Without a doubt there are fewer Seal Beach homes for sale this year than there has been in a long time. Combine that with the still historically low interest rates and you get a market where new home listings are selling faster and with more offers.
During the period from January 1 to June 17, 2012 exactly 47 Seal Beach homes were sold. The least expensive was 3581 Teaberry Circle in College Park East at $460,000 and the most expensive was 1605 Seal Way in Old Town for $1,950,000. Across the spectrum of prices, the average time on market was 99 days.
Looking at the same period of time for 2013, exactly 40 Seal Beach homes were sold. The least expensive was 3520 Dahlia Circle in College Park East at $550,000 and the most expensive was 546 Ocean Avenue for $5,000,000. Even with the more expensive segment of the market selling, the average time on market dropped to just 61 days. The most notable sale recently is 300 Ocean Avenue listed for $6,750,000 and in escrow after only two weeks on the market.
Many factors have changed in our market over the last year to further stimulate the pace at which Seal Beach homes are selling. Additionally there seems to be a larger number of “all cash” buyer’s seeking to snap up good deals quickly. I recently listed a 3 bedroom home at 221 4th Street in Seal Beach for $799,954 and received multiple offers during the first 72 hours on the market. Every offer we received was “all cash”.
Most recently, we are seeing buyer’s putting 20%, and larger, down payments keeping their home loan amount smaller. I believe higher down payments is an important indicator of a market that is beginning to show healthy signs of growth. With larger equity positions, in most home sales, owner’s are less likely to default if the market were to suddenly decline.
With all of the positive news, one may feel as though we’ve put the recession behind us. While that may be mostly true for our little segment of the market, there are still many local Seal Beach home owner’s in default. The primary reason I see for this lag in recovery, even in Seal Beach, is the protracted process of getting a loan modification. With over 90% of modifications being declined, we still have a ways to go before we can fully put the recession behind us.
I’m interested to know what you think needs to be done to help our real estate market fully recover? Leave your thoughts to this question in the comments section below.