Ridgecrest Ca Homes Clint Freeman broker/owner– 2023 will be known as a year in which interest rates blew through the roof and put a screeching slowdown on buyers’ dreams and hopes of a home purchase nationwide. According to Bankrate.com, the average fixed mortgage rate for 2023 stood at 6.8%. This rate has not been seen since 2001, when the rate leveled off at 6.97%
As a result, our local Ridgecrest market saw 32.7% less activity of site-built homes sold when compared to 2022. No doubt, higher rates had an impact on many local buyers. In some cases, it meant paying $700 to $900 in monthly mortgage payments for the same median-priced home just a few short years ago.
Despite the higher rates, 360 site-built homes did sell in the Ridgecrest area. The summer months of June and August recorded the highest number of units at 40 homes each. January was a low point at 22 homes sold.
Ridgecrest homes are still maintaining their value as June saw the median home price slide up to $301,000. In other months throughout 2023, the median price remained in the high $ 200,000 range.
Despite higher interest rates, the pace of homes selling remarkably accelerated as the year moved forward. January recorded a past 3-month average days on the market of 104 days. By November, the past 3-month average days on the market sped up to 85 days. Lower days on the market mean homes are selling quicker than in the past.
2023 was still moving strong in a seller’s market. Inventory-wise, January recorded 1.73 months of inventory. That number rose to 2.19 months in May but gradually dropped back down to 1.64 months in November.
Are home values dropping in the area? Not in 2023. In April, an amazing 87% of site-built homes sold for full price or more! In October and November, 71% and 76% of site-built homes sold for full price or more, respectively. Other months held strong in the 50 or 60-percentiles.
There are signals that inflation is gradually easing, which means the FED may begin to cut interest rates in early 2024. Mortgage rates will follow. That will bring relief to millions of home buyers wanting to take the plunge. However, home prices are not predicted to drop anytime soon.
When interest rates drop to a comfortable level, watch out for the next market shift to happen. A massive amount of buyers will hop off the fence and begin to compete with other eager buyers. Another market frenzy could take place where bidding wars will again become the norm, and even higher prices may result due to lack of inventory.
Stay tuned as we walk into another wonderful world of real estate in 2024!
Clint Freeman is broker/owner of RidgecrestCaHomes—honesty, Integrity, Loyalty. A top-reviewed realtor in the area. Check out his many reviews at www.RidgecrestCaHomes.com.