The worry about taxes is finally in the rear view mirror, Q1 of 2015 is now history, and the number of Lafayette CA homes for sale is finally on the rise! To recap where we’ve been so far this year, and perhaps shed some light on where we may be going, the first quarter of 2015 was clearly characterized by a lack of quality inventory. The number of homes for sale in Lafayette was simply insufficient to meet buyer demand, and as a result, we’ve seen prices push up a bit from 2014.
The data set is still too thin to definitively say how much more Lafayette CA homes for sale are fetching in the market over 2014 prices, but the trend clearly is on the upswing. Looking at the numbers, the median sales price in February was $1.356M, up from $1.266M in February 2014. Then, in March the median price moved up again to $1.4M, a significant 20% jump up from $1.165M in March 2014. Imbalance between supply and demand can occur throughout the annual market cycle, and we should not jump to the conclusion that prices are up this significantly on a year-over-year basis. Statistics can be deceiving, and need to be looked at over longer periods of time to reach more meaningful conclusions.
When these imbalances occur, market forces take over and prices move up as home buyers bid up prices on the homes for sale in Lafayette. Of the 35 homes that closed escrow in March 2015, the average sales price was 104% of the home’s list price. Averages rarely provide the full picture, and with homes in high demand, going 4% over the list price would rarely yield a “win”.
Homes closest to the median price level of $1.4M were the most hotly contested properties during Q1, but the competition for the best properties moved up-market, too. We had a home for sale in Lafayette CA that closed escrow recently at $301,000 over its $2.249M asking price. It was clearly pretty special, but also a good example of buyers bidding up the best homes at rates far above the “average”.
This week, the market really got fired up with 16 new homes for sale in Lafayette hitting the market!!! This has to improve the dynamics for buyers, and will hopefully bring more stability and normalization to what has been a challenging market for buyers this year. At present, there are 47 homes for sale in Lafayette CA and 35 Pending in escrow. The balance is starting to tip towards helping buyers a bit, but this is also the time of the year when more buyers enter the Lafayette real estate market.