ago the average Pasadena residential property sold for $419 per square foot. In November of this year, the average was $419 per square foot – no change.
- During the year that number ranged from a low of $363 to a high of $462. Last month it was $435 a foot, so the average is down almost 4% month-to month. The trend is slightly down from April.
- The median price a year ago was $530,000 and in November of 2013 it was $578,000 – higher priced homes selling this year at $419 per square foot?
- From November of 2012 to March of 2013, the time to sell a property tended to be around 70 to 75 days. From April till today, market time had decreased to about 50 days.
- This current period features a lot of cash buyers willing to close fast and competing buyers needing financing trying to match escrow time.
- The lower market time continues in November, with market time down 19% from October, and down almost 36% from a year ago.
- If you list your property, start packing!