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2018 1st Quarter Market Report: Home Sales Steady - Prices Continue to Rise

The 1st quarter of 2018 ended on a good note with March existing home sales only down slightly over last year, and with 2018 home sales expected to exceed 2017 excellent year. Home Prices in 2018 continue to rise, increasing 5.8% over the end of March last year.

The most notable change in the 1st quarter was an increase in seller activity. Our survey showed that in 46% of the markets surveyed there were still more buyers than sellers, but a decrease of 27% from March 2017. Additionally, 17% of our markets surveyed showed more seller activity than buyer activity, an increase of 8% over last year. The remaining 37% of the markets showed an equal amount of buyer and seller activity which was an increase of 19% over last year. The increased activity, however did not ease the tight inventory 73% of our markets showing a very tight supply of homes available for sale. Home prices are also on the rise with 86% of markets showing price appreciation in the last year.

According the National association of Realtors (NAR) existing home sales in March were down 1.2% over last year, but annual sales are expected to hit 5.6 million units compared to 5.1 million in 2017; inventory of unsold homes is at a 3.6 month supply and 46% of all homes sold in under one month.

The data in this report is generated primarily from our survey of HouseHunt.com exclusive member real estate agents across the United States. This grass roots approach to studying the housing market gives us a thorough look at where the real estate market is through the eyes and perspective of the local real estate agents who are living and working in the trenches of each community.

Buyer and Seller Activity
The trend in both buyer and seller activity is up significantly in the 1st quarter of 2018 compared to the buyer and seller activity from last year. Buyer activity is steady or increasing in 94% of the markets surveyed and decreased in only 6% of the markets surveyed indicating a significant 8% increase in activity from Spring 2017. Simultaneously the trend for seller activity posted a solid 10% gain in the 1st quarter of 2018 with 85% of the markets indicating steady or increased seller activity compared to 75% of the markets at this time in 2017. Despite increased seller activity there are still more buyers than sellers and homes are selling quickly. In fact, according to NAR inventories have decreased to 3.6 month supply compared to 3.8 months in March of 2017. A balanced "normal market" is considered to be a 6 month supply of homes for sale.

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Fall 2018 Market Update
None
Average Sold Home Price: $250,000

Average Time on Market: 10-30 days

Best Selling Price Range: $250,000 - $299,000

Existing Home Prices for the past 90 days: Increasing

Market Trend: Increasing

Buyer's or Seller's Market: More buyers than sellers

Buyer Activity for the past 90 days: Increasing

Seller Activity for the past 90 days: Increasing

Multiple Offers? Yes

Multiple Offers Commentary: Seller's are receiving multiple offers within days of listing. The MLS is a little misleading right now due to the fact that short sales often remain available while waiting for the short payoff approval even though they have offers on the home.

What Percentage of the Current Housing Inventory are Foreclosures and/or Short Sales? More than 50%

Is Financing Available For Qualified Buyers? Yes

Comments on Financing For Qualified Buyers: Most homes in Murrieta and Temecula are priced within the conforming loan limits, not in the jumbo loan market. This makes it much easier to obtain financing with either a VA loan which allows a zero down payment or FHA financing with as little as 3.5% down payment.

Housing Inventory: Limited Supply

Housing Inventory Comments: Due to the very attractive prices and the incredibly low interest rates, buyer demand is at a very high level. We have many customers who now can afford homes that they might not have been able to a couple of years ago. We also have many investors taking advantage of the incredible opportunities right now. The only drag on the market in Murrieta and Temecula is that the homes for sale are mostly distressed sales, i.e. Bank Owned Foreclosures or Short Sales. They are all receiving offers right away, but the Short Sales remain on the market in most cases while the short payoff request is approved by the seller's lender. This can take several months.

Greatest Activity: First Time Buyers

Best reason to buy or sell: Lower prices with good selection and competitive interest rates creates a perfect time to buy in Murrieta!

Nearest Metro Area: Riverside

Housing Hot Spots: Murrieta, Temecula, Winchester, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, San Jacinto.

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30 year fixed rate: 4.63%
15 year fixed rate: 4.13%
30 year jumbo rate: 4.50%
15 year jumbo rate: 4.12%
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(Because current market conditions can change rapidly in any given marketplace,
please check with Top Agent for current Murrieta, CA market conditions before acting on this information.)
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