As I look at the charts of our performance in La Canada real estate I am struck by how much of our market is driven by the school schedule. Sellers and buyers jump into the market right at the first of the year. Our savvy population understands that completing the move from house "A" to house "B" can take a few months, and it is mission critical to be in and settled by August.
This year the predictable spring rise in inventory stopped early and suddenly at the end of May- typically this rise lasts until end of July.
Home sales rose steadily until August and then fell sharply once school registration was over. The most disturbing number, though, is the sharp decline in new contracts in September. Only 6 homes entered escrow for the entire month. This will negatively impact the number of closed escrows 60 days from now.
Our Months Supply of inventory has been rising since July and we are now at 5.1- solid Neutral Market. Average price per square foot reflects this with a flat trend line since May.
Under 1 Million
This category did not even exist in La Canada 5 years ago, and now represents about 25% of the market. Inventory did NOT rise this spring has been falling steadily, all year. At the same time, sales have been steady resulting in the months supply of inventory that has fallen into solid Seller Market. Price trends are nearly impossible to comment on, however, because the average of just a few sales is meaningless.
1 Million - 2 Million
This is our "Bread and Butter" price range, with 42% of the homes currently listed as well as a majority of the sales falling in this category. Because this is the majority of the market, trends predictably follow the overall La Canada market. Inventory rose until the end of spring; sales rose until the end of summer. In September, we saw a bump up in inventory and a sharp decline in closed escrows, landing us at 5.5 Months Supply of Inventory- a strong Neutral Market. Average price per square foot, however, has been bouncing all over the place with 7% decline from one year ago.
2 Million and Above
Our upper end represents nearly 30% of our inventory, but only a small percentage of the sales. The good news is this dynamic is reflected through out Southern California. Even marquee areas like Newport and Beverly HIlls have an over supply of high end homes.
La Canada represents a tremendous value over these marquee areas and with our world class schools, stunning natural beauty and close proximity to several major business centers.
A few of these trophy homes have sold each month and the rate has been quite steady.