Culver City is a great place to live. I don’t have to convince you of that. But if you wanted to buy a home in Culver City right now, what would your options include?
Quite honestly, if you’re looking for a single-family, home that is a standard sale—meaning it’s not in foreclosure or offered as a short-sale—there is very little inventory from which to choose. An MLS search yields only 22 homes for sale in Culver City with a price range of $499,900 up to $1,350,000. Of these, a number are short-sales or in foreclosure. Yet there are still many qualified buyers looking to make their dream of home ownership come true.
Unlike the buyer’s market of the early 1990’s or the seller’s market of the early 2000’s, a Realtor today requires a savvy understanding and analysis of what’s truly happening in the micro-climate of the real estate around them. A well-qualified buyer with good credit meeting stringent qualifications can buy for less than they pay in rent, while a seller with a well maintained property in a decent neighborhood can sell their home for a great price! Equity sales are few and far between, especially in Culver City, and there’s just not enough inventory to go around.
The simple economic law of supply and demand is actually working in the seller’s favor in this type of market. Although the national housing trend reports that home prices are still decreasing, in Culver City the median housing price has only declined 2% since this time last year. In real numbers, considering the median sale price was $639, 260 in January 2011, this results in only a $10,000 drop in values over a year, even when factoring in foreclosures and short-sales sold under market value! Between November and December, 2010, the median house price actually increased 4%, which is equivalent to $27,500.
The number of properties sold, as well as the number of new listings in January, is down 20% since the same time last year. Although a lot of people wait to list their home in the spring and summer, statistically it makes it more competitive for you to sell at those times. Compared to July through September, listing a home in January or February results in an almost 50% greater chance of selling due to the decreased competition for buyers.
Interestingly, even though there is only a 3-month supply of inventory at the current rate of home sales, listings are still remaining active for longer than in previous months. Given the complexity of the market, this is understandable as homes offered as short-sales and foreclosures are skewing the timeframe the average house stays on the market.
With interest rates still at record lows, but trending upwards, now is actually a great time for sellers with equity in their homes to think about the possibility of bettering their situation. Whether that means selling and relocating to a home that better suits your needs, or refinancing an existing mortgage to take advantage of new programs and low rates, the low inventory makes the sale of a competitively priced house, in good condition and in a great neighborhood like Culver City, more desirable than ever.
Whether buying or selling, if you’d like to explore your options and have been thinking about changing your situation, now’s a great time to do it. We’d love to help you find the home that might work for you, or give you an honest market analysis of your current home’s sales potential.