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Toscana CC 2008 1st Quarter Report

Dear Toscana Resident,

We are now into the 17th quarterly report since I started collecting the information and mailing it to you. I have included the 17 quarters on a spreadsheet for your review.  Hopefully you continue to find this information of interest and value to you.

In the first quarter of this year, 17 homes have sold with another 8 homes currently in escrow. I have a number of properties we are negotiating on so the buyer activity certainly has increased.  In comparison, 14 homes have sold in Rancho LaQuinta  with 8 homes currently in escrow.  Median price for homes in  Rancho La Quinta is $1,132,179 while Indian Ridge's PUD homes are $1,231,723. When we add the Condo section our average drops to $1,033,529 but keep in mind Rancho LaQuinta does not have the smaller Acacia like floor plans.

If we compare sales to previous years, we are tied with the 1st quarter of 2007. Average sales price in the PUD section for 1st quarter of  2007 was $1,325,133 so we can see a drop of $93,504 in sales price.

The market for homes under $1 million dollars has been strong as evidenced by activity in our neighbor across the street. With about 47 homes currently on the market, the time it takes to sell a property in Palm Valley has been reduced considerably. Sales prices have ranged from $255,000 to $915,000 for the quarter.

The Lakes has 54 homes on the market with 20 sales for the quarter and a sold price range of $370,000 TO $875,000.

Toscana Country Club sales have been sluggish with 7 properties sold in the first quarter (2 spec homes, 3 new homes sales and 2 re-sales). Price reductions continue for the 27 homes currently on the market ranging from $1,450,000 to $3,200,000.

A year ago in my quarterly report there were 31 major sub-prime mortgage lenders either closing or on the brink of bankruptcy.  The prices for many properties in Indian Ridge have lowered their asking price and as a result, the buyers begin to see value once again and the number of offers are on the rise. Days on market have dropped from 103 from last year at this time to 76. We are most definitely in a buyer's market and buyers purchase homes where they see great value. If your home is listed and it has not sold, the buyer does not see the value in comparison to other properties on the market and are willing to wait to purchase. 

According to John Seymour in his ‘What's Hot and What is Not" March issue, 55% of the members of the National Association for Business Economics believe we will dodge the recession bullet. He believes this for 3 reasons: 62% of the publicly traded companies reported double digit profits in the 4th quarter of 2007; the feds continue to reduce rates to stave off recession; and the federal stimulus package of $169 billion will begin paying in May and will provide 6 months of increased consumer spending and corporate investments. The price of all will be in the form of inflation.

The affordability index was 16% as the end of 2005. Today that number has increased to 33% giving California families a greater opportunity to purchase a home.

It would appear we are nearing the bottom of the real estate cycle and should stabilize by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2008. My real estate activity while it has been steady throughout this down cycle, the number of buyers, showings and sales have increased steadily since October of 2007 and continues to increase as buyers begin to believe now is the time to purchase a property.

While we may not see much appreciation for a year or two, the market will provide another great buying opportunity that will increase sales. The reasons: 1) recent over abundance of prospective buyers looking to purchase which normally leads to sales; 2) rents continue to rise and home prices are reaching a level where it has once again become affordable for many and many homes are truly at great prices; 3) once the wave of foreclosures and short sales have worked their way through the system over the next 6 months, these will fall off substantially; 4) lenders have recently softened on price and terms for loans; 5) low mortgage rates, prices depressed and inflation on the horizon, this clearly is the time to purchase a home.

As this season draws to an end, the real estate market should remain fairly active through June.

Many of you continue to refer clients to me and I am dedicated to providing excellent service.

Sincerely,

Diane R. Williams
Associate Broker/Premier Director
Windermere Real Estate