Santa Cruz, California 2018 Market Report

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Santa Cruz, CA Market Report for 2018

Santa Cruz County in California is a coastal region of cities, unincorporated communities, and nature preserves on the western coast of the country, located south of San Jose and San Francisco. It is known for its beautiful beaches, nature preserves, small towns, and the highly urbanized city center of the city of Santa Cruz. Other notable towns and communities in the county are Scotts Valley, Capitola, Watsonville, Aptos, Bonny Doon, Brookdale, Corralitos, Felton, Larkin Valley, La Selva Beach, Los Gatos Mountains, Rio del Mar, Scotts Valley, Seacliff, and Soquel.

The diverse land area of Santa Cruz county offers a wide selection of housing options for families planning to purchase a home in the region. There are apartment buildings, townhouses, condominiums, single-family homes, luxury homes, and many more residential real estates available to home buyers. The 29-mile coastline of Monterey Bay offers fantastic beachfront communities with some of the most developed subdivisions and neighborhoods. Further inland are fertile farmlands, forested acreage homes, home estates, and other residential developments. Santa Cruz is the perfect combination of urbanized areas close to well preserved forests and hillsides ideal for families who love to go on adventures.

Beach Image of Santa Cruz, California

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Market Climate in Santa Cruz

The current real estate market in Santa Cruz is trending in favor of home buyers looking to purchase a property in the area. Home prices have started to improve in favor of the buyers since the start of 2018. The trend is in part due to the market slow down and has continued throughout the year alongside the holiday season reduction. The average home sales in the county were sold at 98.35% of asking price in November and 97.2% in December. Only 19% of all purchases were made at more than its asking price.

Several factors also affect the current market trend. The housing supply shortage, however, can also be attributed to families staying longer in homes in the region. Typically, families stay at one house in Santa Cruz for about 11.5 years before deciding to move which is a high point since the last 38 years. This is due to a demographic shift in ownership going over to baby boomers. It has resulted in lower turnover rates of houses creating a decrease in market supply. Fixed-rate mortgages have also affected the market which hit a bottom level since 2013. Selling properties for families with these types of deals would mean they would have a higher rate when buying a new home. Taxation is also another consideration for families who decide to move to a higher priced home wherein they have to deal with increased costs of property tax as well as capital gains tax.

Santa Cruz, CA Market Report for 2018


How fast does a Home in Santa Cruz Sell?

The time in which a property stays in the real estate market has significantly varied throughout 2018. The average in August was 33 days and has gone up to 54 days by September. This is reflected in the decline in demand of the market. By October the median duration has gone down to 35 days which is a 20-day difference compared to the same month in 2017. By December the average time has gone up again to 51 days which is likely correlated to the holiday slow down in the region.

Frontage of a Brand New Home in Santa Cruz County in California

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Average Closing Price in Santa Cruz

Annual Median Listing Price: $846,250
Annual Median Price Per Square Foot: $541
August Median Price: $920,000
September Median Price: $926,000
December Median Price: $1,099,200

Buyer vs. Seller Market

The housing market saw a general softening through 2018 in Santa Cruz as well as most parts of the country. There were fewer new properties listed for sale as well as properties being closed. Average sale-to-list price ratio has dropped to 97% while average days on the market went up to 52 days. Overall the region through trending to favor buyers still remains to be a seller's market. The end of year median sales price went up to $926,000 which is 15% higher compared to last year.

Three fundamental drivers of the real estate market in 2018 according to Goldman Sachs:

  • Increased mortgage prices.
  • Home prices have gone up faster than the average rent since 2012.
  • 2017 tax law reforms reduced benefits for owner-occupied housing.

Infographic Showing the Market Report Data for Santa Cruz CA

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Santa Cruz, California Neighborhood Report

  • Population: 63,364 (2010)
  • Estimated Median Household Income: $69,178 (2016)
  • Estimated Median Home Value: $819,859 (2016)

Santa Cruz County, California Market Report

  • Properties currently active on the market: 241
  • Median Listing Home Price: $949,000
  • Price Per Square Feet: $548
  • Median Closing Price: $973,000

If you would like to receive a FREE Competitive Market Analysis, contact me today.

Let Me Help You Find Your Santa Cruz, California Home!

If you are a buyer, it is important to have the assistance of a Buyer's Agent to represent you during the transaction. If you need additional assistance or would like to schedule a showing, contact our office at (831) 661-5591.

Amber Melenudo
Santa Cruz Real Estate
1041 41st Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: (831) 661-5591

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Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good evening 

Thank you for sharing your information with us inboundREM Market Updates 

Have a great night.

March 13, 2019. 

Mar 12, 2019 10:20 PM #1
Sally Crane
WMS - Unity, WI
Woodland appraisal support.

Thanks for the update, all the best to you as you get many of these properties listed and sold.

Mar 12, 2019 11:45 PM #2
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