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For the past five years, inventory at the end of the fourth quarter has been very low. During this period, there hasn’t been much for sale. Historically, this is the time of year when inventory bottoms out. And that holds true for 2019.

There is good news for buyers with a lot of money as half of all inventory is priced above $1.5 million. At the low end of the market, the pickings are pretty slim with most of the homes being small in size and in the South Coast.  

As of Dec. 27, there were 60 total listings of which 38 were available and 22 were sale-pending. By comparison, at the end of 2018, there were 72 listings, and 60 in 2017, 58 in 2016 and 51 in 2015.

Sales volume will be flat to down a little this year despite several interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve in 2019. Even with the low level of inventory, there were many price reductions even at the low end of the market.  

So, what’s for sale on the coast? Prices of the 60 total listings range from $445,000 for a 430-square-foot cottage in a remote part of La Honda to $10 million for a Montara ranch on 245 acres. Ten percent of all listings are priced under $750,000, compared to 8 percent in 2017, 14 percent in 2016 and 38 percent in 2014.

There is just one listing for sale under $500,000. Between $500,000 and $750,000, there are five listings. Between $750,000 and $1 million, there are eight listings. Between $1 million and $1.5 million, there are 16 listings, and 12 listings between $1.5 million and $2 million, and 18 over $2 million.

Looking at inventory by town, the South Coast has 16 total listings, Half Moon Bay has 22 listings, El Granada has 10, Moss Beach has six and Montara has six.

This chart shows available and sale-pending inventory over time. Inventory rose from 2007-2010 as prices and volume declined. It has been decreasing since 2011 with the last five years hitting the lowest levels seen in many years.

Usually the best barometer for predicting the future is to look at pending sales and available inventory. With just 22 pending sales, it’s kind of hard forecasting where things will go. The other unknown is what the Fed will do with interest rates in 2020. Recently, the bank has taken a wait and see approach..

Steven Hyman is the broker and owner of Century 21 Sunset Properties. He can be reached at 726-6346 or at www.century21sunset.com

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