Tulare County Real Estate Market Report for March 2024 - David Haun with Legacy Real Estate

Dated: March 7 2024

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Home Values Rebound Strong in February

We've seen home prices drop off significantly throughout the winter but that's typically what we expect over the holidays. Let's take a look at the data to see if that trend is continuing or if we're going to see home prices rebound in March of 2024.

The average sale price in Tulare County in February was $387,540. That was a huge rebound from around 358k or so. If you look year after year as we get into spring, prices tend to start rising, so I expect this to continue into summer.

I think we're going to get back up to all time highs before summertime, and obviously based on seasonal trends, it's going to start to level off again after that. 

How Are Values So High, Even With Higher Rates?

If you look at the stock market, this is very common. You don't see things just shoot straight up or straight down. They go up, they go down, they go back up, then they pull back.

Sometimes they sit for a while before they break up or down, but this is very typical for how markets run. It's the overall trend UP that you want to pay attention to.

Price per square foot in February was $224.The all time high last June was $230, so we're rebounding right back that way and again, I think by summertime we're going to be back up at all time highs if not creating new all time highs in price per square foot and average sale price. 

One huge factor in the sale price is inventory. Looking at new listings in Tulare County, we had 247 in February. If you look at the last three years, we saw 257 a year ago, 331 in 2022, and 293 in 2021.

New listings have been significantly lower than what we've needed since about midway through 2023. We did see a little bit of a rebound in January, but we've dropped back down a little bit in February. Again, I expect this to pick up.

Spring and summer is when a lot of people put their homes on the market. So while I expect things to get a lot busier, I want to emphasize that we really, really need inventory.

Inventory is as low as it's ever been in Tulare County. We don't have a lot of homes to sell and there's plenty of buyers out there to pick 'em up. So if you're thinking about listing or selling within the next year or two, this is a fantastic time because inventory is so low.

When that inventory starts to rebound again and we get back up to four or five, six months of inventory, home prices aren't going to be jumping the way that they are now going to start stabilizing homes for sale.

We've currently got 439 homes for sale in Tulare County. If you compare to previous years, we're where we typically are at this time of year.

Inventory is usually pretty low coming out of the holidays and especially during the pandemic years. Buyer activity was so high that it didn't matter how many homes we put on the market, the buyers were eating them up. 

As buyer activity slowed down a little bit, we started to see the homes for sale rise but it's been falling again since about mid 2022. The number of pending sales in February was 243, up from previous months.

Seeing pending sales start to rebound is a big plus in my opinion, that shows the buyer activity is there. We're going to need to get more listings on the market to supplement that increased activity.

Number of closed sales in February fell off again though, which is weird because as you see pending sales start to go up, you would expect closed sales to follow, right? 

There have been more cancellations toward the end of 2023 and heading into 2024 than we've seen in the previous few years. Cancellations are on the rise, and to be honest, Americans are feeling the crunch as far as money goes.

If you're in the market, make sure you're running your numbers regularly, take a look at your budget and make sure that you can afford the home payment that you're looking to take on, then give yourself a little bit of extra room.

In summary...

In summary, average sale price rebounded in February to $387,540. This is exactly what we expected as we roll into spring, and it's likely to continue into summer.

Price per square foot jumped in February to $224 per square foot, not far off of the all time highs. At $230 per square foot in June of 2023.

New listings rebounded with 247 new Tulare County properties hitting the market in February, even fewer than we saw in January. This is important to note because as we're seeing buyer activity start to pick up again, we need to see the new listings hit the market.

Pending sales are on the rise while closed sales dropped again in February. Now, we should start to see the closed sales rebound in March, though cancellations have been an issue as well.

Total inventory remains at 1.9 months of inventory in February, and this continues to be the biggest concern in the real estate market as we roll into 2024.

We really, really need more inventory in order to support the number of buyers that are going to be entering the market in spring and summer. So sellers, let's get those homes on the market! 

If you're looking to move out of the area, upsize, or downsize, this is a fantastic time to make that move!

I'd be happy to talk with you about your needs, your timelines. We can talk about your needs, timeline, and what to do before listing your home.

If you have any thoughts of selling within the next two years, let's talk soon and start building that strategy.

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David Haun

David is a licensed Realtor with the Synergy Group at Legacy Real Estate Inc. With an MBA specializing in digital marketing and an extensive background in project management, David brings a unique ble....

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