2014 was another banner year for the Scotts Valley real estate market as the average sales price of single family homes went from $749,325 in 2013 to $809,229, an increase of $59,904. There was also an increase in closed sales from 125 to 138 from 2013 to 2014 which represents a 10% increase. The sales price to list price ratio was 99%, meaning the sales price versus the asking price. The previous year was also at 99%.
Condos and townhouses were in high demand in 2014 as there were only 38 that came up for sale versus 43 the previous year, a decrease of 12% with an average sales price of $443,103. In addition, the sales price to list price ratio was 101%, also the exact same figure for 2013.
The average days on market was 60 for single family homes and 25 for condo-townhouses.
The average sales price for single family homes in 2010, just 5 years previously was $673,902 and $356,298 for condo-townhouses.
So What Did $809,229 Buy You in 2014?
The average sales price in Scotts Valley in 2014 bought you a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with about 2,110 square feet on average. Sometimes you could find a 4 bedroom, but most of the sales at the average sales price were 3 bedrooms.
If you bought a condo-townhouse, your $443,103 bought you a 2 bedroom, 2 bath home on average with 1,224 square feet.
Higher End Homes Reporting Higher Activity
A noteworthy stat was the amount of closed sales at or above $1 million as 2014 had 20 closings in that price range, representing 15% of all single family home sales. This in an increase of 20% of sales in this price range versus 2013.
The average sales price of homes over $1 million was $1,215,485 and homes in this price range sold at an average sales price to list price ratio of 96% which was tied for the highest ratio in the past 5 years with 2013 being the exact same figure of 96%.
The average days on market for a home in this price range was 73 days.
So what did $1,215,485 buy you in 2014 in the good ole’ 95066? Must be a mansion, right?
Well, not quite a mansion, but no shack either as the average home at this price was a 4-5 bedroom, 3-3.5 bath 3,347 square foot home.
What’s in Store for 2015?
Expect more of the same in 2015 as rates come down, go up and go back down again. As of this writing, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage was coming in at around 3.75-4%. But this could also be the year when rates do start to rise as economic indicators tell us that we could be in for an increase later this year.
Jobs in Silicon Valley are plentiful and some analysts are predicting close to 10 companies that will go public this year. Money is also plentiful in many circles with a steady influx of buyers coming from over the hill wanting to capitalize on the great schools that Scotts Valley offers, as well as the many other amenities such as parks, recreation, the lowest crime rate in Santa Cruz County and the luxury of being minutes from beaches and state parks.
Scotts Valley is no longer the secret that it once was when I bought my home here 19 years ago. I am constantly asking home buyers who come over the hill why they are coming to our town and they mention all the amenities that I mentioned above. But without a doubt the number one reason why they are coming is the schools and “affordability” factor that our town still offers compared to areas in Silicon Valley with good schools.
Inventory is expected to be relatively close to the same this year as it was last year, and I am curiously watching the market and activity this first quarter to see where I think we will end up.
So without going out on a limb too much, I can confidently predict a more stable appreciation rate unless something major comes up that would affect things either way.
I say this because I know that there is a lot of money right now in Silicon Valley and there are a lot of affluent buyers that will be active in the real estate market this year that could shake things up a bit more if they start making their way over here more and more. I am already seeing quite a bit of this type of activity as I am being referred quite a few home buyers that want to buy here and work for the major companies like Facebook, Apple and Google.
Home Buyer Tips
If you are a home buyer here in the area, get prepared and do your homework on areas that you are targeting. You can be picky, but not too picky if you are going to be buying in the average price range where most people are buying. Work with an agent that knows the area, this is very important whether selling or buying and since this is a seller’s market and will remain so, you need an agent that is on top of the local market and is talking to other agents and potential sellers.
Home Seller Tips
If you are a home seller in the area, list with a local agent who knows and understands this market and make sure you price it right from the get-go. Overpricing your home is just not, and has never been a good strategy.
Get ready for another strong real estate market in 2015. Although I am predicting a solid market with average, and maybe even above average appreciation rate, there are a few things I am keeping my eye on that could blow the market wide open and cause a bigger surge in home buyers. I don’t know, its just a little feeling I get.
Some Fun Facts:
In 2010, you could buy a home in the Vineyards for as low as $658,000. Today the Vineyards are consistently selling for over $1,000,000. You could also buy a home in the Deerfield development for $760,000 and today they are worth in the $1,100,000-1,200,000 range.
In 2011, you could buy a home in Skypark for as low as $540,000. Today they are averaging $720,000-760,000. You could also buy a Hidden Oaks condo for as low as $249,890 and today they are selling for about $415,000+.
In 2012, a 5 bedroom, 4 bath home with over half an acre and 2,670 square feet closed for $590,000 on Casa Way. In October, 2014 a 5 bedroom, 4 bath home with 1,200 square feet more, but with a smaller lot size closed at $1,490,000 on the same street. Yes… Wow.
Robert Aldana is a 29+ year licensed real estate veteran with American Dream Realty in Scotts Valley, and also a long-term resident and homeowner here in town. He is the founder of MyScottsValley.com and the popular local news and events page at Facebook.com/MyScottsValley.
He was voted as the “Rave” winner in the category of “Favorite Real Estate Agent” in the Scotts Valley Press Banner’s contest for 2014, and also awarded the Scotts Valley Man of the Year in 2014 for his contributions to the community.
Robert was also a nationally syndicated real estate journalist and was a highly sought after interviewee on the topic of real estate by local, national and even international media, in addition to appearing on HGTV and local NBC’s “Best of the Bay”. Many of his articles and interviews can still be read at RobertAldana.com, DeadlineNews.com, RealtyTimes.com, Forbes.com, among many other real estate and finance news sites and publications.