2012 in Retrospect
Another year has come and gone.
2012 was a busy year at and saw a turnaround in the housing market, at least in most areas of California.
I thought it would be interesting to look back and see where we were a year ago, value wise, compared to now.
Because we, as appraisers, look back at property values, when we are doing appraisals, to see what has sold over the past six months , I went back from January 1, 2012 , six months and looked at the average sale price for that time period, as compared to to time period 6 months prior to January 1, 2013.
The results weren’t that surprising to us, as we deal with property values every day in our appraisal practice. There were, however, some individual surprises inside the numbers.
These numbers are in no particular order and show the average sales price and number of sales, broken down by county, for the 6 month time period prior to January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013.
Of course, property values increased in every county. I was however, somewhat surprised to see that the biggest increase in average sales price was for Napa County. Keep in mind that for Napa, the numbers might be skewed a bit by a couple of ultra luxury home sales, in a county that had the lowest number of total sales.
Santa Cruz County and Marin County had nearly the same increase in sales volume. A whopping 20%! Interestingly, they were each in the lower percentiles for average sales price increases.
We learn from these numbers that property values are definitely on the rise and that we have likely turned the corner from decreasing and stagnate markets, to vibrancy, where the seller is once again in control. Multiple offers are the norm in many markets and properties available for sale are almost non-existent. The lack of inventory and low interest rates will continue to drive the market up.
Appraisers should, if appropriate in their market, indicate that property values are increasing, and market positive time adjustments. I know some lenders get queasy when we do that, but it’s just like any other market derived adjustment and it’s the Appraiser’s job to reflect it in their appraisal.
What will 2013 bring? Likely more increases in average sales prices and lower volume due to lower inventory. I guess we will find out on January 1, 2014. What do YOU think will happen in 2013? Give me your best crystal ball.
BTW, feel free to share these numbers with your colleagues, clients and anyone else you may feel would be interested in increasing property values.
Apple Appraisal, Inc. is a licensed California Appraisal Management Company, serving all of California. We can be contacted at (925) 313-5900 or orders @ goapple.com