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LA MESA -- The rebounding employment market and the continuing low-interest environment has created the perfect storm for home buyers looking to move into La Mesa.
A comparison of year-over-year statistics on home sales in the 91941 and 91942 zip codes show a steep increase in sale prices and an equally steep decrease in the time it is taking to sell La Mesa homes.
According to transactions chronicled by Sandicor, San Diego's Multiple Listing Service, the median sales price for single-family homes sold in 91941 during the first quarter of 2013 was $461,000 compared to just $404,000 over the same period last year.
The numbers in 91942 were equally impressive with the median transaction rising to $366,000 from $312,500 a year earlier.
The number of so-called "distress sales" -- short-sales and foreclosures -- also plummeted with just 17 percent of 91941's sales and 26 percent of 91942 sales fitting the "distressed" criteria.
And sales are happening markedly faster now too, with the average 91941 property on the market just 41 days, down from 68 days a year ago. The average 91942 property sold in just 45 days, down from 72 days a year earlier.
At the same time, first quarter number of single-family homes sold in each of La Mesa's zip codes has remained steady at about 150 homes.
What that means is that an improving economy and continued low-interest rates are resulting in more buyers chasing the same number of homes. Most homes on the market today are receiving multiple offers as competition between the buyers increases and some types of homes are desired but not available.
Some buyers are advertising or approaching homeowners whose homes are not listed to see if they will consider a sale. (See this advertisement on LaMesaToday.com, for example.)
With supply tight and prices rising, homeowners considering a sale or looking to upgrade their home's location may find it easier to sell their current home than to find the next home. Purchase offers contingent on the sale of the prospective buyer's own home sale are losing out to cash buyers or offers without contingencies.
Still, in a changing market, basic rules apply:
-- Get pre-approved for your purchase before listing your home.
-- Have your property ready for a quick sale.
-- Make sure your realtor has done thorough research when advising you on listing or bidding for the property you want. You may never see a counter offer so make sure your fist bid is a strong one.
-- Stay in close touch with your Realtor so you can respond quickly and decisively on offers to buy or sell.
Gina Garcia is Publisher of LaMesaToday.com and a local Real Estate Consultant (Windermere Real Estate, CA DRE Lic. #01704251). You can contact her at Gina@GinaGarcia.net or (619) 818-6982.