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Shifting Winds

The US economy remains robust. Perceptions, though, and actions by the Federal Reserve to curb inflation, have changed the previously prevailing winds of both national and local housing markets. Make no mistake; in the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs specifically, we remain in a decidedly "seller's market" as defined by the available inventory. (We have about three months worth; more than six months of inventory is considered a "buyer's market.")

Instead of unbridled enthusiasm on the part of sometimes desperate homebuyers, we are seeing price adjustments, longer days on market, and fewer offers.


Sellers get to set the price of their home. Those that listen to their agent when deciding on a number, assuming their agent is worth their salt, will start at fair-market value that's based on recent comparable sales. Over the last eight months, those asking prices were often less than what the market (buyers) delivered. As that pattern repeated itself, sellers started pricing above the comparable sales, and they still received multiple offers! (Sidebar, "over-pricing" in a wild market is a strategy to throttle the number of offers. That may sound odd, but each offer requires appropriate handling. Inviting 25 offers because a property is incorrectly priced too low and that creates a large burden on the listing agent and the seller.)