2014 North County Real Estate Review and 2015 Forecast
Over the past few decades, North County has transitioned from a sleepy rural farming and ranching town to a dynamic economy, fueled by a number of positive economic factors. We see growth from agriculture, tourism and wineries as well as economic growth from the influx of urban refugees. This report takes a look back at 2014 North County Real Estate and the prospects for 2015.
There was a traditional spring surge in residential home sales, but an increase in pricing that did not reflect the true market. Buyers grew wary of these higher price tags, and as the year played out, sellers adjusted their pricing and buyers became more active.
The average price of a North County home increased over 3% to $346,000 and market sale numbers topped 1000 units. Homes on acreage topped 370 units with an average sale price of $591,000. We sold a total of 1400 homes, the same amount as in 2013, but with a higher average sale price.
The inventory of homes for sale today is about 12% more than this time last year, with a median list price that is about 2% higher. If no more properties come on the market, this inventory could potentially be gone in 3 ½ months. We are close to a very balanced market between buyers and sellers.
North County is very dependent on small businesses and they have been struggling here over the past 6 years. The struggling economy has kept a lid on any real growth for them. Commercial real estate investors are seeking income producing properties with good tenants, and others have a greater interest in multi-family properties as this market continues to be strong in income.
Our wine industry is very solid today. We have wineries with international distribution and high quality boutique wineries with solid reputations in the wine world. The water situation and ordinance will restrict planting grapes in the future, so existing vineyards and wineries are more valuable today because of this.
Lower gas prices should really help our tourism industry. New hotels are continuing to be built in anticipation of continued growth in this area. And our “feeder markets” of the Bay Area, the LA Basin and Orange and San Diego counties are showing continued good economic news. This good news will translate over time into more real estate transactions in our area.
There is a cloud of uncertainty that can be felt in our economy, and that unspoken wariness about the future does keep people from making decisions. The stock market is booming because there is nowhere else to put ones money. Therefore, although the future is brightening, it is plodding ahead slowly and cautiously. Real estate is slowly returning to its proper place as a good investment, and the hope is that this trend continues.
Specifically, it’s remarkable that in 2014 North County Real Estate has fared so well. We have always had a business community that is invested in our area’s future and government leaders who do the same. We see only positive growth in many ways this coming year. We are fortunate indeed.
And “Always Expect the Best!”