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West Coast Real Estate Market: Prices and Inventory Rising

Inventory and price per sqft are rising in 14 major West Coast cities Movoto Real Estate tracks.

David Cross

Content Editor

237 articles, 24 comments

According to analysis of the 14 major West Coast cities Movoto Real Estate tracks, there are more homes on the market today than a month ago. This increase in inventory is welcome news to future home buyers. That said, the average list price per square foot has also increased, a likely indication that there is continued room for growth in the number of homes on the market as demand continues to outpace supply.

Movoto’s regional analysis examined 14 large cities in the Pacific states: California, Oregon, and Washington. We examine both the average list price per square foot and housing stock in two indexes. All raw data comes from the Multiple Listing Service. For a large-scale perspective of the country’s real estate market, read our National State of the Real Estate Market analysis, which looks at 34 geographically diverse cities.

Our analysis is segmented into several sections. These include an overview of each index in three parts: year-over-year, month-over-month, and city-level breakdown.

Inventory: Year-Over-Year

Across the 14 major cities we track, 12 saw a decrease in inventory. Overall, on a year-over-year basis, there are 11.9 percent fewer homes available than there were in June of last year. In June 2012 there were 15,554 homes for sale, while a year later there were 13,698 homes on the market. This indicates to us that sellers are starting to realize that now is a good time to sell. Interest rates are starting to go up, which will lower prices in the future, and it is hitting the peak of the buying season, when demand will be the highest during the year. Right now is an excellent time to list a house for sale if you are planning on selling this year.

Real Estate Inventory Change - Western US

Cities that saw the greatest decrease in inventory were Salem, Bellevue, and Los Angeles. At the opposite end of the spectrum was San Jose.

Inventory: Breakdown

  • Salem: In the past year, Salem lost 25.4 percent of its active home inventory homes. In June 2012 there were 279 homes on the market, while at the end of June 2013 there were 208 for sale.
  • Bellevue: This Washington city saw a 24.5 percent decrease in inventory. A year ago there were 425 homes on the market, while at the end of June 2013 there were 321 homes available.
  • Los Angeles: The City of Angels lost 610 homes in the past year, or 22.4 percent. In June 2012 there were 2,727 homes on the market. A year later, inventory is down to 2,117.
  • San Jose: This city saw a significant jump in its inventory. San Jose’s housing stock jumped by 19.2 percent in the past year, going from 751 to 895 homes.

Inventory: Month-Over-Month

On a month-over-month basis, this is the third month in a row that the western cities we track have seen an increase in the number of homes on the market. In May there were 12,218 homes on the market, while at the end of June there were 13,698.

List Price Per Square Foot

In the past year, all 14 western cities we track saw an increase in the list price per square foot. In total, the price point increased by 14 percent from $222 to $253. Cities that saw the greatest increases were Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose.

Real Estate Price per Sqft Change - Western US

Price: Breakdown

  • Los Angeles: In the past 12 months the list price per square foot increased by 28.6 percent, rising from $336 to $432.
  • San Diego: With the second-highest price jump, the list price per square foot for a San Diego home increased from $298 to $360, or 20.8 percent.
  • San Jose: The Capital of Silicon Valley saw an increase of 18.4 percent. At this time last year, homes cost $343 per square foot. At the end of last month the price was $406.

Price: Month-Over-Month

On a month-over-month basis, the list price per square foot has trended upward since it hit bottom in December 2011. Recently, there have been some drops and spikes in the price point. Compared to last month, prices have increased from about $251 to about $253.

State of the Real Estate Market

As we mentioned earlier, the West Coast real estate market is in a state of flux. If more homes come onto the market, it’s likely that the median list price per square foot will not continue its sharp rise, as the same number of home buyers compete for a larger supply of the homes.

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posted on: July 8, 2013
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