Bishop Real Estate: 2017 Year in Review
In 2017, home prices in the Eastern Sierra continued the trend set the previous year, with an 8% rise in the median price from $300,000 to $323,250. This brings growth in the Bishop area median home price over the last two years to 26%. Adding to this good news is a 15% increase in the total number of homes sold, coupled with a 19% increase in total dollar volume of property, year over year.
National and statewide sales prices of existing single-family homes have been on an incline for the past several years. Locally, home prices peaked in 2006 and then steadily declined through 2011. Over the past six years we have seen stabilization and recovery.
Other statistics important to consider are interest rates, the number of distressed sales, and the supply of homes on the market. Interest rates, currently just under 4% for a 30-year loan, have remained near historic lows over the past 12 months, providing very inexpensive financing and increased purchasing power. In addition to benefitting more first-time buyers, those buyers wishing to “move up” may have the ability to qualify for a larger mortgage without increasing their monthly payment.
The number of distressed sales in the Bishop market remains considerably low and similar in numbers to 2016. A distressed sale includes any home that is either a foreclosure or a short sale where the seller is selling the home for less than the debts against the property. Fewer distressed sales is a positive aspect for the real estate market because such properties tend to sell for a much lower price than a traditional offering and can bring down prices in an area.
Inventory available for sale remains extremely low. At the end of December there were only 41 homes on the market, down from 68 homes available in July. There is currently a 1.36-month supply of homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000. This means that if no new homes came on the market, the existing inventory would all be sold in just over a month. Generally, any inventory below six months is considered a sellers’ market. Seventy-one percent of all homes sold in 2017 fetched $400,000 or below. The number of higher-end home sales had a 53% gain in 2017. In 2016 there were only 17 properties sold over $500,000, while in 2017 there were 26.
The important factors to keep in mind are that while interest rates are low the predictions are they will increase, and while home prices have increased over the past year, the reduced inventory could cause them to go even higher.