By Jeff Hudson
As autumn begins, the supply of existing Davis homes for sale remains limited — but with a few more homes coming onto the market as the peak summer season (when many households are most likely to move) fades into the past. Prices for existing homes remain high, and homes priced below $800,000 continue to sell pretty quickly, but in some cases homes are beginning to sell for a bit below the asking price, and competitive bidding involving multiple offers on the same property is becoming less common.
In the new home market, several relatively small “infill projects” within Davis city limits are selling their last remaining units, and about two-thirds of the homes in the biggest current housing development in Davis — The Cannery — have been sold as well.
As of mid-September, there were around 85-90 existing homes for sale in Davis — a somewhat larger number than has sometimes been the case in recent years, but nonetheless offering a relatively limited number of options for prospective homebuyers.
The average asking price for active listings was $842,445 and the median asking price was $765,000.
Some 361 Davis homes have been sold so far this year, with an average sales price of $702,383 and a median sales price of $675,000. The average home sold this year was on the market for 22 days. (By way of comparison, for the same period of time in 2017, there were 387 Davis homes sold, with an average price of $643,138 and a median price of $592,500, spending an average of 27 days on the market.)
Longtime real estate professional Claire Black Slotton, who is now based at the Goodhome Group/ReMax Gold, said “The market appears to be doing it’s normal fall thing. Inventory is up a bit and some sellers are beginning to make price reductions in order to attract the next buyer. The number of multiple offers has slowed. Of the 86 homes on the market, 18 are price over $1,000,000 and 16 are under $500,000. Houses in good condition are selling more readily than homes that need work — that isn’t always the case.”
She added that homes in the under-$800K segment typically sell more quickly than homes priced over $1 million.
Cory Gold, a longtime broker who is now with NextHome Cornerstone Real Estate (which is in the process of moving from an office on Del Rio Place to a new office on G Street in downtown Davis, which will open in October), said “I believe we are seeing a slight shift in the market where buyers are going to have more options, meaning more inventory. The typical August slowdown actually started in July this year. We are not seeing a buyers market, as inventory is still very low compared to what we would consider a ‘balanced’ market.
“Over the last few months, I have seen fewer multiple offers and we are now seeing a significant number of homes selling below the asking price. Price reductions are making their way into the market again. Fall is going to be a great time for buyers to get into the market, sellers will have to be more realistic when pricing their homes.”
Here’s an update on current new home projects:
* The Cannery is getting closer and closer to build-out. Of the 457 for-sale homes, fewer than 150 are still available at this point. A goodly portion of the remaining units are single-story flats in the four-story Gala section (starting in the $400s); some large homes, including several in the $1m range, in the Sage section; and some mid-range sized homes in the Tilton section (starting in the $800s).
* Of the 35 residences in the Willow Creek Townhomes project, five are still for sale (in the upper $600s), and a “builder’s closeout” promotion is underway.
* At Grande Village, of the 41 lots, 13 are still available, and a number of homes have been completed.
* At the Villas at El Macero, five of the 16 luxury condominium homes (starting in the mid $800s) have been sold.
* At Mission Villas, two of the 16 senior-oriented condominium units (priced from the $700s) are still for sale.
Pending projects include:
* Chiles Ranch. Construction is expected to get started in the relatively near future at Chiles Ranch, where Phase One will include 17 single family homes. When complete, Chiles Ranch will have a total of 96 homes (priced from the high $500s to the mid $800s).
* Trackside Center, which has been approved by the Davis City Council, plans to build a 4-story mixed-use building that would include 27 apartment units (not necessarily geared toward students), at 901-919 Third St, with retail/office space on the ground floor.
Several projects that would build rental apartments targeting university students have been approved by the city and are pending construction, though some are facing court challenges:
* Sterling Fifth Street. This project, which has been approved by the Davis city council, is on the six-acre site that once hosted a Families First youth home and school. The project will be redeveloped with a total of 198 units, including a 3- to-4-story building with 160 market-rate apartments (a mix of studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 4-bedroom and 5-bedroom), as well as a 3-to-4 story building with 38 units of affordable housing. The project includes a swimming pool, a clubhouse with study rooms and fitness rooms, and other amenities. The site was cleared last year, and construction of the new apartments is expected to begin later this year.
* Lincoln 40, a student-oriented residential infill project proposed for East Olive Drive, would cover 11 parcels along Olive Drive and Hickory Lane and would require demolition of the existing 14-unit Kober Apartment complex and 10 single-family cottages. Replacing those residences would be 130 rental units with two to five bedrooms each.
* Davis Live Oxford Circle, a seven-story, 71 unit apartment complex, was approved by the Davis City Council in August.
* Nishi Student Apartments, which will have up to 700 apartment units next door to UC Davis, was approved by local voters in the June election.
In addition, in July, the Regents of the University of California approved significant addition of new student housing in West Village on the UCD campus, with space for 3,265 students. Construction is expected to begin this year, with the new housing coming online in 2020 and 2021.
There is also one new home project on the local ballot this fall:
* In November, Davis residents will vote on the West Davis Active Adult Community, which proposes 325 for-sale units, primarily single-family detached, and 150 affordable senior apartments, with a 3-acre (approximate) Activity and Wellness Center, including pool, public restaurant, outdoor patio, and parking lot, and a 3-acre (approximate) parcel for University Retirement Community expansion.
Eighty percent of the units, including the affordable apartments, are proposed to be age-restricted (open to residents age 55 and over). Approximately 70 single-family units will not be age-restricted. If approved by voters, construction would probably commence sometime in 2019 and continue into 2020.