OK, OK. Here is a Scripps Ranch market update, already.

I saw someone post this message on Twitter this morning:

Why do some people feel the need to constantly talk! Ahhhhh

Once I got past the irony, I was able to find at least some comfort in the fact that I knew he wasn’t pointing fingers at me.

I know I have gone missing lately. I have so abandoned this poor blog of late that I am lucky I haven’t been sent to a bad blogger time out. And it’s not that I have been particularly short on words (like that could happen). Rather, I have been particularly long on workload.

Activity in our little corner of the world is picking up. If you are a seller, this means more listings are rearing their little heads intent on capturing your buyer. For buyers, this means more selection, but there are more of you. In short, Spring brings increased activity, but it is still competitive for all.

What? You want a quick update on Scripps Ranch market trends? OK then! (Blurry chart warning: These are screen shots because I was too lazy to imbed pdfs, but it is trends we are looking for, not the fine print, gory details.)

If you believe the smoothed trend line, prices are still slipping, while the year over year suggest we are a push. But, note the May and July spiky things from last year; those date back to the home buyer tax credit extravaganza. If you discount those anomalies, we have been rather measured over the last year where median sale price is concerned.

Now, this chart shows median sale prices for what is offered versus what buyers are buying.

It could be an affordability/loan qualification issue, an indication of the value-driven nature of today’s buyer, or a combination of the two, but buyers are still flocking to the more affordable homes. In our market, this means anything starting with a “6.”

One thing worth noting where median sale prices are concerned, however, is that this doesn’t tell us what the buyer’s are getting for their money. Here is how last month stacked up to March of last year:

March, 2011: Number of homes sold = 26, Median sale price = $610,000, Median square footage = 2320
March, 2010: Number of homes sold = 31, Median sale price = $645,000, Median square footage = 2162

(I know; my median prices don’t jibe with the chart. That’s because I did what you are supposed to do when the median falls between two data points. I averaged. Duh. Apparently, the makers of my charts did not.)

So, if you are a fan of the Case-Schiller “matched pairs” angle of analyzing trends, that same house is selling at an even deeper discount today than the sales figures would imply. Buyers are not only paying less, but getting more house.

And market times? About 75 days on average, but this doesn’t include all of those homes that expired or canceled and relisted with a reset odometer.

That was fun! For our speed reading visitors, here are my CliffsNotes:

1. Prices are still slipping a bit.

2. Buyers are picky disciplined and all about value.

3. Homes priced in the $700,ooos and above are having a tougher time, because the log jam of demand is at the lower price points.

4. Market times are still a couple of months or longer on average. However, what the market time chart doesn’t tell you is what we know to be true from our own feet-on-the-ground vantage. The best homes — priced right, staged properly, and marketed aggressively — are selling quite handily within one month. If you are still hanging around with the other active listings after a month or two, you likely have an issue, and that issue is most often price.

(Note: Information from Sandicor Multiple Listing Service for detached homes in the 92131 Zip code, blah, blah, blah.)

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