2015 is officially in the books. While some may be disappointed with a 6% decline in the median price compared to the previous year I would consider 2015 to be one of the best years in Riviera real estate sales that we have witnessed in quite some time.  The reason for this is that for the first time in almost 10 years the market did not particularly favor either buyers or sellers—it was a market that can best be described as “balanced”.

 A closer look at the numbers from 2015 reveals a very healthy market. The total number of sales were 12% above 2014 and reached a level that we haven’t seen since 2012 when the market was just beginning its recovery. The majority of the increase took place in the $1 - $2 million range with very little change in the number of sales below $1 million and above $3 million compared to 2014.  The main reason the median price dropped from $1.7 million to $1.6 million is because the market was robust in the middle price ranges,  and due to the balance between buyers and sellers there was no pressure on prices in either direction.  The benefit to this kind of balance in the market is that it should lead to a level of sustainability for the foreseeable future.

 My hope and prediction for this year is that the Riviera real estate market will continue on the path of robust sales combined with balance and sustainability.  Without the concerns of an “overheated” market that we witnessed in 2007 - 2008 or the uncertainty that was prevalent between 2009 & 2011 the market is ripe for steady growth which will be advantageous for both buyers and sellers.





After analyzing the first half statistics for the Riviera’s real estate sales my suspicions are confirmed that sometimes perception does not match reality.  The general consensus currently is that the real estate market so far in 2015 has been a continuation of rapid appreciation due to low inventory and strong demand. The reality is that we are on pace to have the largest number of sales in the Riviera and surrounding areas since 2012 and the median price has actually declined by 8% in the last 6 months.

 Generally a declining median price is perceived as a negative factor in the real estate market, however in this case I consider it to be a very positive development.   The market in 2013 & 2014 generated a 21% increase in the median price which was the result of a strong “seller’s market” in which there was not enough supply to satisfy the demand.  On the other end of the spectrum, we experienced a “buyer’s market” between 2009 & 2011 which resulted in a flood of inventory and a 25% decrease in prices.    What we are witnessing now is a balanced market which so far this year has led to a healthy pace of sales and a slight decrease in the median price to $1,575,000.  A closer look at the numbers compared to the first half of 2014 reveals that there was more activity in the mid-range ($1 - $3 mil) and fewer sales at the high end of the market.  This helps to explain why the median price was down even though the pace of sales was quite active.

 My expectation is that the balance of 2015 will reflect what we have seen in the first half.  The level of current inventory is strong and the number of pending sales is at a similar pace to what we have experienced in the first 6 months.  I would also expect the median price to increase a bit, however with a continuation of the balanced market we are experiencing there is very little pressure on prices.  This is that magical time in the real estate cycle when there are advantages for both buyers and sellers—I would encourage those on either side of this fence to reap the benefits.