Sales numbers for 2015 were nearly identical to those of 2014. There were exactly 102 closings for each of the years with the only difference being three Spec Houses in 2014 which completed Shea Homes’ new home construction build-out. There were just three ARCH home sales in each of the last two years, as well. One positive difference is there were two foreclosures in 2014 and one short sale. There were no distressed sales of that nature in 2015 reflecting a recovered economy. There were never many in this affluent community even during the mortgage crisis but the fact that there was even a mentionable amount in 2014 and years prior, was an indicator of just how bad things had gotten. In 2013, there were five short sales (The Lender Settling for less than what is owed) and a foreclosure with 94 resale homes closing escrow. Remarkably, the number of buyers and sellers in Trilogy has been very steady with the nine Shea new build closings in 2013 making that year’s total sales 103, including two ARCH home sales.
Overall sales volume was pretty much the same for 2013 and 2014 with $59,563,853 and $58,526,809 respectively, dropping slightly in 2014. This year resulted in over a 7% jump over the previous year with $62,901,951 in total sales volume. The lowest individual priced home sold for each of the last several years continues to be an ARCH restricted home. In 2013 the low was $257,925, in 2014 it was $310,000 and 2015 it was $296,966 with all three being the Chelan floor plan. ARCH is King County’s Regional Coalition for Affordable Housing which originally set lower pricing for some of the floor plans in the Port and Lakes collections for those who fell under the income cap. When an owner wishes to sell an ARCH designated home they must call ARCH and find out the maximum price they can ask for their home at that time. ARCH determines the price using a calculation based upon what the owner paid for their home compared to what the average home sale price is in King County today. Most ARCH homes have a 30 year resale restriction which runs with the home and is recorded with the deed at the time of the original purchase and carries on to qualified buyers down the road. That is why the prices are so inexpensive. No upgrades were allowed when new and any after-market upgrades will, most
likely, not improve what one may ask for the home when selling.
According to Zillow, in an article published late in October, the value of all homes nationwide grew $1.1 trillion in 2015, and was expected to end the year at $28.5 trillion total. The value of the entire housing stock grew 4.1 percent over the past year, slower than the 6 percent growth in 2014. Trilogy homes appreciated nearly double the national average in 2015 which is impressive given the enormous recovery growth in recent prior years. I think it’s fair to say, aside from being careful not to repeat history, further talk about the prior crash is nebulous. It’s over.
In 2013 the most expensive Trilogy home to close escrow did so at a sales price of $980,000. Interestingly enough, the top sales prices for both 2014 and 2015 were $1,150,000. The average sales price is another impressive figure climbing from $531,820 in 2013 to $573,792 in 2014 and surpassing the $600,000 mark in 2015 with an average of $617,490. A major contributor to the average higher sales price was the upper end homes totally taking hold this year. There were many more upper end homes on the market as Sellers and Listing Brokers seemed much less apprehensive to ask what may have been perceived as crazy prices and many of them got them or got close.
This writer’s forecast for the future is an educated guess that this can’t go on forever and the price of Trilogy stock may be at a peak after the first quarter of 2016. Pricing can only go so high with tract level housing, fancy as it may be, and the Fed made its first move with a quarter percent hike in the cost of borrowing money for the first time in many years. There’s a quiet confidence that the economy is stabilized and healthy. Jobs are strong and inventory is short which motivates the government to make such moves as raising interest rates. Gradually inventory will grow and demand will slow the rise in pricing
Once again, we hope this yearly report has been helpful to you in some way. We encourage you to save them just as we have in the past and trust you’ll find our prognostications to be accurate and the year over year information at your fingertips to be helpful. Thank you for a record
breaking 2015 for the Elephant and we wish you and yours a spectacular 2016.