Normally in January our market slows down. Days on market and inventory creep up. Though we displayed this pattern this January it is within a broader multiyear context of falling days on market and tightening inventory. For example, despite upticks in the winter months, look at the broader trend in the graph below of fewer and fewer days before the typical home goes under contract with a buyer:
As of the beginning of February 2017, we had 4,324 homes listed for sale not yet under contract in San Diego County. There were 3,669 pending home sales. In the month of January there were 1,936 sales vs. 2,628 in December. While this appears like a large fall off in the number of sold units, it is actually very normal seasonally. In fact when we look at the number of units that sold year over year it is actually up 3%!
The median detached home sold for 556,500 in January. While this is down 3% month over month, it is not unusual given the time of year to see a pullback in prices. In addition, the median sold price per square foot basis was actually up $1 from $314 in December to $315 in January. How is this possible? The median size detached home that sold fell from 1,874 square feet in December to 1,800 in January, so we end up with a lower median home price because we are selling smaller home!
Though months of inventory crept up from 1.6 to 2.2, on any absolute scale it remains very tight. In fact if we look at inventory levels year over year they have actually fell from 2.9 months to 2.2 months.
Bob Flynn, February 2017